Fort Hood’s Black Jack brigade prepares for deployment to Europe

The soldiers will spend time aiding NATO allies while overseas
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 2:39 PM CST
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FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - Fort Hood is currently in the process of sending soldiers overseas, to Europe, to aid NATO allies.

The 2nd Black Jack armored brigade combat team, 1st cavalry division has been training for months.

They cased their colors, on Friday, as they prepare to take on a new mission.

“Casing those colors here is a symbol of us departing the great place here at fort hood and moving ourselves and the entire organization forward to conduct operations in Europe,” said Col. Chris J. Kirkpatrick, commander of the Black Jack brigade.

The Black Jack brigade made up of roughly 4,000 soldiers will see most deploy overseas.

They’re scheduled to deploy in groups throughout January with some soldiers already in Europe.

Those that stay back will ensure it’s business as usual on post.

“We’ve spent a lot of time and effort to ensure we leave the right leaders back here, the right people and they’re resourced correctly to make sure our families are taken care of,” said Kirkpatrick.

A chaplain who’s set for deployment says it’s important to be there for our European allies and to honor treaties between countries.

“Treaties are important because they’re promises we make to one another to support and defend freedom both here and abroad in the world. That’s something that matters because freedom matters and that’s what makes us Americans,” said Bob Stanley, the 3-16 field artillery regiment chaplain.

While overseas, he’ll be responsible for ensuring his brigade remains calm, cool and collected while executing their mission.

“I think it’s invaluable that he’s able to provide for the spiritual, emotional and mental wellbeing of the soldiers while they are there,” said Mandy Stanley, Bob’s wife.

For some, it’s their first time being deployed.

“It’s a new place, new environment. When you have that, there’s a lot of stressors, I try to acknowledge that so I can have a better grip on it so I can better do my job,” said Specialist David Springer.

Set to touch down in Poland, the Black Jack brigade will travel throughout Europe providing aid where necessary.

They will be there until, at least, next fall, according to Kirkpatrick.