Udall commemorates Camp Hale’s history with Tibetan freedom fighters
September 10, 2010
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall presided over a ceremony Friday at Camp Hale, in the White River National Forest near Leadville, unveiling a plaque commemorating the Tibetan Freedom Fighters who received CIA training there between 1958 and 1964. Surviving members of the Tibetan resistance who were trained at Camp Hale, their CIA instructors, descendants both of the Tibetans and the CIA officers, and U.S. Forest Service representatives participated in the ceremony.
Named in honor of Gen. Irving Hale, Camp Hale was a U.S. Army training facility constructed in 1942 for what became the 10th Mountain Division. During the Cold War, it was selected as a training site for the Tibetan Freedom Fighters because of its physical similarities to eastern Tibet. About 260 Tibetans were trained at Camp Hale and then dispatched back to India and Nepal, where they launched guerrilla and intelligence gathering operations against the Chinese Communist Army throughout the 1960s.
While a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Sen. Udall initiated a request to the Forest Service to commemorate Camp Hale’s Cold War history.