Fort Hood, an Army base in Texas, recently suffered a tragedy due to the raging waters when the troops were closing roads. During a training mission, one of the trucks was overturned killing nine soldiers on Thursday, June 2, 2016. There were 12 soldiers involved in the accident; three were rescued by soldiers in the truck behind them. The soldiers who died; three were found downstream from the vehicle and the other six bodies were discovered on Friday, after an extensive search.
Owl Creek, where the tragedy occurred, is known to have frequent flash floods, stated Michael Harmon, an emergency management coordinator for Bell County, Texas. However, according to Lt. Col. Sunset Belinsky, the road in Owl Creek where the soldiers were driving was not posted as a low-water crossing, meaning it was not prone to flash floods.
The History of Fort Hood
The history of Fort Hood reaches as far back as World War II when the German army was overtaking Europe. In an effort to counter a German blitzkrieg (an intense military strategy used to gain a swift victory), the development of tank destroyers were employed. Hence, the beginning stages of Fort Hood, a large area to maintain these tactical machines.
In 1942, according to Military Installations, the War Department made the city of Killeen (Fort Hood), Texas, the location for the tanks known as the Tank Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center. The War Department acquired an initial 108,000 acres in Texas, that cost them $22,800,000 for all facilities, the land, and the placement of utilities. The acquisition was not an easy one on the residents of Clear Creek, Antelope, and Elijah, as it involved their relocation, which included 300 Texas families.
- Camp Hood reached their peak population of 95,000 troops in June of 1943, maintaining them in the early 1944s.
- In September of 1944, the Infantry Center was the largest amount of movement on the post with a population of 31,545. By December 31, 1944, however, it reached 50,228 troops.
- A the end of WWII there was a significant drop in the camp’s population, and training slowed, as equipment and weapons reduction became the main priorities. Thus, they ended the year with a population of 11,000 military men.
- The arrival of troops from the 2nd and the 20th Armored Divisions came in January of 1946, which only increased the troops population for a short time. The camp became part of the 4th installation of the Army in June, as well as the commanding general of the major tactical unit in late ’46.
- Elvis Presley came to the Army post on March 28th of 1958 and he was treated the same as all other military trainees. He shipped out to Germany on September 19.
- In September of 1961, the Fort Hood became home for the III Corps.
- In June of 1963, the Killeen Base became an Army base. In October 1969, Killeen Base became West Fort Hood.
- In September of 1965, Darnell Hospital opened and provided quality services for the Fort Hood community.
- In September of 1967, the base was divided into a two-division post to serve the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions.
- At the beginning of the 21 century, the Army modernized Fort Hood. The base made history as the first to privatize housing under a communities’ initiative.
- The 4th Infantry Division’s assisted in the capture of Saddam Hussein in December of 2003.
- The troops of III Corps returned from their mission to Afghanistan in 2014.
Although fewer troops are deployed today than in the earlier years of the base, Fort Hood is still the Army’s number one force projection platform.
Praying For Fallen Military
With the weather in Texas being as severe as it is, the possibility of flooding threatens the troops and civilians at Fort Hood. CNN reported that stagnant water will probably be receding for weeks, which will make the insect population rise, as well as the risk of the diseases they carry.
Meteorologist Chad Myers also stated that the creeks, bayous, and rivers are not going to be able to absorb the influx of rain. The first week in June 2016, alone amounted to 7.51 inches of rain and in the last week of May the state set records for rainfall in Houston.
Military personnel and the families of the nine soldiers from Fort Hood who died June 2, pray every night in hopes that other fallen soldiers will be found.
By Tracy Blake
Edited by Jeanette Smith
CNN News: Texas Floods: 9 Soldiers Killed at Fort Hood
Military Installations DOD: Fort Hood, Texas
MyBaseGuide: FORT HOOD
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