Fort Hood: Community leaders meet, network

FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) From the battle tanks to networking, "Partnership Day" was all about connecting the Central Texas community with the U.S. Army's Operation Test Command unit on Fort Hood.

"We're constantly looking for new ways to adapt ourselves to an ever-changing environment and put our soldiers in the best position possible so if they are called upon, they can fight and win," Lt. Col. Timothy Ferguson said.

OTC is able to test upgrades to equipment such as the battle tank to make sure it operates in the real world. Leaders got a chance to see the upgraded Abrams M1A2 System Enhancement Package V3.

Educational leaders from across the area, including Killeen ISD were on-hand to learn about the equipment and how it could translate to the classroom.

"The Army has evolved and the technology in the Army has evolved. I think it's important for our students to have an accurate picture of the workforce they're going to be moving into and for us, as educators, to have that picture and to be able to know how to best prepare them for that challenge," Nancy Duran said.

Keith Biggers, director of computing and information technology at Texas A&M, says he's taking what he learned back to students.

"We are able to learn a lot about the needs here and how the technology we are developing can support those needs," he said.

"It's extremely important because the American people, the American public needs to know what their men and women in uniform are doing for them and that relationship continues to grow and evolve," OTC tester Michael Brabner said.

The OTC is the Army's only independent operational tester.