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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

U.S. Army Security Agency (ASA)


The United States Army Security Agency (ASA) was the United States Army's signals intelligence branch. The Latin motto of the Army Security Agency was Semper Vigilis (Vigilant Always), which echoes the declaration, often misattributed to Thomas Jefferson, that "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." The Agency existed between 1945 and 1976 and was the successor to Army signals intelligence operations dating back to World War I. ASA was under the operational control of the Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA), located at Fort Meade, Maryland; but had its own tactical commander at Headquarters, ASA, Arlington Hall Station, Virginia. Besides intelligence gathering, it had responsibility for the security of Army communications and for electronic countermeasures operations. In 1977, the ASA was merged with the US Army's Military Intelligence component to create the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM).
Composed of soldiers trained in military intelligence, the ASA was tasked with monitoring and interpreting military communications of the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and their allies and client states around the world. The ASA was directly subordinate to the National Security Agency and all major field stations had NSA technical representatives present.
All gathered information had time-sensitive value depending on its importance and classification. Information was passed through intelligence channels within hours of intercept for the lowest-priority items, but in as little as 10 minutes for the most highly critical information.

ASA personnel were stationed at locations around the globe, wherever the United States had a military presence – publicly acknowledged or otherwise. In some cases, such as Eritrea, it was the primary military presence. One former Field Station, outside of Harrogate, England, in what is now North Yorkshire, was a primary listening post that was subsequently turned over to the British and became an RAF station. It is called RAF Menwith Hill and has been the site of peace protests.

As always, the artworks feturing the insignia are available via my “Military Insignia” galleries from FineArt America and RedBubble. You can just follow the links in the article to get to the corresponding galleries.

To active duty or reserve military personnel, veterans and their family members: I grant an explicit permission to download the above images to be used for non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families, as well as for non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit website design, training materials and presentations.

The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, and the official websites of the corresponding units and formations.


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