As with the Homestead-Miami Defense Area, the Cuban missile crisis provided the impetus for setting up antiaircraft missile batteries, installed to provide point defense for the Naval Air Station and the air approaches to Southern Florida. Manned by the 6th Battalion, 65th Artillery (later redesignated 1st Battalion, 65th Artillery), these Hawk batteries were ready for action on October 29, 1962. With the incorporation of this battalion into ARADCOM on April 1, 1963, construction on permanent facilities began at sites at Boca Chica Key (KW-10), Sugarloaf Key (KW-15), Geiger Key (KW-24), Fleming Key (KW-80), and at the Key West International Airport (KW-65). Naval Air Station, Key West hosted the command and control "Missile Master" facility. Headquarters facilities were also located at Key West.
Cordial relations between the Navy and the Army Air Defense units eased the difficulties of the Hawk batteries as they shifted from temporary to permanent quarters. Use of Navy storage space and transportation allowed for the safe evacuation of equipment and personnel before hurricanes struck the area. These batteries remained active until 1979.