Field Station Kagnew in Asmara, Eritrea, 1958
Field Station Kagnew in Asmara, Eritrea, 1958

Fort Huachuca, AZ. - Sixty-seven years ago this week, the Army established the Army Security
Agency (ASA). During World War II, control of communications intelligence
collection assets had been split between the Signal Security Agency and the
theater commanders. This arrangement had created significant problems, since
it was impossible to neatly separate the tactical aspects of communications
intelligence from the strategic ones. Consequently, on 15 September 1945,
the Signal Security Agency was separated from the Signal Corps and became
ASA, assuming command of all signals intelligence units, and personnel in
the Army. The agency's primary collection assets were a number of large
fixed field stations that stretched from the U.S. to Germany to Turkey and
Africa to the Pacific. Supplementing these resources, smaller mobile
formations operated from semi-fixed locations. Over the ensuing decade, ASA
became the largest Army intelligence organization. It exercised tight
control over its overseas elements through large regional headquarters in
Germany and the Pacific, but processing and direction were centralized at
its Arlington Hall headquarters, near Washington, DC.

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