The Killeen Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that Fort Hood is one of three Army installations recently selected by the Department of Defense for their second round of 5G communications testing and experimentation.

Ft. Hood, the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, and Army elements at Joint Base San Antonio were selected for a number of reasons, including the maturity of their existing fiber and wireless infrastructures and support for new and improved infrastructure requirements.

So, what are they working on? According to the Army's Chief Information Officer,  Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, testing will focus on two areas of vital importance:

At Ft. Hood and Ft. Irwin, the priority is wireless connectivity for forward operating bases and tactical operations centers.

Augmented reality support of non-aircraft maintenance and training is the focus at Joint Base San Antonio.

“5G creates opportunities to dramatically increase capacity, the speed of decision making, virtual training, and mobility at echelon, Army-wide,” Crawford says. “5G is clearly a key to transitioning the Army from the Industrial Age to the Information Age.”

The Killeen Chamber of Commerce hopes to see 5G testing in Central Texas have positive economic and educational effects in the community outside the gates of Ft. Hood as well. They say Killeen ISD has already invested in a fiber optic network that could serve as a foundation on which to build a 5G network. There are also plans for a new research park at Texas A&M University Central Texas and an Innovation District in the City of Killeen.

“The development of 5G technology at Fort Hood has great potential for both the US  Army and our local community," Killeen Chamber President John Crutchfield said. "By allowing our military to connect faster and at a broader range, 5G will enable the application of technologies that can be implemented in training, on the battlefield and in providing basic services around the post. Some of these improvements might include Smart Cities technologies that will also improve the quality of life for residents both on-and-off post.”

What do you think about Ft. Hood being a 5G testing ground? Let us know in the comments.

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