Fieldstation Berlin

GERMAN Version

The U.S. Army Field Station Berlin entered the city's history in the turbulent post-war period in 1951. Strictly a mobile tactical-support unit, Detachment F, 6th Field Station was deployed from West Germany to a temporary site in the British sector's sprawling Grunewald forest. Several other ASA mobile units were also deployed into the city during the 1950's.
On July 1, 1957, these units were consolidated administratively into the 260th ASA Detachment. The detachment's headquarters was moved to Andrews Kaserne (Barracks) in the Berlin Lichterfelde district.One of the most historic military sites in Berlin, the post first opened in 1873 by order of Kaiser Wilhelm I as the Prussian Haupt Kadetten Anstalt (HKA) or Prussian Main Cadet Establishment.

The school became the Prussian equivalent of West Point, providing Germany with its senior military leadership for a period covering two world wars. Entry into the academy was extremely difficult as was the subsequent discipline, military training and academics. After graduation, the cadet was given a probationary rank and spent time with a line unit. After subsequent attendance at a "war school", the officer-candidate was elected into the Prussian officer corps by the officers of his regiment. Upon receiving his commission as a lieutenant, the officer swore his loyalty to the Officer Corp, which, as a body, swore their allegiance to the ruling monarch rather than the Prussian state.

In this way, cadets Goering, von Runstedt, Guderian, von Manstein and others because the military elite of the Nazi Wehrmacht. As an aftermath of the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I, the HKA was disbanded in March of 1920. On March 9, 1920, the entire cadet corps marched silently out the front gate and across Berlin through the Brandenburg Gate to the Prussian War Ministry. After presenting their guidons, they received their final dismissal as a cadet corp.From 1922-1933, the post was used to house a public school and a unit of the Berlin Police.

By 1933, after Adolf Hitler assumed power, the Kaserne became the SS Kaserne Lichterfelde. The dreaded Schutzstaffel (SS) used the post as a billet, training and administration area. Among other units, it housed the most infamous SS unit Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler (Living Banner Adolf Hitler). This Battalion sized unit was made up of the finest and most Aryan of the SS elite and served as the personal bodyguard of the fuehrer. The elegant Prussian academy's buildings were modified to glorify the Nazi myth. Statuary and symbols were placed throughout the post. Some, minus Nazi symbols, stand even today.

In March 1945, the remaining Liebstandarte troops in ranks and made a final cross city march to the Reich Chancellory, near the Brandenburg Gate, to prepare for the final siege of Berlin - an ironic and sinister reenactment of the final march of the Prussian Cadet Corps troops twenty five years earlier.By 1946, the Kaserne was under full US Army control and was named in honor Lt. General Frank Maxwell Andrews, Army Air Corp.

This, then, is the historic legacy of the post housing, current Headquarters of Field Station Berlin. By July 1961, the USASA Detachment had undergone several redesignations and was called the 78th USASA Special Operations Unit (78th USASASOU) the mobile equipment was moved to the top of Truemmerberg (Rubble Mountain), this hill, the highest in Berlin, was built mostly by hand from rocks, bricks and debris left of the city. It was started in 1946 by the gaunt survivors of the war - mostly women.

After an operation feasibility study was made a permanent site was built what became known as Teufelsberg or "Devil's Mountain". All ASA assets were relocated to Teufelsburg by 1966, at which time the unit was redesigned the 54th USASA Special Operations Command (54th USASASOC). In 1967, it became the USASA Field Station Berlin. In 1977, the United States Army Security Agency became the Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), and this unit became the United States Army Field Station Berlin.