Fort Hood Sentinel
Standing watch over Fort Hood since 1942
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2014  05:19:15 AM

Things that go BOOM in the night

Email   Print   Share By Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, Fort Hood Acting Senior Commander
April 29, 2010 | Editorial
Fort Hood is a military base. We train Soldiers, airmen and Marines to fight and win our nation’s wars. We are the Army’s premier power projection platform, which means that our training land and facilities are key to deployments in defense of our nation.

It is not unusual to hear artillery rounds exploding on the ranges at all hours of the day and night.

Small arms fire can also be heard at various locations throughout the installation, as our Soldiers train in adaptive environments. Emergency responders conduct drills to hone their skills. Oftentimes we hear the familiar “whop-whop” of helicopter blades overhead or see precise formations flying in the distance.

We train. That is what we do as Soldiers, as an installation and as a military. Without this crucial training we could never be successful in combat, in the event of a natural disaster or man made emergency.

First Army Division West leads the effort to provide world-class post-mobilization training for U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard units at North Fort Hood.

Long before they arrive at Fort Hood, these Soldiers and their units have gone through rigorous training to master their combat skill, Division West hones those skills even sharper. This is what our Soldiers assigned to Fort Hood also do on a daily basis. On May 12 and 13, Fort Hood and the city of Killeen will stage a series of mass disasters and mock explosions to validate their emergency response plans. This Force Protection Exercise is an annual event that is crucial to maintaining and improving our emergency response capabilities.

Close cooperation and coordination with the key players in our surrounding area, including fire, police, hospitals, Texas Rangers, the American Red Cross, the Association of the United States Army and many others, ensure that we not only respond to and overcome any tragedy or disaster, but that we continue to thrive and succeed as well. We witnessed on Nov. 5 the tremendous effort by first responders – each of whom trained in experiences just like this one. Fort Hood’s vast size and premier training ranges also attract other services that need to maintain their combat proficiency. Sometime over the next month, B-52 bombers out of Barksdale Air Force Base, La., will be flying to Fort Hood’s Clabber Creek Range.

On three consecutive nights the aircraft will make a series of bombing runs culminating in the deployment of a laser-guided 2,000-lb bomb taking out a designated target. BOOM! The sound and vibrations from the explosion will resonate well outside of the training area and will be heard and felt most in the Gatesville area. Rest assured that this is scheduled training and all is well.

Fort Hood is home to the best and the brightest that this nation has to offer. These brave men and women deserve nothing less than to be well trained and thoroughly prepared to fight our nation’s wars. So the next time you hear the comforting sounds of artillery shells being launched, bombs exploding, or helicopters circling overhead, or our emergency services exercising their skills, know that we are on point, training our nation’s finest.

Phantom Warriors!
 
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