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Outgoing Bliss Commander: ‘We’ve made some tremendous friends’ in El Paso

Fort Bliss Major General Stephen Twitty will be replaced at a change of command ceremony June 15.

Twitty – a soldier first and foremost – did not show a lot of emotion when talking about the military, but he did get a bit emotional while talking about Fort Bliss and its relationship with El Paso.

“We’ve made some tremendous friends over the time period that we’ve been here, long lasting friends, forever, for a lifetime,” said Twitty.

The general as spent seven of the past 11 years of his 31-year military career at Fort Bliss.

“The huge growth, the construction that has gone on here at Fort Bliss, it is enormous. It’s larger than any installation we have in our Army,” he said.

Undergoing more than $5 billion in improvements and a quadrupling of the post’s population of soldiers has led to its share of challenges.

“We do have soldiers that get in trouble,” Twitty said. “We also have to understand that this installation grew from about 9,000 to about 35,000 soldiers on a daily basis. I tell every single soldier when I stand up and brief them on Thursday when we get new soldiers in, they have to understand they are visitors in this city.”

Twitty – who coined the phrase “El Paso is Fort Bliss and Fort Bliss is El Paso” – said he has a great relationship with Mayor Oscar Leeser and city council.

“We talk routinely. We share ideas. As an army, we stay connected to the people we serve,” Twitty said.

The general is headed to Illinois to become commanding general of First Army, where he’ll be in charge of bringing together active duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers.

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