Brigadier General Richard (Rick) Appelhans took the reins as commanding general for Fort Huachuca in July. Three months into his new role, he’s reconnecting with the community.

Its been absolutely wonderful,” Appelhans said. “I cant think of a better place to serve as here on Fort Huachuca; being the commanding general on the Intel Center of Excellence, but also being here on Fort Huachuca and being part of this wonderful community.

This is his third time being in Cochise County. His most recent stay, before becoming commanding general, was in 2016.

This is a special place here at Fort Huachuca,” he said. “It has a decisive role to play in our national security. When it comes to testing new intelligence or electronic warfare equipment, to training our Intel soldiers or providing communications support across the Army.

Appelhans has three decades of service in the Army, including working in intelligence. He comes to Southern Arizona from Korea, where he served as the Director of Intelligence U.S. Forces in the country and Deputy Director of Combined Forces Command.

The future of Fort Huachuca gives him plenty to think about.

Our bread and butter is training,” he said. “Educating and developing our future Intel soldiers, NCOs, warrant officers and officers to be ready…thats what we do here and its non-negotiable.”

His past experience and returning to Fort Huachuca helps him relate to the soldiers and personnel on the installation.

I think what I bring here is the value and the critical role intelligence plays in our Army, he said.

Appelhans said he never thought he’d be in charge of Fort Huachuca, but has always known he was meant to serve. Even, Appelhans’ namesake served in the military.

Ever since I was a young boy, I knew I wanted to go in and do military service,” he said. “But my father, brother and so many other relatives kind of inspired me to serve.

His service continues with two years in Cochise County. Appelhans said he plans to continue where those before him left off, with a focus on the fort’s strategic plan.

We may be small in numbers, but our impact is profound and its certainly enduring,” he said. “Theres no loss of momentum from where General Hale left off and I picked up. I think the future is very optimistic in terms of what we can do working together.