Fort Hood, Texas

...The Great Place

   

Transition to Permanence

Camp Hood was officially renamed Fort Hood after the efforts of Congressman Poage and some local citizens on April 15, 1950.

The beginning of the Korean War on June 24, 1950, provided the opportunity to renovate and expand Fort Hood.

Some of the units of the 2nd Armored Division were sent to Korea, while others were ordered training the mobilized reservists and other recruits desperately needed.

In anticipation of the need for more troops in Korea and to face the Soviet Union, the Army reactivated the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood on March 7, 1951.

In May 10, 1951, orders arrived for the 2nd Armored Division to move to Germany and by summer 1951 the division was gone.

1st Armored Division was still training to become a combat-ready division.

Operation Longhorn

Operation Longhorn was an Army exercise in Central Texas that involved thousands of soldiers in a defense of a mock invasion of the Texas coast.

Longhorn Army Airfield was constructed at North Fort Hood.

The Fort Hood maneuver area was seen as too small for the kind of training envisioned for the future. The ranges of the weapons systems of the time were too far for the small size of the post.

In July 1953, congressional approval was given for the purchase of 50,000 more acres. This expansion increased the size of the post to 207,551 acres. This expansion of the post was done more carefully than the original acquisition and was met with little public hostility.

Expansion

On June 1, 1954, III Corps was moved to Fort Hood. The 4th Armored Division was reactivated and also stationed at Fort Hood.

The arrival of the units and the fact that Fort Hood was the largest and only two division post led to the inflow of large amounts of construction funds in 1954. Many permanent buildings were constructed and many of these still remain today.

Atomic Support Command

Early in 1957, the Atomic Support Command later called the 2nd U.S. Army Missile Command (Medium) was formed at Fort Hood. Quickly, the command grew to be second only to the 4th Armored Division size at Fort Hood.

The weapons of the commander were Honest John nuclear-capable rockets.

Gyroscope

Later in 1957, Operation Gyroscope was conceived and carried out. The operation involved the switching a U.S. based division with a German based one.

The switch at Fort Hood was 4th Armored Division with 2nd Armored Division.

In December 1957, the first 2nd Armored Division units were arriving at Fort Hood and the last arrived by March 17, 1958.

In March 1958, the 2nd U.S. Army Missile Command moved to Colorado.

The combat Command A replaced the 1st Armored Division.

The switch was completed by May. CCA of 1st Armored Division became the armored element of the Strategic Army Corps concept.

On May 5, 1959, III Corps was deactivated during budget cuts of the era.

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