|Cochise County, Arizona|
Insignia of some units stationed at Fort Huachuca
|Controlled by||U.S. Army|
Major General Robert P. Ashley, Jr. |
CSM Todd Holiday
United States Army Intelligence Center|
Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)
11th Signal Brigade
1st Battalion, 210th Aviation
111th Military Intelligence Brigade
Electronics Proving Ground
Joint Interoperability Test Command
Fort Huachuca is a United States Army installation under the command of the United States Army Installation Management Command. It is located in Sierra Vista in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles (24 km) north of the border with Mexico. Beginning in 1913, for 20 years the fort was the base for the "Buffalo Soldiers", the 10th Cavalry Regiment. During the buildup of World War II, the fort had quarters for more than 25,000 men. In 2010, Fort Huachuca has a population of roughly 6,500 active duty soldiers, 7,400 family members and 5,000 civilians. Fort Huachuca can have well over 18,000 people on post during the peak hours of 0700 and 1600, M-F, making it one of the busiest transient installations.
Sierra Vista, which annexed the fort in 1971, is located south and east of the post, and Huachuca City is to the north and east. Major tenants are the NETCOM/9th Signal Command (A) and the United States Army Intelligence Center. Libby Army Airfield is located on post and shares the runway with Sierra Vista Municipal Airport; it was on the list of alternate landing locations for the space shuttle, though was never used as such.
Fort Huachuca is also the headquarters of Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS). Other tenant agencies include the Joint Interoperability Test Command, Information Systems Engineering Command (ISEC) and the Electronic Proving Ground.
The fort is also home to a radar-equipped aerostat, one of a series maintained for the Drug Enforcement Administration by Lockheed Martin. The aerostat is based northeast of Garden Canyon and, when extended, supports the DEA drug interdiction mission by detecting low-flying aircraft attempting to penetrate the United States.
The fort is also the home to the Western Division of the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center (AATTC) which is based at the 139th Airlift Wing, Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, Saint Joseph, Missouri.
History[edit | edit source]
What today is Ft. Huachuca was a new fort to counter the Chiricahua threat and to secure the border with Mexico. On 3 March 1877, Captain Samuel Marmaduke Whitside, accompanied by two companies of the 6th Cavalry, chose a site at the base of the Huachuca Mountains that offered sheltering hills and a perennial stream. In 1882, Camp Huachuca was redesignated a fort.
General Nelson A. Miles controlled Fort Huachuca as his headquarters and against Geronimo in 1886. After the surrender of Geronimo in 1886, the Apache threat was essentially extinguished, but the army continued to operate Fort Huachuca because of its strategic border position. In 1913, the fort became the base for the "Buffalo Soldiers", the 10th Cavalry Regiment, which was composed of African Americans. It served this purpose for twenty years. During General Pershing's failed Punitive Expedition of 1916–1917, he used the fort as a forward logistics and supply base. From 1916–1917, the base was commanded by Charles Young, the first African American to be promoted to colonel. He left because of medical reasons. In 1933, the 25th Infantry Regiment replaced the 10th Cavalry at the fort.
With the build-up during World War II, the fort had an area of 71,253 acres (288.35 km2), with quarters for 1,251 officers and 24,437 enlisted soldiers. The 92nd and 93rd Infantry Divisions, composed of African-American troops, trained at Huachuca.
In 1947 the post was closed and turned over to the Arizona Game and Fish Department. However, due to the Korean War, a January 1951 letter from the Secretary of the Air Force to the Governor of Arizona invoked the reversion clause of a 1949 deed. On 1 February 1951 The US Air Force took official possession of Ft. Huachuca, making it one of the few Army installations to have an existence as an Air Force Base. The Army retook possession of the base a month later, and reopened the post in May 1951 to train Aviation Engineers in air field construction as part of the Korean War build up. The engineers built today's Libby Army Airfield. After the Korean War, the post was again placed in an inactive status with only a caretaker detachment on 1 May 1953.
On 1 February 1954 Huachuca was reactivated after a seven-month shut-down following the Korean War. It was the beginning of a new era for this one time cavalry outpost, one which saw Huachuca emerge as a leader in the development of Electronic warfare. The Army's Electronic Proving Ground opened in 1954, followed by the Army Security Agency Test and Evaluation Center in 1960, the Combat Surveillance and Target Acquisition Training Command in 1964, and the Electronic Warfare School in 1966. Also in 1966 the US Army established the 1st Training Brigade who's mission was to train soldiers in MOS's of Field Wire and Communication, Telegraph Communications (O5B wired and wireless), Vehicle Maintenance, Food Service and Administration due to the expanding need for these skills in Vietnam. In 1967, Fort Huachuca became the headquarters of the U.S. Army Strategic Communications Command (USSTRATCOM), which became the U.S. Army Communications Command (USACC) in 1973; and U.S. Army Information Systems Command (USAISC) in 1984. It is now known as the United States Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command. The area is so desolate and barren, an old army description of the fort states, "It is the only fort in the Continental United States where you can be AWOL (absent without leave) for three days and they can still see you leaving"!
In 1980, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment conducted aircraft training exercises from Fort Huachuca in preparation for Operation Honey Badger. This planned rescue attempt was developed to try to rescue captive American personnel in Iran. It was developed in the wake of Operation Eagle Claw's failure. The environment near the fort enabled 160th SOAR pilots to train and simulate flying in the mountainous desert terrain of Iran.
Fort Huachuca is also home to Raymond W Bliss Army Medical Center, a U.S. Army Medical Department Activity (MEDDAC).
It was the location of the 2007 Conseil Internationale du Sport Militaires Military World Games.
Museums[edit | edit source]
Ft. Huachuca has two museums located in three buildings on Post. All are within a short walk from one another. The Ft. Huachuca Museum takes up two buildings, its main museum and giftshop Bidg. 41401) & a nearby spillover gallery called the Museum Annex (Bidg. 41305). It tells the story of Ft Huachuca and the US Army in the American Southwest, with special emphasis on the Buffalo Soldiers and the Apache War. The museum is located in a historic building over a hundred years old, with numerous rooms and corridors. Several displays illustrate life on the post during frontier days. Some room dioramas have automatic voice narratives. One room is available for audiovisual presentations. The gift shop is well-stocked with memorabilia, books, and souvenirs. The Annex next door also has outdoor displays, walkways, sitting areas, and historical statues. The Museum is operated by local volunteers.
All visitors, military or civilian, are welcome at the Ft. Huachuca Museum. The main gate guard will furnish directions and a map post. A donation of $5 or purchases are suggested.
The second museum is The US Army Intelligence Museum which takes for its theme the evolution of the intelligence art within the US Army. It is in building 41411, down the street from the Ft. Huachuca Museum. The Intelligence Museum is small, but has a collection of unusual historical artifacts including agent radio communication gear, aerial cameras, cryptographic equipment, and two small drones. The Museum's emphasis is on U.S. Army (not civilian or other agency) military intelligence history and includes displays of the organizational development of the Army intelligence specialty. There is a well-equipped library of intelligence-related titles, and a small room for audiovisual presentations.
Fort Huachuca Museum[edit | edit source]
http://huachucamuseum.com/ The volunteer-operated Fort Huachuca Museum was established in 1960 to tell the story of the U.S. Army on the Southwestern frontier. The Army Intelligence Museum acts as a central repository for those items of history that help put the military intelligence story in perspective. Opened on 2 November 1995, it is a teaching tool within the U.S. Army Intelligence School.
Like the Fort Huachuca Museum, the Army Intelligence Museum is a non-profit, governmental organization that is largely dependent upon donations of material and cash from private individuals.
Signal Commands[edit | edit source]
Fort Huachuca has a rich tradition in Army Signal and is currently home to the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) whose mission is to plan, engineer, install, integrate, protect, defend and operate Army Cyberspace, enabling Mission Command through all phases of Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multinational operations. It is also home to the 11th Signal Brigade. The 11th Signal Brigade has the mission of rapidly deploying worldwide to provide and protect Command, Control, Communications, and Computer support for Army Service Component Commanders and Combatant Commanders as well as, Joint Task Force and Coalition Headquarters across the full range of military operations. The "Thunderbirds" constantly train in and around the desert conditions of southeast Arizona. They were deployed to provide signal operations during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Electronic Proving Ground (EPG), a forerunner in the research and development of defense technology, was conducted from and located at Ft. Huachuca for several decades.
Military Intelligence[edit | edit source]
In addition to the US Army Intelligence Center, Fort Huachuca is the home of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, which conducts Military Intelligence (MI) MOS-related training for the armed services. The Military Intelligence Officer Basic Leadership Course (MIBOLC), Military Intelligence Captain's Career Course (MICCC), and Warrant Officer Basic and Advanced Courses are also taught on the installation. The Army's MI branch also held the responsibility for unmanned aerial vehicles, due to their intelligence-gathering capabilities, until April 2006. The program was reassigned to the Aviation branch's 1st Battalion, 210th Aviation Regiment, now 2nd Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment. Additional training in human intelligence (e.g. interrogation, counterintelligence), imagery intelligence, and electronic intelligence and analysis is also conducted within the 111th. The 111th MI BDE hosts the Joint Intelligence Combat Training Center (JICTC) at Fort Huachuca.
People of Fort Huachuca[edit | edit source]
- People who have served or lived at Fort Huachuca:
- Brig. Gen. Samuel Whitside, founded Camp Huachuca.
- Maj Gen. Leonard Wood, Medal of Honor recipient and Chief of Staff of the Army from 1910–1914 (after whom Fort Leonard Wood in MO is named).
- Col. Cornelius C. Smith, Medal of Honor recipient and head of the Philippine Constabulary from 1910–1912. Accepted surrender of Mexican Colonel Emilio Kosterlitzky while stationed at Huachuca in 1913, and was later Huachuca commandant from 1918–1919.
- Bullet Rogan (Negro League Baseball) 25th Infantry Regt
- Cornelius C. Smith, Jr., historian of Arizona, California and the Southwestern United States.
- John Henry (catcher), played professional baseball for the Washington Senators and Boston Braves from 1910–1918.
- Col. Sidney Mashbir, Commandant of Allied Translator and Interpreter Section, Military Intelligence Service during World War II.
- Gen. Alexander Patch, highly decorated officer who commanded Army and Marine forces at Guadalcanal during World War II.
- Lt. Gen. Sidney T. Weinstein, one of the driving forces behind reorganizing Army intelligence in late 1970s and 1980s.
- MSG. Mark Baker, Cartoonist – Pvt. Murphy's Law.
- Lt. Gen. Emmett Paige, first Commanding General of the USAISC.
- Capt. Amadou Sanogo, junta leader in the West African country of Mali, completed intelligence training at Fort Huachuca in 2008.
- Lt.Col. (Doctor) George Wahlen, Medal of Honor recipient WWII. 1966 – 1970 time frame.
- SP5 Bobby Murcer, professional Baseball Player, New York Yankees, 1967 – 1969. 1st Training Brigade.
- Grady Huger Banister - Special Executive Service. Deputy Director of Electronic Proving Ground (EPG) for over 2 decades. Banister Hall, a building currently on Post, is named after Grady H. Banister.
In popular culture[edit | edit source]
- Captain Newman, MD (1963), starring Gregory Peck as the title character, was filmed at Fort Huachuca.
- The opening sequence of Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came (1969) was filmed at Ft. Huachuca. This movie was supported by the 1st Training Brigade. Starred Brian Keith and Tony Curtis.
- Clear and Present Danger (1994), starring Harrison Ford and James Earl Jones, shows Ft. Huachuca equipment being used to intercept a cell-phone conversation of a drug dealer.
- In Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino's character, a retired US Army Lt.Col., refers to having been stationed at Fort Huachuca.
- In the novel "A Prayer For Owen Meany" (1989) by John Irving, Owen Meany is stationed as a casualty assistance officer at Fort Huachuca during the Vietnam War.
- The novel Ulterior Motives (2009) by Mark Andrew Olsen features Ft. Huachuca as the site where terrorist Omar Nirubi is imprisoned under military control in the United States.
Football[edit | edit source]
The Arizona Wildcats football team holds late summer practice and training camp, in addition to other off-the-field exercises, on post.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Russell, Major Samuel L., "Selfless Service: The Cavalry Career of Brigadier General Samuel M. Whitside from 1858 to 1902." MMAS Thesis, Fort Leavenworth: U.S. Command and General Staff College, 2002.
- Stanton, Shelby L. (1984). Order of Battle: U.S. Army World War II. Novato, California: Presidio Press. pp. 600. ISBN 0-89141-195-X.
- "Fort Huachuca – General History", U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca, Accessed 14 May 2008
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- George R. Adams (1976-01). ""Fort Huachuca", National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination". National Park Service. http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/74000443.pdf.
- "Fort Huachuca—Accompanying photos, 12 from 1976, 4 from c.1890, 5 from 1975; National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination". National Park Service. 1976-01. http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Photos/74000443.pdf.
- 'Camp Huachuca' success leads to extra day , Arizona Daily Star, Accessed 3 June 2009.
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Smith, Cornelius C. Jr.. Fort Huachuca: The Story of a Frontier Post. Fort Huachuca, Arizona: 1978.
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