You drive your POV to the DFAC and wait for your NCO to let you know where PT is supposed to meet. There's been some kind of SNAFU and now no one knows where to go. Guess everyone is just gonna have to HUAW.

Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo - PCS to FHU

If you can follow any of that Foxtrot Uniformed madness, you probably speak military.

I had a convo with a friend the other day. She told me her husband was PCSing and they were looking at leaving the area. She confessed she and her family are ready GTFO.

Know Your TLAs. Credit Canva
Know Your TLAs. Credit Canva

She's a GS7 who works for the DoD, and her husband in a 1st SGT. They've been stationed on Fort Huachuca for a while. They're leaving soon, but they'll probably be back. Folks around here don't call it "Fort We Gotcha" for nothing. Everyone returns, whether you PCS back to Cochise County or make it your final ETS, the desert just calls you to return.

Gate Passes

If you live near Fort Huachuca, sooner or later you're probably going to find yourself ON the Fort. In spite of the arbitrary, accidental feeling I just gave you, I guarantee you're never going to inadvertently find yourself there. Like all things military, there's a PROCESS. 

This is a very old pass on my very old car. It expired December of 2015. Credit Val Davidson/TSM
This is a very old pass on a very old car. It expired December of 2015. Credit Val Davidson/TSM

If you're a civilian who doesn't work on Fort Huachuca, you probably don't have a CAC or a military ID to get on base. Before 9-11, you could stop at the Main Gate, show ID and report your general destination. The gate guards would cheerfully give you a paper day-pass to put in your windshield, and you were on your way.

If you or your spouse had daily business on the fort, you could get a permanent sticker for your car. Everyone inside the vehicle would just get waved through at the gate.

After the terrorist attacks on 9-11, everything changed. Now everyone in a vehicle needs a military or state ID. Thankfully, locals can register at the gate and get an extended ID card, so you don't have to stop every time you visit. You're subject to a background check and you have to follow The Rules.

Unravelling the Gates

Speaking of the Gates, once upon a time we used to refer to the gates based on their directional location. Kind of. The Main Gate emptied onto Fry Boulevard. Probably called that because it was the Main way to move between Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista. That was also where you got your gate passes.

The East Gate was the one that emptied onto the Hwy 90/92 interchange, closer to Huachuca City. That gate usually closed after a certain time at night and on weekends.

Then, everything changed and now I'm confused. The gate-pass office moved to the East Gate, but it's not called The East Gate anymore. But it stays open all the time. Or it did. And they closed the Main Gate. But then they renamed the gates, so don't ask for directions to the East Gate. Or the Main Gate. And if you need to know when they're open, this might help.

From the US Army Fort Huachuca Visitor Access Page

"Beginning Nov. 16, the Van Deman Gate will operate 5:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. It will be closed all federal holidays.

The Buffalo Soldier Gate will be open 24/7.

The Van Deman Gate Visitor Control Center will operate the same hours as the Van Deman Gate. It will issue extended passes and accept weapons registration applications to be filled out for later pick-up.

When the Van Deman Gate and Visitor Control Center is closed, the Buffalo Soldier Gate will issue limited passes, valid for up to 30 days.

Brainard Road will be open when Van Deman Gate is closed, allowing motorists exiting the fort convenient access to the Buffalo Soldier Gate."

Understand now?

For clarification, the Van Deman Gate is now the East Gate, and now we're calling the Main Gate the Buffalo Soldier Gate.

Which Gate is Which? Which one gives passes? Which one is open? Credit: Canva
Which Gate is Which? Which one gives passes? Which one is open? Credit: Canva

Get passes at the East Van Deman Gate. The Buffalo Soldier Gate Main Gate was closed sometimes, but now it's open and that's all to help our first responders from SVFD and SVPD if FHU finds itself in a SNAFU.

Don't get too attached to any of this. It's all subject to change, and since I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about anymore - I'm just gonna STFU.

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