Even with the war in Iraq winding down and a timetable set for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, Fort Hood Commander Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell on Wednesday stressed the importance of making sure soldiers stay prepared.
Campbell met with media representatives from around Central Texas to lay out some of his top priorities for the post.
His plans will perhaps be one of the more noticeable changes at Fort Hood, with
about half of the soldiers stationed at the post currently deployed.
"We have to take care of soldiers and families and ensure that after what they've given for the Army and this country we make sure we give back to them," Campbell said.
Since he took over as commanding general three months ago, Lt. Gen. Campbell has been looking closely at nearly 280 programs available to help soldiers and their families.
"My assessment is, the post is, as I've said from the beginning, doing a lot of great things. There's some redundancies in some of the programs we've got to get after," he said. "We've got to make sure the training we provide them is realistic, that it's hard, that it's tough, that it keeps them motivated."
Campbell says above all else, it's about being ready to answer the call of duty.
"We've got to continue to focus on that because the nation may call for some other contingency or fight somewhere else, and we don't know where that may be but we've got to be prepared," he said.
Campbell says the post hopes to break ground on a new Mission Command Training Center in the next year or two, which will replace some aging facilities.
He says the latest virtual and gaming technology at the center will help Fort Hood soldiers tap into training going on at other military installations across the country.