Dave Dean, DDE ‘18
COL David Dean is Commander of the Hood Mobilization Brigade, which oversees mobilization and demobilization operations at North Fort Hood, including the quarantine of more than 500 troops. Their efforts to combat COVID-19 while mobilizing and demobilizing Active Duty, Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers has been complex as it is across the force. In early April, six units were settled in at North Fort Hood, completing their demobilization processing before returning to their home states. That demobilization processing time had to be extended due to the Department of Defense-directed 14-day quarantine for the units filtering through from their overseas deployments. Their first two weeks on American soil are now spent in quarantine to protect our troops, to protect family members, and to protect the communities where they live and work. These 41 troops in the first unit quarantined at North Fort Hood were with the 647th Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element, based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, as they were redeploying from Germany in mid-March. While this unexpected extension to their stay at North Fort Hood was a delay to their homecoming, the seriousness of the pandemic, and the Army’s response, was not lost on these Army Reserve Soldiers. Dave’s unit took on their mobilization mission just a week prior to the quarantine order going into effect, so he and his team has had to hit the ground running. They benefited from some 2014 lessons learned when North Fort Hood was used to quarantine troops for 21 days after they returned from supporting the fight against the Ebola virus in West Africa. Initial plans were based on that model, but tweaks to improve the process had to be made for this novel coronavirus COVID-19, as expected. While in quarantine, troops are screened twice daily, and if a medical situation should arise, the staff of Troop Medical Clinic 14 at North Fort Hood are there to respond. As a Reservist himself, Dave has gone through the (demobilization) process and understands how anxious Soldiers are to return home to their families, but he also understands the importance of safety, well-being, and preventing the spread of this highly-contagious COVID-19.
COL David L. Dean
Distance Class of 2018
Commander, Hood Mobilization Brigade
Fort Hood, Texas