fort sill

U.S. Army

Officials at Fort Sill, the U.S. Army installation in Lawton, said a basic training outbreak of COVID-19 was to blame for a recent spike in Comanche County, but that trends are overall encouraging.

"Most of that spike was a COVID pocket here in our basic training population," said Commanding Gen. Kenneth Kamper during a virtual town hall on Tues., Aug. 25th. 

"They're all doing OK. They're just fine," Kamper said.

According to Fort Sill spokesperson Jessica Tackaberry, the cases were centered around trainees in the 434th Field Artillery Brigade.

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Update: This story was updated at 3:04 p.m. on Monday, July 27th, to include further information released by Fort Sill.

A soldier was found dead inside his home on Saturday, according to a press release from Fort Sill's Fires Center of Excellence. 

"Warrant Officer Blake Munck, attending a professional development course on Fort Sill, was found unresponsive at his residence in Elgin on July 25 by his roommate," according to the installation.

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Following the death of the 13-year-old daughter of a service member stationed there, the U.S. Army's Fort Sill in Comanche County has announced a strengthening of its mandatory mask policy.

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The head of the Reynolds Army Health Clinic at Fort Sill in Comanche County says the base lacks the supplies necessary to test as many individuals for COVID-19 as it would like.

In response to a written question about testing submitted during a Facebook Live town hall event from the Army post on Tuesday, Col. David Zinnante said the finite amount of tests have to be prioritized.

US Army Fort Sill Facebook page

In a statement, the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill announced Sunday that Oklahoma's first confirmed COVID-19 death of a child was the 13-year-old dependent of a service member at the post.

“Our entire Lawton Fort Sill community is deeply saddened. Our greatest condolences go out to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this difficult and sad time” said Maj Gen. Ken Kamper, commanding general of Fort Sill and the Fires Center of Excellence, in the statement.

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Speaking on a livestream town hall, Fort Sill's seventh such event throughout the coronavirus crisis, Commanding General Kenneth Kamper said Tuesday that, as much as he might want to get back to normal on post, it just isn't time yet.

"I want to lift it as much as you want it lifted," Kamper said, in response to a question about when and whether Fort Sill leadership is considering ending a ban on travel outside a 60-mile radius from the installation. 

But, he added, it's too early, and data from nearby places confirm that.

US Army Fort Sill Facebook page

Speaking to about a thousand viewers tuned into a Facebook Live stream on Tuesday, Fort Sill Commanding General Kenneth L. Kamper said that the relative flatness of the "curve" of infections on the Army post did not mean the installation was out of the woods.

"While we look flat at Fort Sill," Kamper said, "my assessment of that is we’re still dealing with small numbers. And I think we’re very much at risk to COVID, still."