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    US 190 receives I-14 signage, Hood a Great American Defense Community



    Story by Todd Pruden 

    Fort Hood Public Affairs Office

    State and joint officials officially unveiled the first Interstate 14 signs to be installed along the U.S. 190 corridor.

    The 25-mile stretch from Copperas Cove east to Interstate 35 in Belton is the first segment to be designated Interstate 14.

    “The I-14 corridor is an example for the rest of the country and I’m proud Texas is leading the way,” said U.S. Senator John Cornyn in a pre-recorded message shown during the ceremony. “Not only will this designation help our military transfer essential goods, but it will also connect Families and economies across America. This 25-mile stretch is only the beginning.”

    The Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition, made up of cities, counties, local authorities and economic development organizations in Texas and Louisiana, has been working for more than a decade in support of highway upgrades to enhance access between forts and ports. The entire interstate will eventually reach east from El Paso to Savannah, Georgia, connecting Fort Bliss, Fort Hood and Fort Polk, Louisiana, to the Ports of Corpus Christi and Beaumont.

    “The improvements and subsequent designation has significantly enhanced Fort Hood’s ability to meet our national security agenda to meet the objectives by ensuring that we have the infrastructure necessary to move equipment in support of Fort Hood to locations around the world, and it enables our reserve-component partners to bring equipment to Fort Hood both to support annual training and mobilization efforts,” said U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hood Commander Col. Todd Fox. “Additionally, the improvements that Interstate 14 will contribute to the outstanding quality of life, our Soldiers and Families enjoy here in Central Texas every day”

    The Texas Department of Transportation has invested more than $120 million in U.S. Highway 190 since 2005, bringing the Central Texas segment to interstate standards and making it the natural starting point for the new system. Federal legislation and advocacy along with state support brought the designation to fruition.

    “We have been working on this for over 15 years,” said John Thompson, chairman of the Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition “One of the big factors is how quickly they can deploy and the Interstate system that will take them to either Corpus Christi or to Beaumont are so important. The extra benefit is what we gain from the economic value along the route.”

    Also during the ceremony, Fort Hood and surrounding Central Texas communities were designated as Great American Defense Communities.
    The Association of Defense Communities awards the designation of Great American Defense Communities to recognize outstanding support of military installations. Communities are evaluated on their efforts to improve quality of life of service members and their Families in areas such as education, employment, housing, deployment support and community appreciation.

    From two dozen submissions for 2017, nine communities, including Fort Hood and Central Texas were selected, according to Bill Parry, Gatesville city manager and vice president of the Association of Defense Communities.

    “This program was launched from the support from the U.S. House and Senate defense community caucuses to acknowledge the actions of cities, counties and regions that support and nurture their military installations and quality of life for military Families,” Parry said. The GADC Program thanks and recognizes communities, whose exceptional commitment to improve the lives of service members, veterans and their Families sets the gold standard model for all communities.

    Parry presented Great American Defense Communities flags to Fox, representing Fort Hood, the county judges of Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties and the mayors of Belton, Copperas Cove, Gatesville, Harker Heights, Killeen, Lampasas and Temple.

    “I commend the Fort Hood and Central Texas region for just the sampling of programs and initiatives that make this region and cities a Great American Defense Community … including those … educational opportunities, for Soldiers and Family members, friends of the Central Texas Veterans Cemetery, the Killeen/Fort Hood joint-use airport , educational and employment opportunities championed by Workforce Solutions of Central Texas and the outstanding partnerships between Fort Hood and the regional communities,” Parry said. “There can be no Great American Defense Communities without a great American defense installation and there’s none better than Fort Hood.”



    Date Taken: 04.27.2017
    Date Posted: 12.29.2017 13:31
    Story ID: 260765
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 
    Hometown: FORT HOOD, TX, US

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