USAICS breaks ground for new academic facilityBy Ruth Quinn, Staff Historian
April 9, 1979
When the first shovel broke the ground on April, 9 1979 for the construction project that would eventually become the headquarters of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, it was the realization of a request that was submitted eight years earlier in October 1972.
In 1971, the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School, or USAICS, and the Combat Development Command Intelligence Command were moved from Fort Holabird, Md., to Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
That move increased the Fort Huachuca population by almost 3,000. Students were attending school in wooden buildings that were left over from the World War II era when the post was a training base for the 92nd and 93rd Infantry Buffalo Soldiers. New facilities were badly needed if USAICS was going to transition successfully into the future.
Brig. Gen. Albert Stubblebine, commander of USAICS, and Brig. Gen. Kenneth Symmes, deputy commander of U.S. Army Communications Command, participated in the ground-breaking. As initially outlined, the new facility would accommodate an average daily load of 1,200 students and staff and faculty of 833. A solar collector field covering 25,000 square feet was designed and built to funnel the sun’s power for heating and cooling of the buildings by utilizing an absorption cold generator.
The first 3 buildings were dedicated Jan. 14, 1981 comprising a total of 16 classrooms to accommodate 757 students. The Student Support Center became Alvarado Hall, named for Lorenzo Alvarado, a master sergeant in World War I who was responsible for uncovering and defeating German espionage and sabotage activities. He then served as an intelligence agent in the Philippines during World War II.
The first tenants were the Staff and Faculty Training Division along with the Training Branch and the Library. Sisler Hall, which housed the Advanced Officers’ Course, was named for George K. Sisler, a first lieutenant who was killed in action during a fierce firefight in Vietnam and who was the first military intelligence officer to receive the Medal of Honor. Walker Hall was named for Capt. John D. Walker, who commanded Company C, First Arizona Volunteer Infantry, during the 1865-66 Apache campaigns. This building was initially used for the MI Officer Basic Course, Tactical Intelligence Officer Course, Warrant Officer Career Courses, NCO Career Courses, and select enlisted courses.