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    City leaders from Austin visit Fort Hood

    City leaders from Austin visit Fort Hood

    Photo By Sgt. Whitney Woods | City leaders from Austin gather at the reconfigurable simulator training building to...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Whitney Woods 

    4th Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT HOOD, Texas – Running one of the world’s largest military installations and running a mid-size city have many similarities. They both require an organized system of operation, an effective leader and many hard workers.

    City leaders from Austin and their Fort Hood counterparts gathered at the III Corps Headquarters building on Dec. 3 to strengthen the partnership and exchange business ideas.

    “It’s always wonderful to come back to the Great Place,” said Marc Ott, Austin city manager. “In terms of square miles, Fort Hood is bigger than the city of Austin, so therefore Fort Hood is like a city.”

    “Fort Hood initiated a partnership with the city of Austin back in November of 2011 to exchange best practices and lessons learned about running a city,” said Donna Tomsic, a plans, analysis and integration office project manager. “Through the relationship, Austin city leaders have learned more about the Army and Fort Hood’s capabilities and challenges.”

    Austin covers approximately 300 square miles of land and contains more than 800,000 people. The installation covers 340 square miles and has a supporting population of more than 350,000 Soldiers, family members, civilians and retirees.

    Fort Hood Garrison Commander Col. Todd M. Fox and other directors from the installation greeted more than 30 Austin officials and showed them an up-close glimpse of some of the training offered on post.

    The Austin group represented almost every position required to make the city run smoothly. Everyone from the chief of police to the fleet officer made the 75-mile journey to Fort Hood.

    “I look to Austin because I know they do not follow the status quo,” said Fox. “They are always looking for a way to improve their city and the quality of life for the people who live there.”

    Ott mentioned that many veterans and retirees find jobs and settle in Austin.

    “Austin has a history of supporting veterans,” he said. “We have received national attention for our support, and veterans have priority when it comes to many hiring opportunities."

    Gerry Calk, an Army veteran, recalled his journey from being a Soldier to presently working as the city’s fleet officer.

    “I worked as a motor transport operator for 20 years in the Army and basically took those skills, along with the discipline and strategic planning and decided to make a career with it,” said Calk.

    The officials witnessed a small arms weapons simulator, a reconfigurable vehicle simulator, a medical simulation training and visually inspected a Bradley fighting vehicle.

    “It was very good to see all of the advancements the Army has made since the last time I was enlisted,” said Calk, who retired in 1989.

    During the Austin leaders' visit, they not only exchanged ideas and information but also received hands-on training. The training allowed them to experience a day in the life of a Soldier.

    “The thing to take away from this experience is the effort to create more jobs for veterans from the installation,” said Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Michael L. Cosper.

    This was the representatives’ third visit to Fort Hood, and they have already planned to return to the “Great Place” next May.

    “I look forward to continuing this relationship,” said Fox.



    Date Taken: 12.03.2015
    Date Posted: 02.03.2016 15:54
    Story ID: 187806
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 
    Hometown: AUSTIN, TX, US

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