Fort Huachuca becomes Home of Military Intelligence
March 23, 1971
Fort Huachuca was formally declared the Home of Military Intelligence on March 23, 1971, but it would take many months to open a fully functioning training center. This event culminated a five-year effort to move the Army Intelligence School out of crowded facilities at Fort Holabird, Md., to a more appropriate location.
As early as 1965, the Army determined that Fort Holabird’s training capacity was strained due to a doubled student population during the buildup to the Vietnam War. In addition, Holabird had inadequate facilities.
Studies took place through the latter half of the 1960s to determine the best location for an Army Intelligence Center, but training to fulfill Vietnam requirements took precedence. By 1970, the Army had narrowed its potential sites to Fort Lewis, Wash., and Fort Huachuca.
On March 6, 1970, the secretary of defense announced that the U.S. Army Intelligence School would relocate to Fort Huachuca no later than the year’s end, but the Army chief of staff did not approve the move until November 1970. Factors influencing this decision included the large amount of undeveloped land available, open airspace, an existing airstrip and an uncluttered electromagnetic spectrum at Huachuca.
The official transfer of USAINTS from Fort Holabird commenced on May 3, 1971, and was completed on Sept. 3, with the last graduation at Holabird on Sept. 2. During this period, Col. Charles Allen, commandant of USAINTS, served as the commanding officer of the newly created U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School. In September 1971, Col. Elvin Dalton became the USAICS commander.
The creation of Fort Huachuca as the “Home of MI” cemented the idea that the Army needed a single integrated site for all MI training to allow personnel of diverse specialties to train and work together to unify Army Intelligence overall.
Although the goal of consolidating all MI training at Fort Huachuca was not fully realized until 1993, the 1971 move to Huachuca represented the first step. In addition to its training responsibilities, USAICS quickly gained responsibility for combat development taskings involving intelligence doctrine, organization and material studies. MI and the U.S. Army Intelligence Center would only grow in size and significance from that point forward.
“This Week in History” is a feature on the MI Command History Office website.
Those with AKO access can view it at https://ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_history/.
To learn more about the 2012 MI Branch and Corps Commemoration, go to https://www.ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_comm/.