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Army Sends Support Teams to Aid Hood Soldiers, Families

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2009 – Resources to help those affected by the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, are flowing to the post, Army officials said today.

Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan killed 13 Fort Hood personnel and wounded another 30 during a shooting spree at the post’s Soldier-Family Readiness Center yesterday. Hassan was wounded and is in custody.

Army Secretary John M. McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. are at the post conferring with officials to determine the best way forward, said Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, chief of Army public affairs.

Army Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone, the commander of 3rd Corps and Fort Hood, has requested additional capabilities to help post personnel get through this tragedy. “We are already generating capabilities to deal with the consequences of the situation at Fort Hood,” Bergner told reporters this morning.

The service is sending 13 unit ministry teams to the post. Each team has chaplains and chaplain assistants who can support the spiritual needs of soldiers, families and civilians at Fort Hood, Bergner said.

The Army also is sending 35 family life consultants to the base. “These are folks who specifically are trained and equipped to deal with the stress that military families confront – from the children to the spouses,” the general explained.

The service also is sending 13 behavioral health specialists from to Fort Hood from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio to help with grief counseling.

Four Operation Homecoming counselors, 20 more behavioral health specialists and 17 critical-incident stress-management personnel will deploy to Fort Hood soon, Bergner said, and five combat stress teams are moving to the post to augment teams already at the base.

Some of the additional teams will arrive today and tomorrow, and others will flow in later, the general said. “If more is needed, we will provide it,” he added.

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