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Gen. Robert Ashley

Commanding General United States Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca

U.S. Intelligence Stronghold By David B. Pittman Fort Huachuca is Arizona’s oldest military installation, dating back to the Indian Wars nearly 137 years ago. Today, more defense dollars flow into Fort Huachuca than any military operation in Arizona. The fort, located 15 miles north of the Mexican border in southeast Arizona, is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, which conducts military intelligence training for the armed forces. “Fort Huachuca is an incredibly important asset in our national defense,” said Congressman Ron Barber, DTucson. “It is also the major economic driver for Cochise County.” It all started at the beginning of 1877, when Col. August V. Kautz, commander of the Army’s Department of Arizona, ordered that a camp be established in the Huachuca Mountains to offer protection to western settlers and block Apache escape routes through the San Pedro and Santa Cruz valleys to sanctuary in Mexico. 140 BizTucson


Winter 2014

A temporary camp was established at Fort Huachuca’s current location on March 3, 1887 by Capt. Samuel M. Whiteside with two companies of the 6th Cavalry. The site was chosen because it had abundant fresh running water, a large number of shade trees and was on high ground – providing protective security from Apache attacks. Fort Huachuca was later designated as the advance headquarters and forward supply base for the military campaign against Geronimo. After Geronimo’s surrender in August 1886, the U.S. Army closed more than 50 camps and forts in the Arizona territory. Fort Huachuca was retained because of continuing border skirmishes with renegade Indians, Mexican bandits and American outlaws. In 1913, the famed 10th Cavalry – also known as the Buffalo Soldiers, the Army’s elite Black cavalry corps – arrived at Fort Huachuca. The Buffalo soldiers were stationed at Fort Huachuca for nearly two decades. They joined Gen. John J. Pershing in the unsuccess-

ful 1916 expedition into Mexico to hunt down Pancho Villa. During World War I, the 10th Cavalry was assigned the mission of guarding the U.S.-Mexican border. During World War II, the 93rd Infantry Division was stationed at Fort Huachuca. When the 93rd was deployed to the Pacific in 1943, the 92nd Infantry Division arrived at the installation for training and subsequent assignment to the European Theater. During World War II, troop strength at the fort reached as many as 30,000 men. At the end of WW II, Fort Huachuca was declared surplus and transferred to the State of Arizona. It was reactivated during the Korean War by the Army Engineers. A new era began in 1954 when control of Fort Huachuca passed to the Army’s Chief Signal Officer, who found the area and climate superb for testing electronics and communications equipment. The fort’s importance to U.S. national defense increased from that moment on. continued on page 145 >>>

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