Fort Hood is facing a reduction in troop levels. United States Army's Chief of Staff, General Ray Odierno, called Congressman John Carter (R-TX31) Tuesday morning to alert him of the Army's announcement of an overall reduction in force Army wide as well as at Fort Hood, the largest military installation in the world. Congressman Carter represents most of Fort Hood.
In accordance with the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Department of the Army must reduce the Army from 570,000 soldiers to an end-strength of 490,000 by the year 2017. General Odierno says Fort Hood would be reduced by approximately 7% while the average Army installation across the country could experience closer to 15%.
The Army says Fort Hood would lose one of five Brigade Combat Teams (BCT), estimating that 3,750 positions would be reinvested in the remaining four BCT's. The Army also says Army wide BCT's will be reduced from 45 modular BCT's to 33 reorganized BCTs.
"With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drawing to an end, we know the Army is having to reassess the existing force structure," said Congressman Carter, Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee. "Although Fort Hood would be losing one of their five Brigade Combat Teams, General Odierno and I discussed that the post will likely experience less of a reduction in the number of soldiers than other installations."
The Army conducted a Programmatic Environmental Assessment that evaluated a number of factors and ultimately the effect of the Army's drawdown on each of the installations. In April of 2013, the Army conducted 30 community listening sessions, including one in the Fort Hood community. Information from the listening session was used to lessen the socio-economic impact on the community, likely factoring into the decision to only reduce troop levels on Fort Hood by 7% as opposed to a larger percentage realized by other installations.
"Fort Hood is this country's premiere Army installation. It's important that the Fort Hood community knows Fort Hood is the "Great Place' and will remain the "Great Place.' Our men and women in uniform, and their families are the best in our armed forces," said Chairman Carter. "I will continue to engage on this and will provide congressional support necessary to ensure the community is minimally impacted."