Camp Lockett's site at Campo, sixty miles southeast of San Diego, was chosen for a cavalry camp in 1878 when sixteen troopers wearing the blue uniform of the US Cavalry bivouacked for several months in this small Mexican border valley.
"E" Troop of the 11th Cavalry Regiment was stationed here in 1918, and between then and 1951, soldiers were regularly encamped at this strategic junction.
Ground was broken for a permanent horse cavalry camp in June 1941. The 11th Cavalry Regiment came there two days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The surrounding terrain offered opportunities to test man, beast and mechanized carriers over a wide variety of terrain -- heavily wooded underbrush, desert sand, miles of barren, rocky wastelands, streams to be forded, and other geographic hazards identical to those which might confront cavalry troopers in battle conditions.
In 1942, the 10th Cavalry Regiment (the famed Buffalo Soldiers) moved into Camp Lockett to replace the 11th Cavalry Regiment which had been converted into an armored unit. The 10th and 28th Regiments guarded the California-Mexican Border and the many installations along the border such as, trestles, bridges, dams, railroad tunnels. They were expected to be the first line of defense in case Germany or Japan attempted an invasion of the US through Mexico.