NSA SIDtoday: Did You Know That NSA Has an Arctic Presence?
Aug. 15 2018 — 6:02p.m.
DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET II SI I TK II REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL R SID Today archives R Welcome! Saturday, 10 Nov 2012 R I R feedback R • • • • • • • • Web search AgencY--all Emails SID-all Emails NSA Rolodex SCQA WK: The SID Mailbag SIDtodaY-Blog SIDtodaY-Series SIGINT Worldwide VTC • SIDtodaY-Article • Letter to the Editor • SIGINT-Y-Social Media Pag~ (UI/FOUO) Did You Know that NSA Has an Arctic Presence? FROM Site Technical Director, Alaska Mission Operations Center (F7 A) Run Date: 11/2912011
(U//FOUO) The Arctic region has been very much in the news lately. From ice melt in the Arctic Ocean to increasing competition for hydrocarbons and mineral s, the Arctic is truly becoming an international hotspot. The United States is now giving a higher priority to Arctic issues . For the first time in the history of the Arctic Council , the US Secretary of State attended a bi-annual Summit session which was held in Nuuk , Greenland , in May of this year. Another sign of the growing importan ce of the Arctic is the new Unified Command Plan signed by the Pre sident on 6 April 2011. The new UCP assigned the respon sibility for the Arctic to US Northern Command; before this the Arctic had been divided among three command s . (U//FOUO) One of the main concerns in the Arctic from a military standpoint is Ru ssian plan s and intention s. The Russians have announced plan s for two Arctic brigade s, and they are planning to increase the number of icebreaker s in their fleet. The se plan s, along with an increasing Chine se pre sence and expre ssed intere st in the Arctic, po se a significant intelligen ce challenge to the United States, Canada , and the other Arctic countrie s. map of northern Alaska (U) Point Barrow is at the northernmost tip of Alaska (U//FOUO) NSA is keeping pace with these development s, as witne ssed by the SINIO pre sentation planned for 29 Nov entitled "The Arctic: The New Frontier. " Unbekno wnst to many people , NSA has an Arctic presence throu gh the Alaska Mission Operation s Center. In addition to the main AMOC facility on Joint Base Elmendorf Richard son (JBER) in Anchorage (which is sub-Arctic at 61N), the AMOC maintain s a re,note intercept facility at Point Barrow ,,Alaska. At 7 lN Barro w is the northernmo st point of the United States(!). (S//SI/REL ) The AMOC facility in Barro w is hosted by the US Air Force (USAF) Long Range Radar Site. The facility consists of an antenna array , a FRD-1 3 PUSHER(2), and a small SCIF which hou ses the
collection equipment for a CELTIC II short-duration command-and- control communi cations collection suite (3) . The output of this suite is forwarded to a po sition on the AMOC watch floor. Two USAF maintenan ce per sonnel from the AMOC are always TDY at Barro w for a month at a time. A~ ~ (UI/FOUO) Note: click on each photo for a larger view. FRD-13 P USHER array at Point Barrow. Center: ~ ersonnel at Barrow (l-r) (AMOC Depu ty Commander), SrAand SSgt -Right: The author and l e Bolenbaugh on the shore of the Arctic Ocean (S//SI/REL ) Using the collection site at Point Barro w, as well as other collection system s ranging from terre strial HF (local and remoted ) to remoted overhead VHF to remoted FORNSAT , the AMOC ,naintains a 24/7 watch over Russian rnilitary air activity in the Arctic. Report s range from real-time tip-off s to both the Alaska NORAD Region on JBER and the Canadian NORAD Region at Winnipe g, Manitoba , for the po sitionin g of AWACS, tanker s and fighters to intercept and identify Ru ssian bomber s; to produ ct report s of Russian re-supply flights to Ice Station Barneo , a Ru ssian ice station near the North Pole. (S//SI/REL ) The AMOC maintain s a close relation ship with the USAF 611th Intelli gence , Reconnai ssance and Surveillance Division on JBER , as well as with NORAD and US NORTHCOM in Colorado Sprin gs on Arctic Russian air activity. The AMOC has also begun to establi sh a closer relation with US Coa st Guard District 17 -- the USCG component respon sible for the Arctic -- headquartered in Juneau , Alaska. One benefit of this relation ship is that AMOC per sonnel have been invited to parti cipate in USCG Arctic Domain Awarene ss flights on USCG HC-1 30 aircraft operatin g from JBER or from USCG Air Station Kodiak. The se flights have allowed AMOC per sonnel to gain an under standin g of Arctic operatin g condition s which are unique to NSA analytic element s. !Aerial view of Pt Barro w (UI/FOUO) Above left: The author and Mr. t Point Barrow prior to an Arctic Domain Awareness flight . Center: The author on the flight deck of a USCG HC-130 aircraft during an Arctic Domain Awareness flight . Right: Barrow as seen from the air. (S//SI/REL ) The facility at Barro w is moving into the future of NSA operation s . A wideband GLAIVE system is being installed to replace the aging CELTIC II under Proje ct DRYTIDE (4) . The AMOC is also
planning to conduct a signal survey from Barrow in the near future. This survey will characterize the current VLF/HF signal environment in the Arctic. (U//FOUO) The AMOC has become a key player in Intelligence Community arctic meetings and discussions. Due to its unique location, the AMOC will be hosting the 4th Intelligence Community Arctic Working Group in March 2012, offering IC analysts a look at Arctic operating conditions and engagement with US military operators in the region. (U//FOU) Between the planned upgrades at Barrow and a robust engagement with Arctic partners, the AMOC is uniquely positioned to continue to be a vital part of NSA's efforts against the emerging Arctic Intelligence problem. (U//FOUO) For more information on the AMOC visit our home page -- "go AMOC " on NSANet. (U) Notes: The northernmost inhabited point in North America (and the world) is a Canadian SIGINT facility, the Canadian Forces Station Alert at 84N on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island. See a related SIDtodaY-article. (I) <2) Wullenweber (requires logging onto lntelink) ( 3) CELTIC (4) Project DRYTIDE R II R IComments/Suggestions about this article? ·~----~-I B 11B =1 I I (U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet without the consent of S0121 (DL sid comms ). 11 11 Information Owner: ) Page Publisher: Last Modified: 11/10/2012 I Last Reviewed: 11/10/2012 R DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET II SI I TK II REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108