U.S. News

FACTBOX: Key facts about Fort Hood U.S. Army base

(Reuters) - The following are some key facts about Fort Hood, the U.S. Army base where at least seven people were killed and at least 12 wounded in a shooting Thursday.

* Occupying 339 square miles (878 square km) in central Texas and home to more than 65,000 soldiers, civilian personnel and family members, Fort Hood ranks as the world’s largest military installation. It is the largest single employer in Texas and the only military post in the United States capable of supporting two full armored divisions -- the 1st Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division.

* Base personnel have accounted for more suicides than any other Army post since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with 75 tallied through July of this year. Nine of those occurred in 2009, counting two in overseas war zones.

* The fort was established in 1942 by the U.S. military to test mobile anti-tank guns on armored half-track vehicles that the Army was developing to confront German tanks. The area outside of Killeen, Texas, was chosen because of its wide-open spaces.

* Located about midway between the Texas state capital of Austin and the city of Waco, the base was named for Confederate general John Bell Hood, who commanded the Texas Brigade during the U.S. Civil War.

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, editing by Philip Barbara