KILLEEN — Maj. Gen. Jeff Broadwater, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general, gave insight into the future plans of his division’s brigades during the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce Military Relations Council luncheon Jan. 29.
“It is an honor each and every day to see our soldiers doing the great and wonderful things that they do for our nation on a daily basis here,” he said. “While we are extremely busy — with soldiers in places all over the world — they are making a difference in something larger than themselves, and that is truly an honor to be part of.”
Broadwater took command of the 1st Cavalry Division — Fort Hood’s largest unit, with close to 20,000 troops — in October.
“This is the first time that I have been at Fort Hood and it didn’t take long to figure out why they call it ‘The Great Place,’” he said. “It’s not because of its installations, but because of people like you.”
During his presentation inside Warrior Hall at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Broadwater briefed city officials, chamber members and the community about the readiness of his brigades.
First brigade is currently finishing its home training at Fort Hood and “will eventually head out to the National Training Center in April,” Broadwater said. “When they come back, they will do whatever our nation asked the great ‘Ironhorse’ to do.”
Second brigade is currently stationed in European countries, including Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Romania, to show its support to U.S. allies. The troops are expected to return to Fort Hood in late spring and early summer.
“Once they come back in the April time frame … they will start to modernize,” Broadwater said.
The Army is currently transitioning its tanks from the M1 B2 Abrams V2 to the newer V3.
Third brigade is finishing its nine-month long deployment to Korea. Troops are expected to arrive back at Fort Hood within the following weeks and also undergo the modernization process to the new tank version.
“They are … actually getting ready to come back from Korea as we speak,” Broadwater said.“They will start to transition basically as soon as they come back … and then in the summer, they will go on with their training regimen.”
While about 4,000 troops with 3rd Brigade are currently coming home, the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade is playing a supporting role in the Middle East, as well as taking part in domestic border and training missions.
The Division Artillery Brigade has been supporting European missions and focusing on getting soldiers ready for the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
Broadwater also highlighted the international training mission Defender Europe 20. During the training exercise, a division-size combat force deploys to Europe to train with their allies on various assessments.
“Defender 20 really is a series of exercises in various countries to execute and see how ready we are on that strategic readiness level,” Broadwater said. “The only way to see and learn that is by doing it.”
The equipment needed will be prepared and moved by the Sustainment Brigade.
“The Army is starting these large-scale events in Europe to make sure we are ready in case something might occur over there,” he said.
Approximately 1,000 soldiers from the division are expected to take part in three of the planned exercises.
“Our opportunities as a division to be part of some of these larger upscale operations … enables us to not only get better at our readiness … but it will also help the Army learn,” Broadwater said.
The different training missions, including the Warfighter Exercise and the Allied Spirit XI, will be conducted in Germany and Poland.
“Any time you go to a different country, you have a different perspective,” Broadwater said.
According to the general, his troops can especially benefit from learning in a different environment, cooperating with their partners and learning to balance a variety of difficult tasks.
“It is that balance that we all, including myself, continue to work on,” he said.
The next Military Relations Council Luncheon is scheduled for March 25 and will host retired Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli as guest speaker.