The Army had trained more DSTE operators than there were empty slots, so we were TDPFO in the desert, waiting for the installation teams to build the places we’d work. We had some notion of the pending construction, and we were being permitted to “bid” on specific stations. (That worked like this: As each installation was completed, the TDPFO GI who’d been longest at Huachuca was asked if he wanted to go there; they worked down the seniority list until the slots were filled. If this method didn’t fill the staff, the most senior folks “won” the assignment, regardless of preference. Getting what you wanted had some risks, and involved balancing what you knew about construction progress with your actual wishes, but it worked out well for most of us. In my case, London came up the day after I accepted an assignment to the San Francisco area. I might have lived a different life.) (No regrets, he wistfully claims.)
I spent three months at Huachuca, which was pretty typical. Many of the folks I attended DSTE classes with ended up in either LA or Seattle, in the same command as my SF assignment, and several of us moved together to Pleiku at the end of the year.