Fort Hood Deploys 300 Intelligence Troops - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Fort Hood Deploys 300 Intelligence Troops

Posted: Updated:

Three hundred Fort Hood troops are off to Afghanistan to keep our Military and coalition forces one step ahead of the enemy.

They flew out before the sun came up Thursday morning, as the 1st Cavalry Division Band played for them on the flight line.

One by one, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Johnson shook soldiers' hands before they boarded the plane. 

This is LTC Johnson's third tour in Afghanistan.

"Every time I go back, it's encouraging," he said.

The mission is two fold -- to protect our own and coalition forces and to assist and train the Afghan Army to protect its own.

"They've made great strides, and really now it's just about reinforcing, and giving them the training that they need to continue the mission when we're gone," said LTC Johnson.

It has been a long road to get here for the 303d and 163d Military Intelligence Battalions.

"Our soldiers have trained extremely hard over these last 12 months. We've got our leaders taking care of the soldiers, and we're ready to go," said Command Sergeant Major Warren Robinson with the 303D Military Intelligence Battalion.

It's Specialist Hector Velez's first deployment, and he says he's eager to take what he's learned as a teacher in Puerto Rico and apply it overseas.

"I've been able to watch some videos on how they train different people over there in Afghanistan, and I'm excited, I want to do it, I'm ready," Hector said.

For so many who have deployed before, going back to Afghanistan means seeing how far Afghan forces have come in taking over the fight.

Sergeant Kayla Orona-Cortes says, "I think it's pretty exciting to see the progress of how it's gone."

"They're taking more control every month that goes by. It's just hopeful and encouraging to see what they're doing," LTC Johnson said.

So these soldiers are keeping one eye on the enemy and the other on progress, and they'll teach their Afghan partners to do the same.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas sstamas@kcentv.com

Photographer: Chris Buford cbuford@kcentv.com

  • Latest NewsMore>>

  • Korean War Monument Unveiled

    Korean War Monument Unveiled

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:49:31 GMT
    (KCEN) -- Jesus Perez joined the Air Force in 1951 and went to Korea a year later, but he says many people overlook the war he fought. "A lot of people forget about this," Perez said. "You look at the history books and there's one little sentence. Not a paragraph. Just one little sentence."On Saturday morning, the Central Texas chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association set out to fix that with the unveiling of a new monument. It was an emotional moment that brought back memories for vete...More >>
    (KCEN) -- Jesus Perez joined the Air Force in 1951 and went to Korea a year later, but he says many people overlook the war he fought. "A lot of people forget about this," Perez said. "You look at the history books and there's one little sentence. Not a paragraph. Just one little sentence."On Saturday morning, the Central Texas chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association set out to fix that with the unveiling of a new monument. It was an emotional moment that brought back memories for vete...More >>
  • Thousands of Hispanic Youth Descend on Waco for 50th Annual Congreso

    Thousands of Hispanic Youth Descend on Waco for 50th Annual Congreso

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:19 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:19:28 GMT
    (KCEN)-- More than 5,000 Hispanic Baptist youth are in Waco for 50th Annual Congreso. It's the largest annual gathering of Hispanic Baptist young people in the state of Texas. This is the sixth yearMore >>
    (KCEN)-- More than 5,000 Hispanic Baptist youth are in Waco for 50th Annual Congreso. It's the largest annual gathering of Hispanic Baptist young people in the state of Texas. This is the sixth yearMore >>
  • BBQ Joints and Backyard Grillers Feel the Heat of Rising Meat Prices

    BBQ Joints and Backyard Grillers Feel the Heat of Rising Meat Prices

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:31 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:31:15 GMT
    (KCEN) – If anyone knows BBQ, it's Roy Hamilton. The 79-year-old has been around it his entire life. It's who he is. His father started Maurice's Pit BBQ in Harker Heights back in 1951, and now the fingerMore >>
    As you get ready to dust off those grills, be prepared to pay more. Beef and pork prices are skyrocketing just in time for BBQ season.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KCEN, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.