Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1976
Intelligence and Communications
In a sense, intelligence activities are the eyes and ears of the Army, just as communications are its voice. Together they enable the Army staffs to gather, evaluate, and disseminate the information that the policy makers require to draw up strategic plans and the field commanders need to carry them out. In addition, good communications permit Army leaders at all echelons to exercise command and control over their forces and to receive the timely support necessary to perform their missions.
As in past years, the intelligence community continued to undergo changes in its organization as part of the never-ending effort to improve efficiency and lower costs, both in funds and manpower. While the elimination of waste and duplication are fixed goals in every attempt to reorganize elements of the Army, the prime objective of the current year was the improvement of intelligence support provided to tactical commanders.
Many of the actions taken during the fifteen months covered in this report emerged from a study begun in late 1974. Under the chairmanship of Maj. Gen. James J. Ursano, director of Management in the Chief of Staff’s Office, the study group completed a thorough investigation of intelligence activities and presented its findings to General Weyand the following August. Since a number of the recommendations contained in this Intelligence Organization and Stationing Study had far-reaching implications, the Chief of Staff chose to consider them individually over the next eight months.
One of the first to be approved in September was the assignment of Military Intelligence, Army Security Agency, and Special Security Office tactical organizations to integrated units controlled by field commanders. The concept called for the creation of Combat Electronic Warfare Intelligence (CEWI) battalions at the division level and CEWI groups at the corps level. The new consolidated units were expected to be more responsive to the field commanders, easier to command and control, and able to provide concentrated collection, production, and dissemination of intelligence by having access to other defense and civilian intelligence sources. While strengthening intelligence support of electronic warfare operations, these units should also contribute to unit readiness
and reduce the work of other organizations called upon to furnish them with administrative and logistic support.
To prepare for the transition, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command developed organizational and operational concepts, as well as test tables of organization and equipment, while the Army Security Agency made plans to incorporate Special Security Office resources into its own tactical units. These units would then be transferred in place to the U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army, Europe, and Eighth U.S. Army and eventually assigned to tactical commands. In the meantime, the Army completed plans for testing the concepts developed before the new tactical organizations were activated.
Since many men and women assigned to intelligence work did not operate at the tactical level, General Weyand decided in April that they should be integrated into a new major command to be known as the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, which would be established on 1 January 1977. He directed that the commands and units providing strategic or general intelligence support to the Army, such as the Army Security Agency, the Army Intelligence Agency, the nontactical units of U.S. Army, Europe, U.S. Army Forces Command, Eighth U.S. Army, and five field operating agencies of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, be included in the new command.
Acting on other recommendations set forth by the Ursano study group, the Chief of Staff agreed in late October to transfer the Army Security Agency Combat Developments Activity at Arlington Hall Station, Virginia, and the Army Security Agency Training Center and School at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, to the Training and Doctrine Command. The transfers took place about a year later on 1 October 1976. Eventually, the Fort Devens activity is expected to be merged with the Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona; the future site of the consolidated activity has not yet been selected.
In other functional transfers, General Weyand approved the movement of the Army Security Agency’s Material Support Command to the U.S. Army Development and Readiness Command in February 1977. All of the Army Security Agency’s nontactical communications operations, maintenance, and management were to be handed over to the Army Communications Command on 1 October 1977.
Congressional preference that justification of all budget requests associated with intelligence support to tactical commanders be presented in one package led to the transfer of another function from the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (DCSOPS). The Intelligence Related Activities, as they were called, included responses to operational commands for swift and sensitive information on foreign entities, the answering of re-
quests from other members of the national intelligence community, the training of intelligence personnel, the provision of reserve intelligence forces, and research for and development of intelligence and related capabilities. Although ACSI prepared the 1976 submission book for Congress, the planned relationship of intelligence resources to operating forces caused the Chief of Staff to shift the responsibility to DCSOPS for future years.
In an internal reorganization, the Office of Cryptology merged with the Tactical Strategic Division, Directorate of Intelligence, to form a new Directorate of Tactical Strategic Intelligence. The consolidation brings the management of intelligence systems concepts, doctrine, organization, readiness, and training together with the management of photo and signal intelligence, the linking of national and tactical intelligence, and signal security. Responsibility for intelligence and security matters involving people rather than equipment remained with the Directorate of Intelligence Operations.
In addition to the organizational changes initiated to improve intelligence support to the tactical forces, the Army continued to push ahead on the program to provide intelligence analysts at all levels with easier access to their own and other intelligence data bases. Under Project ASSIST (Army System for Standard Intelligence Support Terminals), which began in 1973, the Army has sought to modernize and standardize automatic data processing hardware and software. The Army will not only standardize equipment and eliminate incompatible or obsolete items, but will also improve its early warning system and permit broader use of available intelligence data at all command levels. As an important step toward the achievement of this goal, the AN/GYQ-21 (V) minicomputer has been accepted as the standard link to the intelligence data bank. Several of the minicomputers are already in operation in Army or Army-supported activities in the United States and Europe. The first phase of the ASSIST system underwent successful tests in January 1976, and these led to the installation of software components at facilities under the control of the Training and Doctrine Command’s Combined Arms and Test Activity, U.S. Army, Europe, U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Forces Command’s Intelligence Group, and the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence in Washington. As more of the minicomputers become available in the coming year, they will be placed in the Foreign Science Technology Center, the Missile Intelligence Center, and the Army Operations Center in the Pentagon.
In line with the trend of recent years of lessening the role of Army intelligence agencies in matters dealing with American citizens who are not involved in the security of the Army, the Department of Defense instructed the Army in August 1976 to pursue the objective of centralizing the Army’s personnel security adjudication program outside the U.S.
Army Intelligence Agency. Accordingly, the Army decided in October 1976 to establish a Central Personnel Security Clearance Facility under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel; the Military Personnel Center will be the action agency. The result of the transfer will be to concentrate for the first time all military and civilian personnel security clearance operations at one location and to insure that uniform criteria for granting or denying security clearances will be applied to all individuals.
The Army also acted to carry out the instructions contained in Executive Order 11905, published in February 1976, which covered foreign intelligence activities. While a new regulation to implement Executive Order 11905 restrictions and oversight procedures within the Army was being prepared, interim guidance on the restrictions on electronic monitoring, physical surveillance, and collection of information on U.S. citizens went out to the field in June 1976. The Army, in addition, established channels for quickly reporting instances of activities that might be questioned as being either illegal or improper.
Thus, the main thrust of developments in the intelligence field has been continued decentralization, increased support to tactical units, improvements in the dissemination of intelligence data, and further restrictions upon intelligence activities affecting U.S. citizens. This pattern is likely to be sustained in the years ahead.
Basic to an adequate intelligence organization is the presence of a first-class communications network. With the proliferation and sophistication of communications equipment and systems after World War II, the field entered a state of constant flux. Improvements and major breakthroughs in technology, added to the increasing automation of equipment, have followed one another with such rapidity that new items are often obsolete when they enter the Army inventory, and there is no indication that this trend is slackening. The evolution—or revolution—went on during the past year, as the Army attempted to stay in the vanguard of the relentless communications advance.
The range of activities reached from the satellites in the sky to the infantrymen in the field, but the objectives were essentially the same—to bolster the combat readiness of the Army and to develop secure and efficient channels of communications to foster better command, control, and support of its operations.
On the ground, the Army Tactical Communications Systems (ATACS) provide the field army with multichannel communications. The systems cover voice and data transmission circuits, along with all ancillary equipment. Since 1970 the Army has developed a series of plans that attempted, given the fast-moving nature of the state of the art,
to establish reasonable relationships between the equipment currently in use and that required for the future.
For the 1976-91 period, the Army conducted an Integrated Tactical Communications Systems (INTACS) study that was approved by the Chief of Staff in February 1976. The plan serves as a framework for the transition and provides a flexible and cost effective method for developing the required organization, doctrine, and equipment to support the systems that will emerge.
What lies ahead, in essence, is a continued shift to an all-digital system. Some initial steps to carry out the master plan are already under way. In August 1976, the Army awarded contracts for developing the AN/UGC-74 teletypewriter, which includes a microprocessor; this equipment will become part of the modular record traffic terminal now scheduled for development under the Joint Tactical Communications (TRI-TAC) Program. The Army also delivered fifteen analog automatic circuit switches, the AN/TTC-38, to Europe and prepared in the late summer of 1976 to send along the AN/TSQ-84 technical control to support the switch.
As an active participant in the TRI-TAC Program, the Army has responsibility for developing five major items to replace present equipment—the AN/TTC-39 automatic switch, a family of digital group multiplexors, a superhigh frequency satellite vehicle that would allow a satellite channel to be used on a time-shared basis, mobile subscribed equipment, and equipment to promote the compatibility of radio nets. Problems arose with the AN/TTC-39 switch because the contractor fell behind schedule and the estimated cost to complete its development increased appreciably. It appears that this switch will not be delivered to the field before the summer of 1982.
In the tactical satellite field, the Department of Defense authorized the Army in early 1974 to develop and procure new equipment. The base-line program, as it is called, consisted of 99 superhigh frequency (SHF) multichannel terminals, 307 ultrahigh frequency (UHF) single channel terminals, and 4 satellite communication control terminals. When the Integrated Tactical Communications Systems study took up the matter in 1975-76, the base-line objectives for the future underwent some changes. Although the types of terminals remained the same, the number of SHF terminals rose to 252 and the UHF total climbed to 1,242.
After developmental and operational testing of the SHF multichannel terminals at Fort Lewis, Washington, in 1975, the Army signed a contract with the Radio Corporation of America in June 1976 for a low-rate production of nineteen terminals. Earlier in January, it had procured and delivered twenty-one UHF single channel terminals to
Europe where they provided interim command and control capabilities and helped in the testing and developing of future equipment design and system concepts.
In a related action, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) approved in September 1976 the Army’s future SHF and UHF satellite channel requirements. These will be taken into consideration as additional military satellite communications systems are designed and put into operation.
To provide the Joint Task Force commander with adequate general purpose communications support that can be used by all services within his theater, the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a Joint Multichannel Trunking and Switching System. The Army had received $15.8 million to begin programming for the procurement of equipment for one phase of the program beginning in fiscal year 1978. As requirements from the four services came in, a model for the communications resources for this phase evolved. This model, in turn, permitted the development of a proposed force structure. Although the determination of requirements is still in process, eventually a signal battalion under JCS control should be activated, probably in fiscal year 1980, to operate and service this system. Other phases of the program await the submission of requirements from the joint commanders in the field.
To improve tactical communications among units, the Army plans to replace the FM vehicular manpack and aircraft radios with a new family of VHF-FM radios. The latter will be lighter, more reliable, and have a sophisticated antijamming capability. The Secretary of Defense approved the Army’s program for developing the new radios in March 1976, and a project manager was appointed in May. Requests for bids from industry should go out early in the coming year, with the radios scheduled to enter the Army inventory in the mid-1980’s.
The U.S. Army Communications Command has had the responsibility for nontactical air traffic control since 1974. It has embarked upon a comprehensive program of replacing over-age towers, installing instrument landing systems, and modernizing present equipment. During the next five years, nineteen towers will be replaced; two are scheduled for the coming year and three more in fiscal year 1978.
On the domestic front, the Army Base Information Transfer System (ARBITS), which began in 1973, sought to develop and procure integrated broadband, multimode communications and electronics systems that would handle the comprehensive information processing and transfer requirements of Army installations. The MITRE Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, conducted a feasibility study, then followed it up with a system definition study and a subsystem project plan. The company concluded that significant savings could be made under the ARBITS
system. Another study, conducted by the Army Comptroller in 1975-76, compared the estimated costs, benefits, and risks involved in establishing such a system with the actual costs and performances of the base communications at Fort Bliss and two other installations. Completed in June, the Comptroller study concluded that the break-even point would occur in 4.3 years if the system were put into operation at fifty installations. After this point was reached, the potential net savings annually at each installation would be about $10 million. Although the Department of Defense had indicated in December that it would use this study to determine whether to establish a triservice program, with either the Army or the Air Force being given primary responsibility, no decision ensued.
In September 1976, however, the U.S. Army Tri-Service Medical Information Systems Agency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington recommended to The Surgeon General that a coaxial cable communications network be designed and tested for the new center under construction. This test would cost far less than a full-scale test at an installation such as Fort Bliss. The prospects for approval of this proposal appear good.
To provide assistance to major commands and data processing installations with problems in telecommunications support for automatic data processing systems, the Computer Systems Support and Evaluation Agency in Washington established a Telecommunications Support Center. The center provides assistance to Army organizations in planning, developing, and drawing up specifications for such communications equipment, as well as expert advice on the solution of problems which arise in this technical area.
One problem that has been constant in military communications from ancient times to the present is the matter of security. In its biennial report in 1976 to the U.S. Communications Security Board, the Army indicated particular concern about communications security at the unit level, where the greatest general defect continued to be the failure to use proper authentication procedures during radio telephone conversations. This situation stemmed from poor radio net control procedures and from not using available security aids fully. The Army reported significant improvements as a result of updating regulations and training materials used to indoctrinate troops during training and the assessment of penalties for violations—a technique that appeared to be effective in strengthening communications discipline. Reserve and National Guard units were not overlooked: sixty-three units underwent surveys that uncovered inadequacies in training and in the use of communications security equipment.
Additionally, the goal of providing tactical secure voice equipment for all radio nets to minimize communications security violations has
not been achieved. To meet the national objective of total voice encryption, and thus better communications security, efforts are continuing to secure the needed equipment and to develop the automated Communications Electronics Coordinating Instruction (CECI).
Deficiencies also cropped up in another related area. For some time, the nontactical Automatic Secure Voice Communications network (AUTOSEVOCOM) has enabled users to discuss classified or sensitive information over the telephone. Difficulties with speech intelligibility, voice recognition, the holding of telephone conferences, speedy service, and simple calling procedures led Defense officials to approve the development of an improved system—AUTOSEVOCOM II—and to designate the Army as the agency with primary responsibility. AUTOSEVOCOM II will incorporate technological advances and furnish higher quality communications for the several thousand subscribers who are expected to use it when it is put into operation during 1980-85. The U.S. Army Communications Command will act as program manager for AUTOSEVOCOM II, and its U.S. Army Communications Systems Agency will serve as project manager.
The same two organizations will have similar responsibilities for improving telephone systems in Europe. Since the three general-purpose telephone networks presently in use have obsolete equipment, the Defense Communications Agency devised a plan to combine them and to install modern equipment. The new equipment may be leased or government-owned and operated; similarly, transmission facilities would be either government-owned or, if more economical, leased. When Defense officials approved the plan in mid-1976, the Defense Communications Agency became the program manager and the Army received primary responsibility for carrying out the gradual improvement of European telephone facilities during the years 1977-84.
The European system was not the only one that was in need of overhauling. Communications among the members of the Central Treaty Organization were also deficient. After the Army conducted a survey of this military communications system, it developed a plan for modernizing it during upcoming years.
In several instances, nations in the Middle East have requested American assistance in bolstering their communications. In January 1976, Defense officials instructed the Army to develop a communications plan for Saudi Arabia which would include a system design and an operational concept acceptable to both governments. The U.S. Army Communications Command took on responsibility for working up the plan. Included were Defense support for an Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN) capability, a connection to its Automatic Voice Network (AUTOVON), and data circuits linking terminal equipment used by
Defense organizations in Saudi Arabia to terminals in the United States. Saudi Arabians would be trained to manage and maintain the system, and their government would assume the costs under the Foreign Military Sales program. In August the Army Communications Command completed the plan, and it was quickly approved. With the satellite communications that would be necessary to complete the system, the cost of the program was expected to be about $469 million.
To support logistics transactions, the United States provided Automatic Digital Network service to Iran in return primarily for the use of an Iranian leased satellite circuit between the two nations and payment of $120,000 per year. When not engaged in logistics traffic, the circuit supports U.S. requirements.
In mid-1976, the Department of Defense directed the Army to determine the best method for providing the Jordanian armed forces with additional communications support. One means to be considered was the feasibility of installing an AUTODIN terminal at Amman that would be operated and maintained by the Army, but funded by Jordan. Planning for this support is in progress.
With all nations, from the newly emerging to the established powers, expanding their communications facilities, there is a possibility that the electromagnetic spectrum used to transmit radio signals will become so crowded that excessive interference will result. Although the International Telecommunications Union, which regulates the use of the spectrum, will not hold a major conference on this subject until 1979, a Low Frequency/Medium Frequency Conference in 1975 voted to realign the AM broadcast frequency bands in Europe and Asia. Almost all AM stations in these areas will have to change their frequencies by 23 November 1978. Since forty-four of the forty-eight Army-operated transmitters of the American Forces Radio and Television Service will be affected, the Army has developed plans and proposed funding for converting these stations to the new frequencies without interrupting service to the American troops stationed overseas.
The critical General World Administrative Radio Conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1979. One of the primary tasks will be to revise the international regulations that govern the use of the radio spectrum for the rest of the twentieth century. Since the Army depends heavily upon electromagnetic emitters for both long- and short-range communications, it will spend considerable time and effort in preparing for this meeting.
Because a number of the functions related to spectrum management have been delegated to major commands, the Army decided to set up a Spectrum Management Steering Committee, under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, in September 1975. The committee
provides guidance and coordinates spectrum management activities throughout the service. One of its first tasks was to develop a plan to compile known and projected requirements for Army equipment using the spectrum and to prepare an Army position on changes in the current regulations of the International Telecommunications Union. In addition to preparing for the 1979 conference, the committee sought firm information on the funds being spent on spectrum management and began to develop requirements for personnel with spectrum management skills.
Gauging telecommunications needs for the next quarter century has been especially challenging for the Army, since it involved not only keeping pace with technology and increased foreign demands for additional space on the spectrum but also analyzing the effects of introducing major systems into the environment. The growing number of electromagnetic emitters on the battlefield added considerably to the difficulty of devising systems that provide command and control and, at the same time, are electromagnetically compatible with the operational environment. Achieving compatibility with the equipment used by other services and allies was another facet of the same problem. And, as highly mobile satellite terminals come into use in the 1980’s, the Army will also have to solve the question of how to coordinate frequency assignments, since the finite nature of the spectrum indicates that there will have to be some sharing of the terminals by units on the ground.
In retrospect, the efforts in the field of communications have had two main objectives: to furnish Army troops around the world with the most reliable, secure, and efficient equipment available and to plan ahead for the development and procurement of even better equipment as fast as new technology permits. These goals will remain constant in an area where change is the norm.
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Last updated 7 September 2004