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History Facilities Operations
Organization and Functions Budget and Personnel Maps of the NSA Compound

[Adapted from: United States Senate Select Committee on Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Foreign and Military Intelligence -- Book I, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, 26 April 1976, pages 325-355.]

NSA is the nation's cryptologic organization, tasked with making and breaking codes and ciphers. In addition, NSA is one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research and development within the government. NSA is a high-technolog y organization, working on the very frontiers of communications and data processing. The expertise and knowledge it develops provide the government with systems that deny foreign powers knowledge of US capabilities and intentions.

The National Security Agency (NSA) is charged with two of the most important and sensitive activities in the US intelligence community. The information systems security or INFOSEC mission provides leadership, products, and services to protect classified a nd unclassified national security systems against exploitation through interception, unauthorized access, or related technical intelligence threats. This mission also supports the Director, NSA, in fulfilling responsibilities as Executive Agent for intera gency operations security training.

The foreign signals intelligence or SIGINT mission allows for an effective, unified organization and consists of all the foreign signals collection and processing activities of the United States. NSA is authorized to produce SIGINT in accordance with obje ctives, requirements and priorities established by the Director of Central Intelligence with the advice of the National Foreign Intelligence Board.


[Adapted from: Origins of NSA, (National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History, 9800 Savage Road, Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-6000 nd)]

Although code making and breaking are ancient practices, modern cryptologic communications intelligence activities in the United States date from the World War I period and radio communications technology. In 1917 and 1918 the US Army created, within the Military Intelligence Division, the Cipher Bureau (MI-8) under Herbert O. Yardley. MID assisted the radio intelligence units in the American Expeditionary Forces and in 1918 created the Radio Intelligence Service for operations along the Mexican border. T he Navy had established a modest effort, but it was absorbed, by mutual agreement in 1918, into Yardley's postwar civilian "Black Chamber."

The Army (and State Department) continued to support Yardley until the termination of his "Black Chamber" in 1929. Army continuity was assumed, however, in the small Signal Intelligence Service of the Army Signal Corps under the direction of William F. Fr iedman. The Navy's cryptanalytic function reappeared formally in 1924 in the "Research Desk" under Commander Laurance F. Safford in the Code and Signal Section, OP-20-G, within the Office of Naval Communications. While emphasis was on the security of US m ilitary communications (COMSEC), both organizations developed radio intercept, radio direction finding, and processing capabilities prior to World War II; they achieved particular successes against Japanese diplomatic communications. Exploitation successe s of their respective counterpart service communications had to await the shift of resources until after hostilities commenced. However, wartime successes by the United States and Britain proved the value of COMINT to military and political leaders, and, as a result, both service organizations expanded greatly in terms of manpower resources and equipment.

In the latter stages of the war, the services created a coordinating body to facilitate COMINT cooperation, the Army-Navy Communications Intelligence Board (ANCIB) with a subordinate coordinating committee (ANCICC). These became the instruments for negoti ating joint postwar arrangements. In late 1945, with the addition of the Department of State to its membership, ANCIB became the State-Army-Navy Communications Intelligence Board (STANCIB). STANCIB evolved in 1946 into the United States Communications Int elligence Board (USCIB), which added the FBI as a member.

With the passage of the National Security Act of 1947, Congress reinforced the direction in which the intelligence community was moving toward increased centralization - and built the framework for a modern national security structure. Among other things, the Act established the National Security Council (NSC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). CIA became a member of USCIB, which received a new charter as the highest national COMINT authority in the form of an NSC Intelligence Directive, NSCID No. 9, dated 1 July 1948.

As the Air Force sought to expand its cryptologic organization, Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal contemplated cutting defense expenditures. One solution was a unified cryptologic agency. He appointed a special board under Rear Admiral Earl E. Stone , Director of Naval Communications, to formulate a plan for merging all military COMINT and COMSEC activities and resources into a single agency. Only the Army favored the Stone Board's recommendations for merger at this time, and the plan was shelved.

In 1949, a new Secretary of Defense, Louis A. Johnson, also seeking ways to economize, reviewed the Stone Board's report and began to take steps for its implementation. After much discussion among the services regarding the concept of merger, on 20 May 19 49 Secretary Johnson ordered the issuance of JCS Directive 2010. This directive established the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), which had as its mission the conduct of communications intelligence and communications security activities within the Nati onal Military Establishment. AFSA thus had the actual responsibility for running COMINT and COMSEC operations, excluding only those that were delegated individually to the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The JCS directive also established an advisory council w ithin the AFSA structure. Known for a time as the Armed Forces Communications Intelligence Advisory Council (AFCIAC), it later was renamed Armed Forces Security Agency Council (AFSAC). The organization became the mechanism through which AFSA reported to t he JCS.

On 15 July 1949 RADM Stone became AFSA's first director, appointed by the JCS. By January 1950 the Army and Navy cryptologic organizations had transferred enough civilian and military personnel, as well as equipment, so that AFSA could operate. AFSA did n ot, however, have its own facilities.

Admiral Stone was succeeded in 1951 by Army Major General Ralph J. Canine. By this time, various difficulties in defining powers and areas of jurisdiction were painfully obvious. Further, both directors experienced grave difficulties in obtaining the Advi sory Council's approval of proposed courses of action because of AFSAC's policy requiring unanimous decisions. Finally, the potentialities of expanding technical COMINT capabilities of the late 1940s could not always be realized. During the Korean War the quality of strategic intelligence derived from COMINT fell below that which had been provided in World War II. Consumers were disappointed and increasingly critical. By late 1951, AFSA had clashed with the service cryptologic agencies, with consumers, wi th CIA, and with the State Department, although not all at one time nor with all on one issue. Despite the intentions, AFSA had in fact become a fourth military cryptologic agency.

On 13 December 1951 President Truman ordered a searching analysis to be conducted by a special committee to be named by the Secretaries of State and Defense, aided by the Director of Central Intelligence. Chaired by George Brownell, an eminent New York la wyer, the Brownell Committee surveyed the situation and in June recommended that a unified COMINT agency receive greater powers commensurate with clearly defined responsibilities. It also advised that the agency be freed of the crippling line of subordina tion through AFSAC to the JCS and, instead, be directly subordinate to the Secretary of Defense, acting with the Secretary of State on behalf of the NSC. It further proposed that the unified agency be controlled in policy matters by a reconstituted USCIB, under the chairmanship of the Director of Central Intelligence, in which the representation of military and nonmilitary intelligence interests would be evenly balanced.

In October 1952 the President and National Security Council adopted most of the Brownell Committee's recommendations and issued a revised version of NSCID No.9 on 24 October 1952.

A mingling of military and nonmilitary interests was expressed in the word "national." The production of COMINT was declared to be a national responsibility. In place of an Armed Forces Security Agency, the US government was to have a National Security Ag ency, an organization with the same resources plus a new charter. The AFSA Council, while not specifically abolished, thus had the agency pulled out from under it. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were no longer in the chain-of-command. The Director, NSA, report ed to the Secretary of Defense through a unit in the latter's office that dealt with sensitive operations. The Secretary himself was declared to be executive agent of the government for COMINT and subordinate to a special committee for the NSC, of which h e and the Secretary of State were the two members and the Director of Central Intelligence was an advisor.

The Secretary of Defense was instructed to delegate his COMINT responsibilities to the Director, NSA, and to entrust to him operational and technical control of all US military COMINT collection and production resources. The Director, NSA, was ordered to bring about the most effective, unified application of all U. S. resources for producing national COMINT to meet requirements approved by USCIB. In addition, the DIRNSA was ordered to assume the COMSEC responsibilities previously assigned to AFSA. Promulg ation of NSCID No.9 brought about a greater participation by civilian members (CIA and State) of the community in the COMINT process. At the same time it was recognition of the necessity for more centralized technical operations. On 4 November 1952, Major General Ralph J. Canine, USA, became the first Director, NSA.

Recent History

[Adapted from: United States Senate Select Committee on Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Foreign and Military Intelligence -- Book I, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, 26 April 1976, pages 325-355.]

Unlike the DIA, the National Security Agency (NSA) is a presidential creation, established in response to a Top Secret directive issued by President Truman in October 1952. In this directive. the President designated the Secretary of Defense as Executive Agent for the signals intelligence and communications security activities of the Government. A specific National Security Council Intelligence Directive (NSCID) defines NSA's functions. It is augmented by Director of Central Intelligence Directives (DCIDs ) and internal Department of Defense and NSA regulations.

NSA assumed the responsibilities of its predecessor, the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), which had been created after World War II to integrate the national cryptologic effort. NSA was established as a separate agency responsible directly to the Secr etary of Defense. In addition, it was granted SIGINT operational control over the three Service Cryptologic (collection) Agencies (SCAs): the Army Security Agency, Naval Security Group Command, and Air Force Security Service. Under this arrangement, NSA e ncountered initially the same jurisdictional difficulties that were to plague DIA.

In an effort to strengthen the influence of the Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA) over their activities, the SCAs were confederated in 1971 under a Central Security Service (CSS) with the DIRNSA as its chief. The National Security Agency/C entral Security Service (NSA/ CSS) provides centralized coordination, direction, and control of the Government's Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Communications Security (COMSEC) activities. The Central Security Service (CSS) was established by a Preside ntial memorandum in order to provide a more unified cryptologic effort within the Department of Defense. With the establishment of the CSS, NSA underwent a major internal reorganization to become the institution it is today. As Chief, CSS, the Director of NSA exercises control over the signals intelligence activities of the military services. NSA, while not a military organization, is one of several elements of the intelligence community administered by the Department of Defense.

The Agency was charged with an additional mission, computer security, in a 1984 Presidential directive, and with an operations security training mission in a 1988 Presidential directive. Like the Department of State and Federal Bureau of Investigation, th e National Security Agency has its own civilian career service, established by Congress in 1959. To maintain this career service, the agency conducts its own recruiting and employment programs. From its beginning, NSA has been hiring promising college gra duates from all sections of the country - including the Baltimore/Washington area - to augment its growing staff of professionals.

The Secretary of Defense approved the Plan for Restructuring Defense Intelligence on 15 March 1991, and subsequently forwarded it to Congress. The plan emphasized the centralization of management within the DOD for more effectively dealing with the changi ng world situation. However the National Security Agency was only peripherally affected by the plan, under which the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence does not exercise the same degree of control, dir ection and authority over the National Security Agency as was instituted for the Defense Intelligence Agency. [House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, "Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1992," 102d Congress, 1st S ession, Report 102-65, Part 1, 15 May 1991, pages 6-7.]


Most NSA employees, both civilian and military, are headquartered at Fort George G. Meade, MD. The rest of the workforce is scattered at CONUS and overseas field locations. NSA is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland. Its workforce repres ents an unusual combination of occupational specialties including engineers, physicists, mathematicians, linguists, computer scientists.

NSA reportedly has about 20,000 employees in Maryland, with a $831.7 million payroll in 1990.[Shelsby, Ted, "NSA Employment Cuts will Hurt Maryland Economy, But Exactly How Much?" Baltimore Sun, 6 December 1991, page 9-C.] This estimate is consistent with the approximately 5 million square feet of NSA office space at Ft. Meade, somewhat less than the Pentagon, which houses somewhat more than 20,000 personnel. Other published estimates that NSA has between 38,000 and 52,000 employees clearly also include t he personnel of the Central Security Service military components, as well as contractor personnel. ["Spy Agency Staff Lacks Diversity, Director Says," The Washington Times, 1 November 1993, page A6.]

[ Adapted from: "Not Just a Pretty Face," NSA Newsletter, July 1992, page 11.

NSA conducted the most significant upgrade of NSA's facilities in its history, based on a blueprint, the Facilities Focus Plan, prepared and approved in 1989. The 1989 Facilities Focus Plan provided for the upgrading of over 2.5 million square feet of spa ce and will involved the movement of over one-half of the NSA work force. When completed, NSA will have achieved a long-sought goal of a minimum of 70 square feet of office space per person across NSA.

In 1991 alone, NSA added over one million square feet of new space to the NSA inventory by opening the new REE Building, the SPL state-of-the-art microelectronics Production Facility, the System Processing Center, and the Columbia Annex. These facilities were occupied by thousands of NSA employees. In addition, the total renovation of the Headquarters Building was 60 percent complete and the offices were partially re-occupied, providing work space for another 1,000-plus employees. As NSA moved people into these new spaces, the areas they leave were fully renovated and other employees moved into expanded spaces. (a process NSA called "decompression"). In 1992 NSA completed the renovation of SAB I for parts of ISL and begin the renovations of FANX 2 for the National Cryptologic School and FANX 3 for another key component.

In addition to executing the Facilities Focus Plan, many other major facilities projects are under way or have been completed. The Twin Towers Utility Upgrade on the Headquarters Building provided improved air conditioning for people and equipment. The 3, 000-ton Chiller Plant constructed in front of the Headquarters Building provided much-needed cooling for OPS I occupants. The Chiller Plant's Main Distribution Loop delivers over 430,000 gallons of chilled water per hour to OPS I. This project required ov er 200 helicopter airlifts to put equipment in place on the OPS 1 Building. The Road Improvements Project provided a much-needed upgrade to the road network throughout the NSA Headquarters complex. The replacement of the 16-year-old Uninterrupted Power S ystems protected NSA's most critical mission operations. The OPS I Sprinkler Project met the latest fire/safety codes. Extensive asbestos removal was conducted in OPS I and the Headquarters Building to provide an asbestos-free environment for NSA employee s.

Upgrades in 1991 and 1992 included the installation of additional landscaping and efforts to repaint and clean up the corridors prior to President Bush's visit in 1991, along with the addition of a marble signpost at the intersection of Route 32 and Cani ne Road, and the redecorating of the OPS 2B lobby --- all of which were intended to "create a dignified and professional look," at NSA. But some work spaces remained overcrowded and unattractive (with some offices working under such crowded conditions tha t everyone in each row must interrupt their work to move each time a teammate enters or exits the aisle). Work space requirements and safety regulations were not complied with.


[Adapted from: "Drawing Down for the Future -- NSA consolidates its resources ," NSA Newsletter, August 1994, pages 8-9]

In 1991 NSA planners anticipated possible personnel and Operations and Maintenance budget cuts, and began planning for reduced lease, utility, and facility support costs commensurate with projected budget reductions. The NSA Drawdown Plan was approved by the Critical Issues Group (the current Board of Directors) in January 1992, briefed to and approved by DIRNSA in February 1992, and presented to and approved by several Congressional staffs in March 1992.

The Plan's strategy focused on the reduction of nine leased buildings. This would not only decrease rent and utility costs, but also such facility support costs as security, grounds, maintenance, bus service, mail runs, and local travel time.

Another major goal of the plan is to accommodate the 1992 NSA agency restructure by consolidating several key components into fewer buildings, bringing many of the elements in closer proximity to NSA Headquarters at Ft. Meade and enhancing the efficiency of SIGINT resources and support services. The Technology and Systems Organization will be housed in NBP 1, R&E, and CANX; Operations elements are to be consolidated at the Ft. Meade complex. Several Support Services elements will be relocated to the OPS 3 and APS 20 buildings, and the Information Systems Security Organization will be consolidated in FANX 3 and OPS 3.

Over the course of the four year implementation, the Drawdown Plan will affect 21 NSA-owned or leased buildings -- over 1.2 million square feet will be involved -- and 506 organizations, ranging from 10 to 200 people will be moved. The plan compromises mo re than 1,700 activities, ranging from building designs and construction to furniture and communications installation to the actual organizational moves. The plan is further complicated by over 3,000 constraints, or dependent activities. Constrataints are activities that must precede or succeed one another. Therefore, if one activity is delayed, it can delay another activity, which in turn delays two more activities, which in turn delay several more activities, and so on and so on... These constraints, co mbined with the large volume of work to be accomplished, are what make this plan so complex.

From the beginning, the Drawdown Plan assumed an aggressive schedule. However, since the original plan was devised, two major changes occurred.

The first involved a key aspect of the plan, the leasing of NBP 1. Prior to the 1992 NSA reorganization, the building had been completely designed for its new occupants, the majority of whom were coming directly from the OPS 1, OPS 2B, and APS 20 building s However, as a result of the Agency reorganization, the slated occupants of the building completely changed; elements from throughout NSA were scheduled to move to NBP I, home of the new Technology and Systems Organization This meant that the floor plans , seating arrangements, communications systems, etc, had to be readjusted. The Drawdown team was able to rectify the situation with no delay to the already tight schedule.

The second major alteration involved the relocation of the Naval Security Croup (NSC) from its Nebraska Avenue headquarters to OPS 3, a direct result of the Federal Base Closure Act. Prior to the decision to relocate NSG, FANX 3 was scheduled to be rehabb ed, floor by floor, over the course of 3 years. However, because DDI personnel must vacate their OPS 3 spaces to make room for the 1995 arrival of NSG, the rehab of FANX 3, DDI's new home, must be completed in 18 months. This aggressive schedule requires that the entire FANX 3 building be empty during the rehab. The Drawdown Plan had to be altered to allow for temporary retention of ITB and indefinite retention of APS 20 to accommodate the FANX 3 personnel. This major revision did not lengthen the origina l 4-year Drawdown schedule

The NSA Drawdown Plan includes the termination of leases for FANX 1, APS 8, and APS 9; the complete renovation and occupancy of FANX 2; the consolidation of the National Cryptologic School in FANX 2; the consolidation of the Operations Organization in the Headquarters complex; and the transfer of all personnel from FANX 3 in preparation of the building rehab, with scheduled to be completed by mid-1995.

Equally significant is the complete interior construction and occupancy of NBP 1 When leased in 1992, NBP 1 was essentially a "hollow building." Crews had to construct everything from floors and ceilings to heating and air conditioning systems to communic ation lines and sprinkler systems to walls and furniture.

By late 1996, the plan's scheduled completion date, NSA will fully reoccupy the newly renovated FANX 3 and termination of leases for Parkway Center, APS 5, APS 10, APS 11, APS 13, and the International Tower Building.

The implementation of the NSA Space Drawdown Plan required the combined efforts of many organizations -- the Support Services Organization for design, construction, maintenance, custodial, transportation, furnishings, and security operations; the Army Cor ps of Engineers for project lease management; the Technology and Systems Organization for communications fit-up and support; the Plans, Policy, and Programs Organization for financial programming and budgeting.

Focusing on quality customer support, the Space Drawdown Plan tries to minimize the inconvenience to NSA personnel as much as possible. Other than the time required to pack and unpack, moves are completed overnight, with minimal office downtime Whenever p ossible, customers may retain their telephone numbers at their new location And, although double (and sometimes triple) moves are occasionally necessary, the team takes great pains not to "hopscotch" their customers all over the Agency The NSA Space Dra wdown Plan is a team effort, requiring the coordination of many different Agency elements, which will continue until the final move is completed in late 1996.

Ft. Meade, Maryland

Fort Meade's mission is to provide a wide range of support to 56 tenant organizations from all four services and to several federal agencies. Major tenant units include the National Security Agency (NSA), the US Army Intelligence and Security Command, the Naval Security Group Activity, and the 694th Intelligence Wing (US Air Force).

Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, is an Army installation dedicated to providing support to servicemen, women, DoD civilians and their families. Located midway between the cities of Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Annapolis, near the communities of Odenton, Laurel and Columbia, The installation lies four miles east of Interstate 95 and one-half mile east of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway between Maryland State Routes 175 and 198. Fort Meade is home to approximately 9,200 military personnel as well as 29,00 0 civilian employees. Approximately 7,500 family members reside on post. The economic impact of Fort Meade to local civilian communities is approximately $2 billion annually. This reaches the community in the form of $300 million in military payroll, $1.2 billion in civilian payroll, and nearly $500 million in contracts. Virtually a city in itself, Fort Meade has 65 miles of paved roads, and 28 miles of secondary roads and 1,670 buildings. There is also a bank, modern exchange mall, credit union, post off ice, hospital, chapels and many other facilities.

Fort George G. Meade became an Army installation in 1917. Authorized by an Act of Congress in May 1917, it was one of 16 cantonments built for troops drafted for the war with the Central Powers in Europe. The present Maryland site was selected on June 23, 1917. Actual construction began in July. The first contingent of troops arrived here that September. The post was originally named Camp Meade for Major General George Gordon Meade, whose defensive strategy at the Battle of Gettysburg proved a major factor in turning the tide of the Civil War in favor of the North. During World War I, more than 100,000 men passed through Fort Meade, a training site for three infantry divisions, three training battalions and one depot brigade.

In 1928, when the post was renamed Fort Leonard Wood, Pennsylvanians registered such a large protest that the installation was permanently named Fort George G. Meade on 5 March 1929. This action was largely the result of a rider attached to the Regular Ar my Appropriation Act by a member of the House of Representatives from the Keystone State. Fort Meade became a training center during World War II. Its ranges and other facilities were used by more than 200 units and approximately 3,500,000 men between 194 2 and 1946. The wartime peak-military personnel figure at Fort Meade was reached in March, 1945-70,000. With the conclusion of World War II, Fort Meade reverted to routine peacetime activities, but later returned to build-up status. Many crises, including Korea, West Berlin and Cuba, along with Vietnam-related problems, were to come.

One key post-World War II event at Fort Meade was the transfer of the Second US Army Headquarters from Baltimore, on 15 June 1947. This transfer brought an acceleration of post activity because Second Army Headquarters exercised command over Army units th roughout a then seven state area. A second important development occurred on 1 January 1966, when the Second US Army merged with the First US Army. The consolidated headquarters moved from Fort Jay, NY, to Fort Meade to administer activities of Army insta llations in a 15-state area.

In August 1990, Fort Meade began processing Army Reserve and National Guard units from several states for the presidential call-up in support of Operation Desert Shield. In addition to processing Reserve and National Guard units, Fort Meade sent two activ e duty units-the 85th Medical Battalion and the 519th Military Police Battalion-to Saudi Arabia. In all, approximately 2,700 personnel from 42 units deployed from Fort Meade during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

The National Security Agency was established by presidential directive on 4 November 1952. In 1957 NSA consolidated its headquarters operations at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. Its headquarters complex at Fort Meade is dominated by two high-rise buildin gs completed in 1986 and dedicated by then President Ronald Reagan in a special ceremony. The complex includes an operations building, a technical library and other facilities which house logistics and support activities. NSA is supported by elements of t he Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, whose officers and enlisted personnel constitute approximately 20 percent of the agency work force. The remainder are civilians who are permanently assigned and who reside in the Baltimore/Washington area.

A large number of the agency's semi-skilled and clerical employees have been drawn from the local area. NSA has developed special educational programs, in conjunction with local high schools, to help prepare students for employment with the agency. NSA wo rks with US employment offices and civic groups in the area to promote employment of the handicapped. Graduates coming from high schools and college campuses may move into one of three broadly defined professional occupational areas. Some specialize in cr yptology (making and testing US codes and ciphers), others become specialists in the data-processing fields, and the remainder (especially mathematicians, scientists and engineers) will work in research and development.

NSA has always placed great emphasis on the training and development of its people. The establishment of the National Cryptologic School as a separate professional structure is a true symbol of this concern and represents further enhancement of the agency 's already extensive training activities. Additionally, the agency has a number of educational programs-both undergraduate and graduate-established with the Johns Hopkins University, American University, George Washi ngton University, University of Maryland and Catholic University, as well as its own special courses. Also a number of NSA professional personnel teach part time at these local universities.

Gunter Ahrendt's List of the World's Most Powerful Computing Sites shows the NSA at Fort Meade as the world's second most powerful supercomputer. This listing ranks sites according to ratings which "are ratios to a Cray Y-MP1 based on NASA NPB BT Size A benchmark reports. Figures prefixed '~' denote approximations usually based on comparable programs, figures suffixed '?' denote relative guesses based on Intel Paragon peak Gflops ratios."

Computer Type Total Y-MP1
Each Y-MP1
1 Cray T3D MC1024-8 220.16 3.44 @ 16 cpus
4 Cray C916/161024 183.04 2.86 @ 1 cpu
5 Cray J916/161024 52.8 0.66 @ 1 cpu
1 TMC CM-5/256-128 22.4 2.80 @ 32 cpus
6 Cray Y-MP8E/81024 48 1.00 @ 1 cpu
1 Cray T94/4128 16.4 4.10 @ 1 cpu
1 SRC Terasys ~ 9
1 Cray 3/SSS [+3Q95] 179.73 ?

Airport Squares
Linthicum, Maryland

[Adapted from "Facilities Update -- Facelifts for FANX II and FANX III," NSA Newsletter, February 1993, page 6.]

As part of the effort to provide improved facilities, reduce fragmented operations, and "decompress" the work force, the FANX 2 and FANX 3 Buildings underwent complete renovations, with FANX 2 housing the National Cryptologic Training Facility (NCS), and FANX 3 serving as the second campus for the Information Systems Security Organization. All INFOSEC resources in the Parkway Center and Airport Square Buildings 10, 11, and 20, as well as select elements from OPS 3, were consolidated with existing INFOSEC elements at FANX 3, and all non-INFOSEC elements were relocated either within the Airport Square Complex or back to Fort Meade.

Renovations on the two-story FANX 2 Building were completed in the second quarter of FY94. As well as meeting all Federal accessibility standards, it provided the NCS with 100 classrooms of different sizes; space for nonsecure training; space for a satell ite training/video center; and a 300-seat auditorium. A state of the art thermal ice storage system to supply air conditioning, raised floor throughout, a sprinkler system, a central fire alarm system, a public address system, and 20 transport rooms to en hance communications distribution were also provided.

The FANX 3 design was completed in October 1993. Construction began in January 1994 with planned completion in July 1996. Final move-in of INFOSEC personnel will take place in January 1997. FANX 3 renovations include an ice storage HVAC system, primary po wer, and energy efficient modular lighting. In addition, FANX 3 will be equipped with a highrise fire detection and prevention system, new elevators, select TEMPEST protection, and an emergency generator.

INFOSEC will occupy all operational space in FANX 3 with the exception of the utility infrastructure and support services on the first floor. While all support services will remain, several will be moved to accommodate utility expansion and installation o f the Confirm System in the inner lobby. A joint Facilities Engineering/Corps of Engineers/INFOSEC FANX 3 design and construction center has been opened in Room B1119E of FANX 3.

As many as 12,000 NSA personnel are housed in 1 million square feet of leased space at the Friendship Annex at Airport Square Technology Park and Industrial Park near the Baltimore Washington International airport. ["Supersecret Security Agency of Inestim able Aid to County," The Washington Times, 2 January 1993, page A9.] The Friendship Annex is connected to Ft. Meade and other Washington area facilities through the Washington Area Wideband System (WAWS), a coaxial cable network established in the mid-197 0s.

Ft. Meade, Maryland

An additional 240,000 square feet of office space are leased at the National Business Park, across the BW Parkway from the main facility at Ft. Meade. ["Supersecret Security Agency of Inestimable Aid to County," The Washington Times, 2 January 1993 , page A9.]

University of Maryland
College Park, MD

NSA work in the design and development of specialized chips for national security uses is supported by a recently opened Laboratory for Physical Sciences building at the University of Maryland at College Park. This laboratory conducts research on a range of projects of interest to NSA, including optical communications and computer networks. [Adapted from: VADM James McConnell, "New World, New Challenges -- NSA Into the 21st Century," American Intelligence Journal, Spring/Summer 1994, page 10.]

Bowie, MD

NSA sponsors the Supercomputer Research Center in Bowie, Maryland, which includes government, academics and industry in an effort to benefit all sectors from its research activities.[Adapted from: VADM James McConnell, "New World, New Challenges -- NSA In to the 21st Century," American Intelligence Journal, Spring/Summer 1994, page 10.]


Dallas, TX

Gunter Ahrendt's List of the World's Most Powerful Computing Sites shows E-Systems in Dallas TX (formerly listed as "NSA") as the third most powerful site. This listing ranks sites according to ratings which "are ratios to a Cray Y-MP1 based on NASA NPB BT Size A benchmark reports. Figures prefixed '~' denote approximations usually based on comparable programs, figures suffixed '?' denote relative guesses based on Intel Paragon peak Gflops ratios."

As of 10 July 1995 the third ranked facility was listed as E-Systems,Dallas,Texas, with

Computer Type Total Y-MP1
Each Y-MP1
8 Cray C916/16512 366.08 2.86 @ 1 cpu
9 Cray J916/16512 95.04 0.66 @ 1 cpu

This listing is compiled based in part on information provided in confidence or anonymously. The Dallas entry was based on information supplied by an individual who indicated that during the summer of 1994 the NSA advertised employment opportunities a Dallas newspaper, with the advertisement noting that a certain number of Cray C916's were being installed at a Dallas site, with a planned increase in 1995 to the current number. As this listing is widely publicized on the internet, reader feedback usually corrects erroneous entries, and thus far this listing has not been disputed. In addition, the total number of Cray C916's in the world (all of which are included in this listing) is consistent with published production of this computer by inclusion of the computers at the Dallas facility.

E-Systems has two facilities in the Dallas vicinity (E-Systems, Inc. Form 10-K, For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 1994, Securities and Exchange Commission File Number 1-5237). Buildings at the Greenville TX facility cover 2,936,000 square feet, with activities including offices, engineering, research and development, production: airborne electronic systems installation, and aircraft overhaul and maintenance. The Garland TX facility has 1,407,000 square feet of building, including offices, engineering, research and development, production facilities: radiation laboratory, electronic components, high powered transmitters, and radar antennas and other products.

It would seem that the NSA Crays are at one or the other site, most likely the Greenville site, which would seem to be the SIGINT side of the company (Garland appears to be the defense electronics (ie non SIGINT) side of the company, and thus the Crays are out at Greenville.) However, the 10-K form also lists: "Other Properties" with a total of 1,243,000 square feet, including offices, production and depot maintenance of electronic, equipment and systems. This includes approximately 899,000 square feet at various locations owned by the United States Government and operated by the Company. These would appear to be depot maintenance for RIVET JOINT and other airborne SIGINT systems, but it cannot be excluded that this also includes some unacknowledged NSA facility where all the Crays have been stashed (such as perhaps the overly large Federal Building in downtown Dallas??).


Army national SIGINT responsibilities include management of the creation and operation of the Regional SIGINT Operations Centers (RSOC) at Fort Gordon, GA, Bad Aibling Station, Germany, and Menwith Hill Station, England, as well as continued Army support to the National Security Agency (NSA) and its worldwide mission stations.[LTG Ira C. Owens (Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, United States Army), "Army Intelligence In Transition `Changing Horizons,'" American Intelligence Journal, Autumn/Wi nter 1993-1994, pages 17-20.] Other RSOC locations include the Lackland Air Force Base Training Annex, in San Antonio, Texas, which supports Southern Command, and Pacific Command support from Kunia on Oahu, Hawaii.

The National Security Agency operates a global network of ground stations for the interception of civil and military satellite communications traffic. [Richelson, Jeffery, The US Intelligence Community, (Ballinger Publishing, New York, 1989) second edi tion, pages 183-187.]

  • Bad Aibling Kasserne, Germany, conducts satellite communications interception activities, and is also a downlink station for geostationary SIGINT satellites.

  • Menwith Hill, located 13 kilometers west of Harrogate, UK, collects against Russian satellite communications under Project MOONPENNY, and is also a downlink station for geostationary SIGINT satellites.

  • Misawa Air Base, Misawa, Japan, satellite communications intercept activities include collecting against Russian Molniya, Raduga and Gorizont systems under project LADYLOVE at a facility 6 kilometers northwest of the main airfield, known as the "Hill. "

  • Rosman Communications Research Station, near Rosman, NC, has a total of twelve antennas for satellite communications interception, for communications connectivity with other intelligence facilities, and possibly also for downlinks from geostationary S IGINT satellites.

  • Sugar Grove Naval Communications Facility, near Sugar Grove, WV, intercepts Pacific INTELSAT/COMSAT satellite communications traffic routed through the COMSAT ground station at Etam, WV. This facility has four antenna, with diameters of 9.2, 18.5, 32. 3 and 46 meters.

  • Yakima Research Station, near Yakima, WA, intercepts Pacific INTELSAT/COMSAT satellite communications traffic.

    Additional COMSAT intercept activities are conducted at Geraldton, Australia, and Bude, in Corwall, UK. The Bad Aibling and Menwith Hill facilities are also used for downlink of high altitude SIGINT satellite product, as are facilities at Pine Gap, Austra lia, and Buckley Air National Guard Base, Colorado.

    Other NSA facilities, including: Clark AFB, Phillipines; Sinope, Turkey; Heraulion, Greece; Berlin, Germany; and Eielson AFB, AK, have closed, with others, such as San Vito dei Normani, Italy, have transfered to other agencies (in this case, to Air Force Space Command). [Munro, Neil, "The Puzzle Palace in Post-Cold War Pieces," Washington Technology, 11 August 1994, page 1, 14.]

    National SIGINT Operations Center (NSOC)
    Ft. Meade, MD

    The NSA National SIGINT Operations Center (NSOC) provides round-the-clock continuous service and support to customers through a worldwide communications network. NSOC is provided with the most modern integrated data and telecommunication infrastructure po ssible to meet the real time requirements of military and other intelligence consumers at every echelon.[Adapted from: VADM James McConnell, "New World, New Challenges -- NSA Into the 21st Century," American Intelligence Journal, Spring/Summer 1994, page 10.]

    Medina Regional SIGINT Operations Center (RSOC)
    Lackland (Medina) Training Annex
    San Antonio, TX

    [Adapted from: Colonel Michael S. Cassidy, "SIGINT: An Important Part of Air Force Intelligence," American Intelligence Journal, Spring/Summer 1994, page 20.]

    The 19 August 1993 activation of the Medina Regional SIGINT Operations Center (RSOC) at the Lackland Training Annex (also known as the Medina Training Annex) in San Antonio, was a direct result of the end of the Cold War, which confronted the intelligence community with a downsizing force structure and withdrawal of forces deployed overseas. The Medina RSOC consolidates SIGINT assets, analytical databases, and experience personnel from various locations. It also provided tactical analysts an environment t o keep their cryptologic skills sharp, supporting a pool of capable people which can deploy wherever they are needed. By 1996, over 1,000 Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and National Security Agency civilian personnel will work at Medina. This consol idated SIGINT joint environment improved the ability to deliver timely, tailored intelligence to customers.

    CONUS-based Regional Operations Facility (CROF)/
    Regional SIGINT Operations Center (RSOC)
    513th Military Intelligence Brigade
    Fort Cordon,

    [Adapted from: "Intelligence Community Notes," Defense Intelligence Journal, 1993, number 2, pages 97-98.]

    In early 1993 the relocation of the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade's from Fort Monmouth New Jersey to Fort Cordon, Georgia was initiated. Under the terms of the AR 5-10 Study, the 513th will be developed into a power projection support element. As pa rt of this process, the NSA established a CONUS-based Regional Operations Facility (CROF) at Fort Gordon. The Regional SIGINT Operations Center uses current operations and troop facilities as well as a new 38,000 square-fool building to support 300 Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps SIGINT personnel. The CBOF incorporates tactical and strategic units through TROJAN and other satellite networks to support requirements from theater commanders and Joint Task Force (JTF) components, as well as intelligenc e preparation of the battlefield. TROJAN SPIRIT supports split-based connectivity between CONUS-based processing and production centers and forward-deployed forces.

    Menwith Hill
    Harrowgate, UK

    Menwith Hill in the UK is the principal NATO theater ground segment node for high altitude signals intelligence satellites [Ball, Desmond, Pine Gap, (Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1988), page 61]. Although this facility is jointly operated with the UK's G eneral Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), GCHQ is not privy to the intelligence down-linked to Menwith Hill, since tapes containing the data are returned via air to the United States for analysis.

    Menwith Hill Station was established in 1956 by the US Army Security Agency (ASA). Inside the closely-guarded 560 acre base are two large operations blocks and many satellite tracking dishes and domes. Initial operations focused on monitoring internationa l cable and microwave communications passing through Britain. In the early 1960s Menwith Hill was one of the first sites in the world to receive sophisticated early IBM computers, with which NSA automated the labor-intensive watch-list scrutiny of interc epted but unenciphered telex messages. Since then, Menwith Hill has sifted the international messages, telegrams, and telephone calls of citizens, corporations or governments to select information of political, military or economic value to the United St ates.

    Every detail of Menwith Hill's operations has been kept an absolute secret. The official cover story is that the all-civilian base is a Department of Defense communications station. The British Ministry of Defence describe Menwith Hill as a "communicatio ns relay centre." Like all good cover stories, this has a strong element of truth to it. Until 1974, Menwith Hill's Sigint specialty was evidently the interception of International Leased Carrier signals, the communications links run by civil agencies -- the Post, Telegraph and Telephone ministries of eastern and western European countries. The National Security Agency took over Menwith Hill in 1966. Interception of satellite communications began at Menwith Hill as early as 1974, when the first of more th an eight large satellite communications dishes were installed.

    In 1984, British Telecom and MoD staff completed a $25 million extension to Menwith Hill Station known as STEEPLEBUSH. The British government constructed new communications facilities and buildings for STEEPLEBUSH, worth L7.4 million. The expansion plan i ncludes a 50,000 square foot extension to the Operations Building and new generators to provide 5 Megawatts of electrical power. The purpose of the new construction was to boost an cater for an 'expanded mission' of satellite surveillance. It also provide s a new (satellite) earth terminal system to support the classified systems at the site. With another $17.2 million being spent on special monitoring equipment, this section of the Menwith Hill base alone cost almost $160 million dollars.

    Rosman Research Station
    Rosman, NC

    The Rosman Research Station is located in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina's Smoky Mountains, near Balsam Grove, NC, off Route 215 approximately 11 kilometers north of Route 64. The station, which closed in 1994, was operated by approximately 250 NSA, Bendix Field Engineering and TRW employees.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration began operations at the Rosman Spaceflight Tracking Station in 1963, and ceased activities there in January 1981. During NASA's tenure the station supported a number of space projects, including the Apollo and Apollo-Soyuz missions. The station at Rosman was turned over to the General Services Administration by NASA on 1 February 1981. The facility was converted by the Department of Defense for use as a Communications Research Station, a process which was completed in early July 1981. Initially there were approximately 35 contract personnel living in the area, but when the project became operational in July, this number increased to approximately 75 employees. The NSA role at Rosman apparently began almost immediately thereafter. By 1985 this number was reported to have grown to 250 employees, with annual payroll at $5 million, an average of $20,000 a year [The Asheville Citizen 20 June 1985]. For FY85 NSA requested $500,000 for construction of an e lectric substation to provide additional electric transformer capacity that is required to support station operations. It is difficult to ascertain the total number of satellite receiving antenna at the facility. These at least include two very large dish es, approximately 27.5 feet in diameter (the size of the biggest dish left by NASA), and a smaller 6.2 meter radome.

    The Rosman Station was used to intercept telephone and other communications traffic carried by commercial and other communications satellites in geostationary orbit over the Western hemisphere. Potential targets of interest could include Latin American mi litary, diplomatic and commercial traffic as well as domestic US traffic and drug traffickers in the Caribbean.


    [Adapted from: United States Senate Select Committee on Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Foreign and Military Intelligence -- Book I, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, 26 April 1976, pages 325-355.]

    The SIGINT or foreign intelligence mission of NSA/CSS involves the interception, processing, analysis, and dissemination of information derived from foreign electrical communications and other signals. SIGINT itself is composed of three elements: Communic ations Intelligence (COMINT), Electronics Intelligence (ELINT), and Telemetry Intelligence (TELINT). COMINT is intelligence information derived from the interception and analysis of foreign communications. ELINT is technical and intelligence information d erived from electromagnetic radiations, such as radars. TELINT is technical and intelligence information derived from the interception, processing, and analysis of foreign telemetry.

    The COMSEC mission protects United States telecommunications and certain other communications from exploitation by foreign intelligence services and from unauthorized disclosure. COMSEC systems are provided by NSA to 18 Government departments and agencies , including Defense, State, CIA, and FBI. The predominant user, however, is the Department of Defense. COMSEC is a mission separate from SIGINT, yet the dual SIGINT and COMSEC missions of NSA/CSS do have a symbiotic relationship, and enhance the performan ce of the other.

    Initially, most SIGINT was collected by personnel of the Service Cryptologic Agencies located around the world. The Director, NSA/Chief, CSS has authority for SIGINT missions. NSA responds to requests by other members of the intelligence community, such a s CIA, DIA, and FBI, to provide "signals" intelligence on topics of interest. An annual list of SIGINT requirements is given to NSA and is intended to provide the NSA Director and the Secretary of Defense with guidance for the coming year's activities. Th ese requirements are usually stated in terms of general areas of intelligence interest, but are supplemented by "amplifying requirements," which are time-sensitive and are expressed directly to NSA by the requesting agency. NSA exercises discretion in res ponding to these requirements; it also accepts requests from the executive branch agencies. NSA does not generate its own requirements.

    All requirements levied on NSA must be for foreign intelligence. Yet, the precise definition of foreign intelligence is unclear. NSA limits its collection of intelligence to foreign communications and confines its activities to communications links having at least one foreign terminal. Nevertheless, this is based upon an internal regulation and is not supported by law or executive branch directive. Although NSA limits itself to collecting communications with at least one foreign terminal, it may still pic k up communications between two Americans when international communications are involved. Whenever NSA chooses particular circuits or "links" known to carry foreign communications necessary for the production of foreign intelligence, it collects all trans missions that go over those circuits. Given current technology, the only gray for NSA to prevent the processing of communications of US citizens would be to control the selection, analysis, or dissemination phases of the process.

    Communications intelligence has been an integral element of United States intelligence activities. Foreign communications have been intercepted, analyzed, and decoded by the United States since the Revolutionary War. During the 1930s elements of the Army and Navy collected and processed foreign intelligence from radio transmissions. Much of their work involved decryption, as well as enciphering United States transmissions. Throughout World War II, their work contributed greatly to the national war effort.

    Since President Truman authorized NSA's establishment in 1952 to coordinate United States cryptologic and communications activities, tremendous advances have been made in the technology of communications intelligence. These advances have contributed to an expansion in demands for a wider variety of foreign intelligence and of requirements placed upon NSA/CSS SIGINT personnel and resources. As new priorities arise in the requirements process, greater demands will be placed upon NSA.

    National Security Agency Products

    [ Adapted from: Central Intelligence Agency, A Consumer's Guide to Intelligence, OPAI 93-00092, September 1993, pages 17, 22.]

    SIGINT is not finished intelligence, but NSA provides its specially controlled SIGINT product directly to military commands worldwide and to governmental consumers, as well as to producers of all-source intelligence. NSA supports each NIO with a senior to pical or regional specialist called a Signals Intelligence NIO (SINIO). SINIOs and other representatives of the Director, NSA, and the NSA Deputy Director for Operations are assigned to facilitate the exchange of information and conduct liaison on operati onal matters throughout the IC and with the consumers of SIGINT. The SIGINT product is extremely sensitive and is normally handled in special channels available to only specifically designated personnel.

    The SIGINT Digest
    This compilation is published Monday through Friday. Although not considered finished intelligence, the Digest apprises readers of the most significant developments of the day that were derived from SIGINT. The Digest is distributed in hardcopy to Washing ton-area customers and electronically to customers in the field.


    [Adapted from: Department of Defense, "The National Security Agency and the Central Security Service," Directive 5100.20, 23 December 1971 (Declassified on 22 May 1990).]

    Subject to the provisions of National Security Council Intelligence Directive No. 6 (NSCID No. 6), and the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, and pursuant to the authorities vested in the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Agency is a sep arately organized agency within the Department of Defense under the direction, supervision funding, maintenance and operation of the Secretary of Defense.

    The National Security Agency is a unified organization structured to provide for the Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) mission of the United States and to insure secure communications systems for all departments and agencies of the US Government. The Central Security Service will conduct collection, processing and other SIGINT operations as assigned.

    Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) is a category of intelligence information comprising all Communications Intelligence (COMINT), Electronics Intelligence (ELINT), and Telemetry Intelligence (TELINT).

    COMINT is technical and intelligence information derived from foreign communication by other than the intended recipients. COMINT is produced by the collection and processing of foreign communications passed by electromagnetic means, with specific excepti ons stated below, and by the processing of foreign encrypted communications, however transmitted. Collection comprises search, intercept, and direction finding. Processing comprises range estimation, transmitter/operator identification, signal analysis, t raffic analysis, cryptanalysts, decryption, study of plain text, the fusion of these processes, and the reporting of results. COMINT does not include: intercept and processing of unencrypted written communications, except the processing of written plain t ext versions of communications which have been encrypted or are intended for subsequent encryption. Intercept and processing of press, propaganda and other public broadcasts, except for processing encrypted or "hidden meaning" passages in such broadcasts ; oral and wire interceptions conducted under DoD Directive 5200.24; or censorship.

    ELINT is technical and intelligence information derived from foreign, non-communications, electromagnetic radiations emanating from other than atomic detonation or radioactive sources. ELINT is produced by the collection (observation and recording), and t he processing for subsequent intelligence purposes of that information.

    TELINT is technical and intelligence information derived from the intercept, processing, and analysis of foreign telemetry.

    SIGINT operational control is the authoritative direction of SIGINT activities, including tasking and allocation of effort, and the authoritative prescription of those uniform techniques and standards by which SIGINT information is collected, processed an d reported. SIGINT resources comprise unit, activities and organizational elements engaged in the conduct of SIGINT (COMINT, ELINT or TELINT) activities.

    The National Security Agency consists of a Director, a Headquarters, and such subordinate units, elements, facilities, and activities as are assigned to the National Security Agency by the Secretary of Defense as the executive agent of the Government for the conduct of SIGINT.

    The NSA provides technical guidance to all SIGINT or SIGINT-related operations of the Government. It formulates programs, plans, policies, procedures and principles, and manages assigned SIGINT resources, personnel and programs.

    NSA produces and disseminates SIGINT in accordance with the objectives, requirements and priorities established by the Director of Central Intelligence. This function does not include the production and dissemination of finished intelligence which are th e responsibilities of departments and agencies other than the National Security Agency / Central Security Service.)

    In relation to the Department of Defense SIGINT activities, NSA prepares and submits to the Secretary of Defense a consolidated program and budget, and requirements for military and civilian manpower, logistic and communications support, and research, de velopment, test and evaluation, together with his recommendations pertaining thereto. NSA conducts research, development and systems design to meet the needs of the National Security Agency / Central Security Service and coordinate with the departments an d agencies their related research, development, test and evaluation in the SIGINT field. The Agency determines and submits to the Secretary of Defense logistic support requirements for the National Security Agency, and the Central Security Service, togeth er with specific recommendations as to what each of the responsible departments and agencies of the Government should supply.

    It also develops requisite security rules, regulations and standards governing operating practices in accordance with the policies of the US Intelligence Board and the US Communications Security Board. The Director prescribes within the field of authorize d operations requisite security regulations covering operating practices, including the transmission, handling, and distribution of SIGINT material within and among the elements under his control; and exercise the necessary monitoring and supervisory cont rol to ensure compliance with the regulations.

    The Director makes reports and furnish information to the US Intelligence Board or the US Communications Security Board, as required. The Director also responds to the SIGINT requirements of all DoD components and other departments and agencies, eliminate s unwarranted duplication of SIGINT efforts, standardizes SIGINT equipment and facilities wherever practicable, and provides for production and procurement of SIGINT equipments.

    NSA provides the Director of Central Intelligence through the Secretary of Defense with such information as required on the past, current and propose plans, programs, and costs of the SIGINT activities under the Agency's control. It also provides guidance to the military departments to effect and insure sound and adequate military and civilian SIGINT career development and training programs, and conduct, or otherwise provide for, necessary specialized and advanced SIGINT training. The Agency provides tech nical advice and support to enhance SIGINT arrangements with foreign governments, and conduct, as authorized, SIGINT exchanges with foreign governments.


    The Central Security Service is comprised of a Chief, Central Security Service, a Deputy Chief, jointly staffed headquarters, Army, Navy/Marine Corps and Air Force operating elements, and such other subordinate elements and facilities as may be assigned t o the Central Security Service by the Secretary of Defense.

    The Director, National Security Agency, is also the Chief, Central Security Service. The Director of the National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service has a Deputy Director for the National Security Agency and a Deputy Chief, Central Security S ervice. To provide continuity in SIGINT matters, the Deputy Director, National Security Agency, is a technically experienced civilian. The Deputy Chief, Central Security Service, is a commissioned officer of the military Services, of not less than two sta r rank, designated by the Secretary of Defense. The Deputy Chief is normally not be selected from the same military Service as the Chief. The Director and Deputy Director of the National Security Agency are designated by the Secretary of Defense, subject to the approval of the President. The Director is a commissioned officer of the military Services, on active or reactivated status, and enjoys not less than three star rank during the period of his incumbency.

    The Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service reports to the Secretary of Defense.

    The Commanders of the Service cryptologic organizations and their subordinate activities which conduct SIGINT operations are subordinate to the Chief, Central Security Service, for all matters involving SIGINT activities. In this role they are designated as Service element Commanders and subordinate activities of the Central Security Service. The Service cryptologic organizations will remain in their parent Services, for the purpose of administrative and logistic support. The Secretary of Defense with the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff may specifically designate other SIGINT related resources of the Department of Defense which will be subordinate to the Chief, Central Security Service for SIGINT operations.

    Subject to the direction, authority and control of the Secretary of Defense, the Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service accomplish the SIGINT mission of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. The Director acts a s principal SIGINT advisor to the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As principal SIGINT advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director, National Security Agency keeps the Joint Chiefs of Staff f ully informed on SIGINT matters.

    The Director exercises SIGINT operational control over SIGINT activities of the US Government to respond most effectively to military and other SIGINT requirements. In the case of mobile military SIGINT platforms, the Director shall state movement require ments through appropriate channels to the military commanders, which retain responsibility for operational command of the vehicle.

    Subject to the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of Defense, the Director, National Security Agency / Chief, Central Security Service, is specifically delegated authority to exercise SIGINT operational control over SIGINT activities of the United States, issue directives to any operating elements such instructions and orders necessary to carry out his responsibilities and functions, and have direct access to, and direct communications with, any element of the US Government performing SIGIN T functions.

    The NSA Director may adjust as required, through the Service cryptologic organizations, personnel resources under SIGINT operational control, and centralize or consolidate SIGINT operations for which he is responsible to the extent desirable, consistent w ith efficiency, economy, effectiveness, and support to field commanders. The Director submits, as appropriate, concurrent letter of evaluation efficiency / fitness reports on the commanders of subordinate elements of the Central Security Service in accord ance with parent Service procedures, and delegates SIGINT operational tasking of specified SIGINT resources and facilities for such periods and for such operational tasks as required or as directed by the Secretary of Defense.

    NSA prescribes SIGINT procedures for activities to whom he provides technical guidance, and prescribe, reviews and approves security rules, regulations and instructions. It conducts the SIGINT operations undertaken in support of certain missions within th e purview of NSCID No. 5, and obtains such information and intelligence material from the departments and agencies (military departments, other Department of Defense agencies, or other departments or agencies of the Government) as may be necessary for the performance of the National Security Agency / Central Security Service functions.

    In the performance of its responsibilities and functions, the National Security Agency / Central Security Service coordinates actions, as appropriate, with other DoD components, and other Departments and agencies of the Government. The Agency maintains di rect liaison, as appropriate, for the exchange of information and advice in the field of its assigned responsibility with other DoD components and other departments and agencies of the Government. It provides for direct liaison by representatives of the i ntelligence components of individual departments and agencies regarding interpretation and amplification of requirements and priorities within the framework of objectives, requirements, and priorities established by the Director of Central Intelligence.

    Other DoD components provide support, within their respective fields of responsibility, to the Director, National Security Agency / Chief, Central Security Service as may be necessary to carry out assigned responsibilities and functions. The National Sec urity Agency / Central Security Service will be authorized such personnel, facilities, funds and other administrative support as the Secretary of Defense deems necessary for the performance of its functions. Other DoD components shall provide support for the Agency / Service as prescribed in specific directives or support agreements.


    The Naval Security Group Command is the Navy component of the Central Security Service. The Army CSS component is the Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM).

    "INSCOM organizations which perform national SIGINT functions are being restructured from conventional OCONUS lines of sight and HF collection mission units into jointly manned organizations, at CONUS locations, with the access to enemy signals provided v ia remote collection technology and communications linkages.... The Army Technical Control and Analysis Element (A-TCAE) in the 704th Ml Brigade at Fort Meade will direct the Army's SIGINT exploitation efforts in support of operational commanders and nat ional collection needs, and will assist in technical training and support for all Army Intelligence forces as part of preparations for deployment." [LTG Ira C. Owens (Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, United States Army), "Army Intelligence In Tr ansition `Changing Horizons,'" American Intelligence Journal, Autumn/Winter]

    The 694th Intelligence Group (formerly the 694th Intelligence Wing), headquartered at Fort Meade, MD, steers Air Force Intelligence Agency's mission operations on the east coast. It is a vital part of AIA's continuing support to national missions in suppo rt of US intelligence activities. The Air Force's 694th Intelligence Group (formerly 694th Wing) is the largest military unit on Fort Meade. It is subordinate to the Air Intelligence Agency, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. With a widely varied mission the 69 4th Intelligence Wing has more than 2,000 officers and airmen within its subordinate units at Fort Meade. In addition, the 694th provides operational, technical, administrative and resource management to include representation al support to the commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and other government elements in the Washington, DC area. Responsible for an integral part of the US worldwide communications network, the unit provides rapid radio relay, secure communications an d command, control and communications countermeasures support to US and allied forces. Unit members develop and apply techniques and materials designed to ensure that friendly command and control communications are secure and protected from enemy counterm easures. The 694th Intelligence Group also advises US and allied commanders on procedures and techniques which could be used to counter enemy command and control communications. Additional functions include research into electronic phenomena.


    Unlike other intelligence organizations such as CIA or DIA, NSA is particularly reticent concerning its internal organizational structure. The following description is based on the best available current information. The best comprehensive treatments of N SA's organization are found in Jeffrey Richelson's The U.S. Intelligence Community (Ballinger, Cambridge, 1989), and James Bamford's The Puzzle Palace (Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, 1982). It was reported (Bill Gertz, "Electronic Sp ying Reoriented at NSA," The Washington Times, 27 January 1992) that the A Group had been expanded to include all of Europe, in addition to Eastern Europe and the USSR, and that the B Group, focused on Communist Asia, had been combined with the G Grou p, collecting against the Rest of the World. The most detailed insight into NSA organization is found in the NSA Employee's Security Manual, posted on the Internet on 6 April 1994 ( in, which provided building lo cations for the security offices of each of the groups, among other interesting tidbits. Additional information, primarily related to information security developments, is reported in the computer trade press, such as "More Changes at NSA," Federal Com puter Week, 22 August 1994, page 4."

    The National Security Agency is organized into five Directorates, each of which consists of several groups or elements. The Operations Directorate is responsible for SIGINT collection and processing. T he Technology and Systems Directorate develops new technologies for SIGINT collection and processing. The Information Systems Security Directorate is responsible for NSA's communications and information security missions. The Pl ans, Policy and Programs Directorate provides staff support and general direction for the Agency, while the Support Services Directorate provides logistical and administrative support activities.

    A Group - Former Soviet Bloc
    This Group performs worldwide SIGINT operations at fixed sites and with assigned and attached mobile assets to collect against targets in the Former Soviet Bloc. It maintains liaison with service CSS components on SIGINT operations of direct interest to t his area of responsibility, under the SIGINT OPCON of the DIRNSA or the Chief, Central Security Service (CHCSS).(The current designation of this Group is uncertain)

    B Group - Asia
    This Group performs worldwide SIGINT operations at fixed sites and with assigned and attached mobile assets to collect against targets, including China, North Korea, and Vietnam. It maintains liaison with service CSS components on SIGINT operations of dir ect interest to this area of responsibility, under the SIGINT OPCON of the DIRNSA or the Chief, Central Security Service (CHCSS).(The current designation of this Group is uncertain)

    C Group - Policy & Resources (??)
    This Group establishes immediate, short and long range policy and resource requirements for Information Security activities to satisfy current and future requirements. It identifies needs, criteria development, and program development of projects for oper ation and maintenance of current assets and acquisition or construction of new facilities.

    D Group - Director
    The Director of the NSA directs and controls the National Security Agency (NSA) in the accomplishment of assigned missions, programs, plans, and projects. This Group serves as the NSA focus for DIRNSA Central Security Service (CSS) activities, and for the US Signals Intelligence Directive System. The Group also represents NSA on other SIGINT community coordinating committees, such as the DCI Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Committee, SIGINT Requirements Validation and Evaluation Subcommittee (SIRVES) and SO RS.

    E Group - Contract Support (?)
    This Group provides acquisition and management services and support to other NSA program offices in the development of technical and nontechnical support facility requirements and concepts. It develops facility acquisition strategies, plans, master schedu les, cost estimates, and management plans. It provides engineering management services, plans for maintenance and operation of facilities, and coordinates with host nations or commands. The Group acts as principal staff advisor and assistant to the Direct or, NSA, in the development and application of NSA contracting policy, plans, programs, and systems as related to contracting of supplies and services; production management; industrial preparedness planning; DAR; FAR; and contracting reporting; DoD Coord inated Acquisition Program; market research and analysis; DoD Procurement Management Review (PMR) Program; NSA field contracting activities; ADP/T contracting; Pricing and Competition, and management improvement initiatives; and exercises staff program di rection over assigned programs. (The identity of this Group is tentative)

    F Group (No Group with this designation has been identified)

    G Group - Operations (?) / All Others (?)
    This Group performs worldwide SIGINT operations at fixed sites and with assigned and attached mobile assets to collect against targets areas not covered by A and B Groups. It maintains liaison with service CSS components on SIGINT operations of direct int erest to this area of responsibility, under the SIGINT OPCON of the DIRNSA or the Chief, Central Security Service (CHCSS).(The current designation of this Group is uncertain)

    H Group (No Group with this designation has been identified)

    I Group - Information Security Programs
    This Group develops, establishes, and administers comprehensive programs for information security, classification management, security education and motivation, and industrial and personnel security. It represents NSA on the Security Career Program Policy Council.

    J Group - Legislative Affairs
    Acts as the principal staff advisor and assistant to the Director, NSA, and other staff elements on all NSA matters with respect to Legislative Affairs.

    K Group - Operations Research (?)
    This Group directs NSA Cryptologic research activities to provide theoretical and other support for all US Communications Security (COMSEC) and SIGINT activities. (The identity of this Group is tentative)

    L Group - Logistics
    Serves as the principal focus for on matters relating to the implementation of the NSA logistics support activities, including support by the Defense Courier Service.

    M Group - Administration
    Acts as the principal staff advisor and assistant to the Director, NSA, and other staff elements on all NSA matters, exclusive of equipment (ADP and non-ADP) and software, with respect to printing and publications; library; postal and mail; travel; audiov isual facilities, productions and exhibits; records, forms, and correspondence; committee management; authentication of publications, directives, and communications.

    N Group - Programs
    This Group determines, in conjunction with the entire NSA staff, immediate, short and long range planning requirements for facility development to satisfy current and future mission requirements. It identifies facility need, facility criteria development, and program development of projects for operation and maintenance of current assets and acquisition or construction of new facilities.

    O Group (No Group with this designation has been identified)

    P Group - Production
    This Group is NSA's principal element for the production of finished SIGINT (ELINT and COMINT) products in support of other consumers in the intelligence community. The Group provides signals intelligence research, retrieval and dissemination services for NSA programs, associated contractors and other government agencies and contractors. It maintains manual and automated classified data bases to facilitate the acquisition, storage and dissemination of signals intelligence information. The Group identifies and establishes NSA requirements for SIGINT production based on consumers' present and future needs. It serves as the focal point for intelligence documentation support and processing and dissemination requests through national automated intelligence dat a bases.

    Q Group - Plans & Policy
    This Group acts as the principal staff advisor and assistant to the Director, NSA, and other staff elements on the initiation, development, integration, coordination, and monitoring of NSA policy, plans, programs, and projects and is responsible for overs ight of designated NSA/CSS programs; mission and organization control; command control and contingency planning; NSA studies and projects, operations research and. economic analysis; NSA strategic planning and personnel authorizations and position managem ent.

    R Group - Research & Engineering
    This Group transforms SIGINT collection requirements into system performance parameters, requirements, and system configurations. It establishes and maintains system performance specifications and supports the configuration controls. The Group develops an d monitors internal and external interface requirements, defines test and target requirements and provides cost, schedule, produceability, manufacturing, basing, logistics, and other support necessary for SIGINT collection system development and deploymen t. The Group serves as a center for research and development on signals intelligence technologies, and provides for evaluation of algorithms, data bases, and display concepts in signal processing. The Group maintains facilities for research and developmen t on audio and speech signal processing, the supports test and evaluation of speech processing technology to intelligence related problems.

    S Group - Standards & Evaluation
    This Group develops, establishes, and evaluates implementation of comprehensive standards for information security, classification management, security education and motivation, and industrial and personnel security. The Group provides staff supervision a nd guidance for industrial security program, performs industrial security functions of review and approval, serves on contract requirements and technical review boards, and performs industrial security inspections of classified contractor activities. It i s the primary COMSEC community focus for development and certification of COMSEC equipment and procedures.

    T Group - Telecommunications
    This Groups manages all government and contractor activities associated with the design, development, production and operation of Special Intelligence Communications (SPINTCOM) networks and systems for the transmission of SIGINT data and products.

    U Group - General Counsel
    Provides legal advice and services to the Director and the Heads of NSA staff elements on matters involving or affecting NSA, exercises supervisory and professional control over personnel providing legal services in NSA, provides liaison with other agenci es on legal issues relating to NSA, and manages assigned programs.

    V Group - Network Security (?)
    This Group develops, establishes, and administers comprehensive programs for communications network security and related industrial security. (The identity of this Group is tentative)

    W Group - Space
    This Group implements operational control of space-based sensors. It documents, maintains, and implements operational requirements, monitors capabilities, and coordinates activities for sensors. Provides resource management for collection, transmission an d processing of SIGINT derived from space-based sensors. The Group monitors and performs analysis on sensor operations, system capabilities, and performance. It manages technical service support (TSS) contracts to ensure operational support for ground sta tions. Interfaces with NRO on system acquisition. The Group coordinates and monitors system testing for space-based sensors, and interfaces with the Air Force Satellite Control Facility (SCF) for operational tasking. It also coordinates and provides input on future sensor requirements.

    X Group - Special Access Systems (???) (The function and designation of this Group is undetermined)

    Y Group - ??? (The function and designation of this Group is undetermined)

    Z Group (No Group with this designation has been identified)


    While the CIA budget is regularly the subject of public reports which are generally rather consistent, the NSA budget is less frequently subject to press speculation, and published reports vary widely, with some estimates running as high as $10 billion. A principal source of confusion is the distinction between NSA proper and the associated military elements of the Central Security Service. These service elements have historically been quite expensive, encompassing many thousands of personnel at overseas ground stations. In fact, the NSA turns out to be not much larger than that of CIA, and surprisingly, much more readily discernable from official public sources.

    The annual R-1 and P-1 military budget documents provide total figures for RDT&E and procurement for all Defense Agencies, as well as funding for each individual agency, except for NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Simple arithmetic reveals t he total for these two agencies, and since NSA is much larger than DIA, the bulk of this remainder must be NSA. Contracts with NSA are routinely announced by the Defense Department, which shyly refers to NSA as the "Maryland Procurement Office."

    Unfortunately, there was until recently no "O-1" for the operations and maintenance account, but each year testimony is given to Congress which displays the operations and maintenance budget for Defense Agencies. As with the R-1 and P-1, this display prov ides a total figure for all Defense Agencies, as well as funding for each individual agency, with a few exceptions. One of the amusing examples of the foolish inconsistency with which the "secret" budget is publicly discussed is the presentation of the op erations & maintenance budget, which coyly provides an aggregate figure for intelligence and communications (about $2.8 billion). This includes NSA and DIA, as well as the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), which is included in the aggregate to av oid revealing the intelligence portion of this account (a reticence which does not extend to the RDT&E and procurement accounts). However, DISA has no reticence in revealing its annual operations and maintenance budget (nearly $400 million) in its annual report. Again simple arithmetic reveals the total for DIA and NSA, and the bulk of this remainder (about $2 billion) must be NSA.

    The operations & maintenance account consists of spending for contractor services, and civilian employees (uniformed service members are funded through the military personnel account). NSA reportedly has about 20,000 employees in Maryland, with a $831.7 m illion payroll in 1990.[Shelsby, Ted, "NSA Employment Cuts will Hurt Maryland Economy, But Exactly How Much?" Baltimore Sun, 6 December 1991, page 9-C.] Based on the precedent of other Defense Agencies, most (over 90%) of these are civilians. The r eported 20,000 civilian employees is consistent this $2 billion, as seen by dividing the typical cost of a civilian government employee (about $100,000, which is about equally divided between direct pay and purchases of supplies and contract services). Th ese estimates are also consistent with the approximately 5 million square feet of NSA office space at Ft. Meade, somewhat less than the Pentagon, which houses somewhat more than 20,000 personnel. Other published estimates that NSA has between 38,000 and 5 2,000 employees clearly also include the personnel of the Central Security Service military components, as well as contractor personnel.["Spy Agency Staff Lacks Diversity, Director Says," The Washington Times, 1 November 1993, page A6.] As many as 12,000 of these personnel are housed at the Friendship Annex at Airport Squares near the Baltimore Washington International airport. ["Supersecret Security Agency of Inestimable Aid to County," The Washington Times, 2 January 1993, page A9.]

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