Fort Hood: Shooting scene a major US army base

Fort Hood, where one person was killed and 14 wounded in a shooting on Wednesday, is the largest United States military base in the world - and the scene of a deadly 2009 rampage. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS  
Fort Hood, where one person was killed and 14 wounded in a shooting on Wednesday, is the largest United States military base in the world - and the scene of a deadly 2009 rampage. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS  

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Fort Hood, where one person was killed and 14 wounded in a shooting on Wednesday, is the largest US military base in the world - and the scene of a deadly 2009 rampage.

US military officials have long touted the base - located in the heart of central Texas - as an extremely secure post for soldiers, family members, and civilians.

But that reputation was shattered in 2009, when a US Army officer, Major Nidal Hasan, opened fire in an Al-Qaeda-inspired attack, killing 13 people and wounding 30. Hasan was sentenced to death last year.

Fort Hood is home to an army corps and is the only US military post capable of supporting two full armored divisions.

The huge base is located in Killeen, Texas - halfway between the state capital Austin and Waco, and about 60 miles (100 kilometres) from each.

More than 41,000 soldiers are stationed there, Killeen mayor Daniel Corbin told CNN on Wednesday. The entire base population is about 70,000, including relatives of soldiers and civilian employees.

Proud history

Fort Hood was named for the Confederate general John Bell Hood, who gained recognition during the Civil War as commander of Hood's Texas Brigade and is home to the First Cavalry Division and Fourth Infantry Division.

The base, which officially opened in September 1942, has a proud and storied history, having provided fighting forces to every major US military conflict since the Vietnam War.

During the late 1960s, Fort Hood trained and deployed numerous units for duty in Vietnam. Units from the sprawling base also took part in Operation Desert Shield in Iraq.

Fort Hood military units formed the core of the military deployment that went to Somalia in 1992 and supported military operations in Bosnia beginning that same year.

Since the 9/11 attacks, the base has played a central role in the US war on terror, with sizeable contingents deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The base's Fourth Infantry Division were responsible for the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in December 2003.

Fort Hood units also routinely participate in national and international disaster relief efforts, including rescue and relief following the 1985 Mexico City earthquake and an earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua in 1992 that ravaged that city.

Several Fort Hood units also deployed for relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina in September 2005.

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