Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1977


Intelligence and Communications

Without adequate knowledge of the enemy's potential and estimates of the courses of action open to him, military and political leaders operate in strategic darkness. At the tactical level, field commanders are in a similar position if uninformed on the strength, disposition, and overall condition of the opposing forces. Yet good intelligence is of little value unless it is fresh. No modern army can operate successfully without reliable information and the means of getting that information to the proper echelon quickly. Accordingly, the Army devoted considerable effort to improving intelligence and communications during the fiscal year.


Following the trend toward centralization established during the 1960's under Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, primary responsibility for developing strategic intelligence and communications policy and overseeing activities in those areas remained with the Department of Defense. Despite some criticism of increasing civilian authority over those functions, the Secretary of Defense created a Director of Policy Review in June 1977 who was, in essence, the director of Defense intelligence activities and exercised staff supervision over strategic intelligence and communications agencies.

In the process of centralization, Defense-wide organizations have gradually taken over both functions and personnel from the services, and Army intelligence missions and staff have diminished. As a result, the Army gave increasing attention to tactical intelligence. In May 1976 a tactical intelligence committee was set up under the Vice Chief of Staff. Cochaired by the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence and a general officer from the Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, the committee was to review, coordinate, improve, and facilitate procedures on tactical intelligence. Although the committee was short-lived because most substantive issues and problems were effectively handled by normal staff procedure, its functions were assumed by a newly renamed Army Electronic Warfare and Intelligence Board in early September.

More important were actions taken as a result of the broad examination of Army intelligence activities in 1974 by a study group under Maj. Gen. James J. Ursano, Director of Management in the Chief of Staff's office. In its Intelligence Organization and Stationing Study, the group made several recommendations, some of which were approved in fiscal year 1976, to be put into effect over the next six years. One of the


most notable recommendations was to place tactical intelligence units under Army commanders. In September 1976, the Chief of Staff directed that Military Intelligence, Army Security Agency, and Special Security Office functions be integrated in tactical organizations and assigned to field commands. As a first step, Army Security Agency battalions and companies in Europe and Korea were reassigned on 3 January 1977 to the commands they supported. Those units, together with tactical military intelligence organizations in the United States and overseas, will be the nucleus of fully integrated Electronic Warfare/Intelligence battalions and groups once doctrine has been tested and tables of organization have been developed. Activation of the integrated units should begin in 1979 and continue until 1982.

The main rationale for the consolidation of these units was to speed up the response to the field commander's request for intelligence and to improve management of intelligence resources. At the same time, the Army expected that concentrating resources would eventually reduce the demands for administrative and logistic support of intelligence activities.

For intelligence above corps level the Army established the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) on 1 January 1977, consolidating the Army Security Agency, Army Intelligence Agency, selected field operating agencies of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Forces Command Intelligence Group, and elements of the Special Security Office. INSCOM took over the missions and resources of these components as well as those of the nontactical organizations of U.S. Army, Europe, and Eighth U.S. Army (Korea).

Many of the transfers approved in fiscal year 1976 took place during the following twelve months. On 1 October 1976, the Army Security Agency Training Center and School at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and the Army Security Agency Combat Developments Activity at Arlington Hall Station, Virginia, were transferred to the Training and Doctrine Command. That command continued to study the possibility of eventually consolidating the Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and the former Army Security Agency Training Center and School.

Operational control of the Army Security Agency's Materiel Support Command at Vint Hill Farms Station, Virginia, passed to the Materiel Development and Readiness Command in December 1976, and its personnel management function was transferred to the Army Military Personnel Center on 1 January 1977. Two months later, the Secretary of the Army announced formation of the Army Electronics Research and Development Command, which would take over intelligence research, development, and acquisition functions at the beginning of the next fiscal year. Similarly, in the field of telecommunications, responsibilities of the Army Security Agency and the Army Special Security Group for man-


aging and operating nontactical communications were to be turned over to the Army Communications Command in October 1977.

The Army also reassigned several units from field commands to INSCOM. Parts of the 66th Military Intelligence Group were transferred from U.S. Army, Europe, in February 1977, and the 470th Military Intelligence Group in Panama and the 502d Military Intelligence Battalion in Korea were transferred in April. The 502d was merged with other nontactical intelligence units in Korea to form the 501st Military Intelligence Group (Provisional).

Meanwhile, an INSCOM plan for carrying out the remainder of the accepted recommendations of the Ursano study group was approved. On 22 August 1977, Headquarters, Department of the Army approved an INSCOM request to delay full implementation of the plan beyond October 1977. Upon announcement of an INSCOM stationing decision, the completion date for the plan will be designated.

In fiscal year 1976 Congress asked for a combined budget request for intelligence support to tactical commanders, and the Army assigned responsibility to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (DCSOPS). In turn, the Director of Requirements, ODCSOPS, became the functional manager for intelligence related activities, as such tactical support was designated. During fiscal year 1977 the major efforts in that field were the testing of an integrated intelligence and electronic warfare battalion and of new equipment in large-scale exercises, such as REFORGER. Approximately $500 million was invested in improving tactical intelligence readiness and capabilities, reflecting real growth and mounting interest of the Army in that important area.

Although the Army's role in strategic intelligence had been sharply restricted during the last decade, field commanders were encouraged to make full use of intelligence from other government agencies. Plans were also under way to exploit the results of the Army's limited efforts in strategic reconnaissance.

In accordance with the decision of October 1976 to centralize personnel security checks under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, rather than under the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, with the Military Personnel Center as the action agency, a Central Personnel Security Clearance Facility was to begin limited operations early in fiscal year 1978. Concentrating military and civilian clearances at one location should ensure that the same rules are used in adjudicating cases. Full operation of the new facility should begin in mid-1978.

In February 1976, Executive Order 11905 restricted American foreign intelligence activities, especially physical and electronic surveillance and the collection of information on U.S. nationals. Within the Army, The Inspector General and the Army General Counsel shared responsibility for formulating procedures to prevent intelligence practices that might


be construed as either illegal or improper. Although the Army issued interim guidance, final staffing of a formal regulation was deferred until the White House completed a revision of the executive order.

Overall, the trend of previous years was sustained. The accent on increased centralization of Army intelligence activities above and below corps level and the emphasis upon improving tactical intelligence were the dominant themes of the period.


Strategic communications in recent years have followed in many ways the course of strategic intelligence. Many functions formerly handled by the services passed to Defense-wide agencies. Because of the link between the two, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Intelligence, and the Director, Telecommunications and Command Control Systems, were combined during the period. The newly titled Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence became responsible for both areas.

In spite of the trend toward centralizing strategic communications, many problems remained. Integrating diverse systems, improving interoperability, eliminating duplication, and, at the same time, meeting diverse requirements of the services required a long-term effort. The growing responsibility of Defense agencies did not mean, moreover, that the services no longer had a role to play in strategic communications, since they frequently acted as executive agents in developing and testing new concepts and systems.

The Army sought to keep pace with the general movement toward centralization by setting up the Army Command and Control Council under the Under Secretary of the Army in May 1977. The council ensures that the field armies are provided with efficient and complementary command and control systems and furnishes central direction to the Army in developing and fielding multi-service and multination command and control systems.

The trend toward centralization in communications led to greater attention to the tactical level. To help develop tactical communications for the period up to 1991, the Army pushed ahead with the approved recommendations of the Integrated Tactical Communications Study (INTACS), which were expected to change the entire tactical communications structure of the Army. The objective was to devise an all digital system that would be reliable on the battlefield, compatible with those of other services and U.S. allies, and reasonable in costs over its life cycle. Representatives from the Army Staff and most major commands were designated members of an INTACS Steering Committee to help carry out the study's recommendations over the span of many years.


As part of the future system, a new family of tactical radios will be developed to be used by all services and to replace the diverse assortment of manpack, vehicular, and airborne sets that entered the Army inventory during the 1960's. The older radios are bulky, easy to jam, need considerable spectrum space, and use components that are expensive and increasingly hard to procure. The new radios will be lighter, capable of both voice and data transmission, and have antijamming features. By using the greatest possible number of common components, the Army will be able to cut down on logistic support. The Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Subsystem (SINCGARS-V) program was approved in October 1976, and the Army became the executive agent for development and acquisition. That program will provide the services with the next generation of combat net radios. Contracts will be let in the second quarter of fiscal year 1978 for the design and fabrication of prototypes of two radio sets, one with a slow frequency change and the other with a fast frequency change capability-characteristics that would make enemy interception or jamming extremely difficult.

The AN/UGC-74 teletypewriter, with microprocessor, continued in production. The equipment will eventually become part of the modular record traffic terminal family, which the Army is responsible for under the joint Tactical Communications (TRI-TAC) Program. The Army also delivered the AN/TSQ-84 technical control to support the analog circuit switches sent to Europe in the summer of 1976.

The TRI-TAC program, in which the Army has participated since its inception in 1971, was designed to develop equipment for the 1980's. Besides the modular record traffic terminal, the Army is responsible for five other major items-the AN/TTC-39 automatic switch, a family of digital group multiplexers, a super-high frequency satellite vehicle that would permit a channel to be time-shared, mobile subscribed equipment, and items to promote the compatibility of radio nets. The Army encountered the greatest difficulty with the AN/TTC-39 switch. The contractor was behind schedule and about to exceed cost limitations. After a review of alternatives, the Secretary of Defense decided in January to extend the delivery schedule to stay within the budget for the project. Work on the other TRI-TAC systems was more promising. Full-scale engineering development of the digital group multiplexers was on schedule, and development testing by the contractor began at the close of the year. The Army asked that the mobile subscriber equipment projects be designated a major program with a task force to oversee developments until the appointment of a program manager.

In military satellite communications, the Army continues to be responsible for all ground systems, including development, engineering, procurement, and installation, as well as post-installation logistical support and training personnel of all services using the equipment. The Army


also operated and maintained terminals assigned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During the fiscal year the Army installed a number of new terminals and moved others. Terminals in Hawaii, Kwajalein Island, and the Philippines were shifted to Panama, Taiwan, and Maryland, respectively. Plans were under way to transfer additional terminals from Hawaii, Guam, Alaska, and Berlin to Iceland, Berlin, Spain, and Augsburg, Germany, respectively, to use their capacities more fully. In May 1977 the Army also began to ship digital communications subsystems to the field; all fifty-eight of these subsystems were scheduled to be in place by 1980.

For tactical satellites, the Army signed a small production contract for its first multichannel super-high frequency (SHF) transportable terminals. In the meantime, the engineering models of the terminals have been employed in field exercises and for special use. In June 1977 the Army successfully tested an ultrahigh frequency (UHF) manpack terminal, a 25-pound set that established a link between the United States and a satellite over Africa. That lightweight terminal will be used primarily by Special Forces and Ranger units. The AN/TSC-86 SHF multichannel transportable terminal was accepted in April 1977, and a production contract for six terminals was signed in September. The AN/MSC-61 mobile terminal was also approved for procurement in September and a multiyear production contract for twenty-one terminals was to be awarded in fiscal year 1978.

As battlefield communications became more complex, speed, reliability, and efficiency improved in many cases, but mobility frequently suffered because of weight, size, and number of components. Sitting of medium or so-called mobile systems was, therefore, a matter of consequence. But in the past it had to be done manually, which often prevented Signal groups from making the best electromagnetic calculations. The Army Tactical Frequency Engineering System, a concept for employing minicomputers to work out the best choices for frequency selection, sitting, antenna heights, and circuit routing, was adopted and scheduled for field trials during the next fiscal year.

The swift exchange of battlefield information has always posed a problem. To help plan future systems, the Army Signal School set up procedures for using computers to store data on communications requirements. Agencies proposing new systems would supply information on the purpose of the communications, the number of parties to be serviced, the classification level of the exchanges, and the priority of the proposal.

Conceived in 1973 as a method for developing an integrated, compatible network of computers, telephones, teletype, video, facsimile equipment, and terminals connected by a broad band distribution system using coaxial cables, the Army Base Information Transfer System (ARBITS) moved to a scaled-down testing phase as directed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In December the Army received Defense approval


for planning small-scale tests and then in May forwarded a subsystem plan identifying requirements, goals, milestones, and projected costs. With the acceptance of that plan in August by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Communications, Command, Control, and Intelligence, the Army became the executive agent for ARBITS and was authorized to set up two test facilities, one at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and the other at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The small-scale tests, the first of which is expected to take place at the Walter Reed Center early in 1978, should indicate whether the concept will be cost-effective if applied to other facilities. The tests at Walter Reed will include demonstrations of the patient registration and food and logistics information systems. Program activity at Aberdeen, scheduled to begin in fiscal year 1979, will include testing a prototype data system and implementation of the ballistic research laboratory data system.

Improvements in air traffic control facilities at home and abroad were made during the year. Five new towers were approved for construction, and an instrument landing system for Fort Lewis, Washington, was under consideration. Plans were also under way to replace worn or obsolete air traffic control equipment.

Although substantial progress has been made in the security of teletypewriter traffic, problems in safeguarding voice transmission defied easy solution. Despite emphasis on security in training, the large number of telephone subscribers around the world made it difficult to enforce security procedures. Budget constraints, meanwhile, slowed the procurement of more secure equipment. The situation at the tactical level was little better, since consistent voice communications discipline demanded a blend of security awareness and caution seldom found in most Americans.

Having planned to upgrade its nontactical secure voice system, Automatic Secure Voice Communications I (AUTOSEVOCOM I), by procuring more advanced equipment, refining voice quality and recognition factors, increasing the number of subscribers, and making the system more compatible with those used by tactical forces, the Army received a major setback. Although the concept, called AUTOSEVOCOM II, was approved by Defense officials, Congress deleted the funds for fiscal year 1978 for research and development and for procurement of modern equipment. Instead, the legislators recommended that the Department of Defense follow the lead of the National Security Agency in developing an analog rather than a digital system. As a result, the Army, as executive agent, and the program manager of the Defense Communications Agency worked out alternative proposals and forwarded them at the end of the fiscal year for congressional consideration.

As part of Department of Defense plans to overhaul the European military telephone system by replacing obsolete equipment and combin-


ing networks, the Army met with representatives of twenty-three American and foreign firms and agreed on the procurement specifications. As an exception to normal practices, Defense officials in February 1977 decided on open competition between U.S. and foreign companies in providing equipment and services. After the Federal Republic of Germany indicated that it wanted to upgrade its own telephone system, the Army explored the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing or leasing part of the improved German system. In July, however, congressional appropriations committees eliminated the funds earmarked in 1978 for the telephone project, stating that the European telephone system, though not the most modern, was adequate. If the system had to be overhauled, the committees suggested that Defense should consider leasing rather than purchasing. As the report period ended, the Army, accordingly, was investigating the possibility of arranging a leasing agreement with the Germans.

In the Middle East, efforts to improve communications in Iran had been delayed for several years because of diplomatic problems. Finally, in September 1976, the Army was authorized to put in new switchboards and telephone exchange equipment in the Teheran area. The Army Communications Command then began to install intra-city microwave transmission media and technical controls, a task expected to be completed in fiscal year 1978.

The Army Communications Command also provided message communications support for Defense, State, and some Iranian government agencies in the greater Teheran sector. Until recently, messages received at the Iran Telecommunications Center had to be picked up by messengers. Because of the seventeen miles and poor road between the city and Mehrabad Airport, a secure teletypewriter circuit was installed. Meanwhile, a reduction of the staff at the center caused a deterioration in service between the two points. To alleviate the problem, the Army and Air Force agreed in June to switch over traffic from an Automatic Digital Network terminal at the center to the Military Airlift Command terminal at the airport.

Following American policy to help friendly nations modernize their communications, the Army prepared a plan for Saudi Arabia that would meet the requirements of U.S. agencies and the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces. As described in last year's report, the $469 million project, to be funded by the Saudis, would employ Automatic Digital Network, Automatic Voice Network, and satellite links between the two countries. Americans would train the Saudis to administer and maintain the system.

In September 1976, the Army completed a feasibility study for installing an Automatic Digital Network terminal at Amman, Jordan, to provide the Jordanian armed forces with better communications. The Jordanians would pay for the project, but the Army would operate the


terminal facilities. The survey, however, was rejected by Defense officials as requiring excessive manpower and time. A second survey was conducted, and the results were approved and forwarded to the Jordanian armed forces in May 1977 for consideration.

The Army also prepared a plan to improve the military communications of the Central Treaty Organization and recommended it to a conference of the member nations in June 1977. The plan, if approved, will modernize the links between the headquarters of the signatories.

After the advent of a new military regime in Ethiopia, relations between that country and the United States gradually deteriorated. In April 1977, the U.S. military presence in Ethiopia ended when all personnel at Kagnew Station were evacuated; most communications equipment was returned to the Satellite Communications Agency at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, for storage. The departure of the American contingent severed close military ties that had bound the two nations since World War II.

The International Telecommunications Union will convene a general services type of World Administrative Radio Conference in 1979, at which any or all parts of the international radio regulations could be changed. Since conferences of this type are held only every twenty years, agreements made at the 1979 conference may affect use of the electromagnetic spectrum to the year 2000. During the past year the Army continued to prepare for this important meeting by collecting, presenting, and defending at the national level, the Army's present and future requirements for use of the spectrum. The Army also participated in extensive coordination work at multinational military organizations, such as NATO, to develop collective military requirements for presentation in order to influence the positions of the individual nations within the alliance.

Earlier, in 1975, the Army had established the Army Spectrum Management Steering Committee, because so many telecommunications functions had passed to major commands. Thus far, the committee has had little success in tracing the expenditure of funds spent on spectrum management, particularly funds associated with research and development and not identified in documents submitted by individual program managers.

The end results of spectrum management at the division level are multichannel systems and circuit diagrams and communication-electronics operating instructions (CEOI). Multichannel systems and circuits are engineered manually. The division CEOI, which deals mainly with single-channel communications, is automated, produced centrally at Fort Meade, Maryland, and shipped to units worldwide. Centralized production permits the use of a highly sophisticated computer, but also means a long delay between the time a division commander requests modifications


and the time he receives a changed CEOI in the field. The Army began work to apply current minicomputer technology to both systems engineering and CEOI production. These requirements are recognized in the Battlefield Automation Management Plan and will eventually be available to the commander in the field within the hardware of the TRI-TAC generation of communications equipment. The aim of the current effort is to furnish an interim, off-the-shelf capability as soon as possible.

Looking back, the main battle has been to stay abreast of the ever-changing communications situation and, concurrently, to remain within budget limitations. With technological research and development in the private sector so highly competitive, new breakthroughs and refinements followed so rapidly that anticipating the requirements for the next decade became almost impossible. By the time a new generation of equipment reached the field, its successor was already on its heels. The challenge of communications was matched, therefore, by the frustration of having to run constantly just to remain in place. The Army, nevertheless, managed to provide its personnel with superior communications equipment on the whole and continued its effort to develop and procure the best available at the lowest possible cost.



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Last updated 27 August 2004