NSA SIDtoday: Japan, Eternal Land of the Rising Sun

Aug. 15 2018 — 2:02 p.m.

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DYNAM IC PAGE -- HI GHE ST POSSIBLE CLASS IFICATION IS TOP SECRET II SI I TK II REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL [g !SID Today archives [g I [g [ Welcome! Saturday, 10 Nov 2012 [g - feedback [g • • • • • • • • Web search Agency-all Email s SID-all Email s NSA Rolodex SCQAWK: The SID Mailb ag SIDtodaY-Blog SIDtodaY-Series SIGINT Worldwide VTC • SIDtodaY-Article • Letter to the Editor • SIGINT-Y-Social Media Pag~ (U) Japan: Eternal Land of the Rising Sun FROM : (UI/FOUO) SIGINT Deputy Director Run Date : 09/13 12011
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(U//FOUO) Introduction: In advance ~g PCS recrnitment/infonnation session ("go PCS "), SIGINT Deputy Director--shares his thoughts on his recent travels to Japan and the post-eaithquake / tsunami environment. SID encourages all employees to explore field opp01tunities now and in the future. [U] (C//REL) Land of the Rising Sun and a home away from home-- for the last three decades I have always viewed my trnvels to Japan as returning to my home away from home. When assigned to Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 1980 for my first Cryptologic assignment, I was immediately taken with the country's beauty, the dignity and honorable nature of the Japanese people, and the wonderful mission that we had "on the hill" in Misawa. My three-yeai· assignment, which provided the foundation for my SIGINT cai·eer, introduced me to lifelong fiiends and launched a love of electronics and new gadgets (I bought one of the first commercially available video cassette recorders, complete with a hai·d-wired (as in 8 ft long tethered cord) remote control.) My colleagues and I were blessed with a great mission, abundant cherry blossoms, terrific food and culture, and a great host nation -- we all wore a smile 24/7. (S//REL) You can imagine my dismay when I received a call from NSOC during the early morning hours of Mai·ch 11th ale1ting me to the magnitude 9 .0 eaithquake that tTiggered a tsunaini on Japan 's eastern coast ~R-am ___b_o_w_a_t_M_S_O_C------~ and that wrought unimaginable destruction on this beautiful nation. We all know the st01y of the massive humanitai·ian effo1t that ensued and the concerns of a contaminated environment that essentially proved to be ve1y much overstated. We established an Event Lead, who did a masterful job of leading NSA's crisis response as our personnel played a key role in keeping policymakers apprised of what was actually unfolding on the island by reporting ai·ound-the-clock during the crisis . We worked closely with our Japanese counterpaits who, not surprising ly, contacted our ~------------~ representative at Yokota Air Base to offer Japan 's assistance to NSA (remember what I stated about honorable), to ensure that our SIGINT mission was maintained. (U) Photo: Rainbow at Misawa, Japan. (S//REL) Worldwide newscasts carried stories of evacuations and depaitures for weeks on end. What has gone untold is how quickly life for Ame1icans stationed in Japan returned to n01mal. I had the opportunity to visit our personnel stationed at Yokota (home to SUSLAJ--Special U.S. Liaison Activity Japan) and Misawa Air Bases earlier this summer, and can rep01t that morale and esp1it-de-corps was phenomenal. While everyone had a vivid recollection of what occmTed the day of the magnitude 9 .0 earthquake and tsunami (those of you at NSAW certainly remember where you were when the moderate 5 .8 eaithquake strnck on August 23rd), the attitude in both locations was one of moving f01wai·dfrom the event and focusing on the future. Indeed, instead of locking in on the eaithquake itself, the work force focused their comments on how adeptly and creative ly mission was recovered and how they quickly regained a sense of n01malcy in their daily lives. Knowing the phenomenal professionals that serve in our Extended Enterprise, this was no surpnse. (U//FOUO) What I did not anticipate prior to my most recent tr·ip was how much our personnel contr·ibuted to the humanitarian clea~upport effort following the quake. When I met with the Commander of Misawa Air Base, COL ..... USAF, to thank him for his outstanding supp01t to the Misawa Security Operations Center (MSOC ) immediately following the quake, he wanted to solely focus on the tr·emendous contr·ibutions that NSA's personnel had made in assisting the local populace with clean-up, food donations, and other support. Our NSAers and their families volunteered with the Red Cross, helped to prepare and distribute "grab-and-go" meals for the 13,000+ relief workers that funneled through Yokota Air base, and
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comforted and assisted travelers temporarily stranded by diverted airline flights. Mr. - , (S//REL) This sentiment was echoed during a stop in Tokyo while en route to Yokota, when I was hosted by Japan's National hot pools in Onsen , Japan who spent an evening Director for SIGINT, recalling the events of March 11th and thanking NSA, and the US Government writ large, for its support to his nation. I was left with a remarkable sense of pride in the resiliency of both the Japanese and US citizens who demonstrated great character and caring during such a dire time. (U//FOUO) Speaking to the lingering after-effects, while the situation at and directly surrounding the most severely damaged nuclear power plants in Japan was and is very serious, the danger is very localized, and personnel at Misawa and Yokota were never at any point in danger of being exposed to radiation at a level to be of concern. During my TDY, it was amazing to see that across Japan , both in the big city of Tokyo , and in the more rural areas and towns in Northern Japan, the incredible state of buildings , overpasses, bridges, which seemed untouched by this 9 .0 magnitude earthquake. The extraordinary engineering expertise and building standards in Japan limited damage from the earthquake itself, with the coastal areas that took the direct hit of the unprecedented tsunami suffering the most catastrophic damage. Events of the past few weeks here on the East Coast have reminded us that earthquakes and natural disasters, i.e. Hurricane Irene, can and do happen everywhere. (U//FOUO) Japan has made remarkable strides in its recovery efforts. Although life in some regions will never be as it was before March 11th, it is true to say that the Japan's best days are ahead and its citizens are optimistically looking forward to the future. There is a concerted rebuilding effort in the areas affected by the tsunami, and the Japanese society has rebounded as probably no other nation could. (S//REL) One more impression from my travel that I'd like to leave with you: the SIGINT mission continues and if you have been contemplating an assignment to the Far East , I strongly encourage you to look to Japan. There is a vibrant cryptologic community and one of the most hospitable, extremely family-friendly environments that our Agency has to offer; our personnel there continue to enjoy the outstanding Japanese cultural sites and traditions. Information will be forthcoming in the coming weeks on the benefits of taking a field assignment in Japan, and I strongly encourage you to consider a tour. With all of its natural beauty and splendid citizens I believe that you will readily understand why Japan is called the "Land of the Rising Sun." [g '~' __ [g _ Comment s/Suggestions about this article? '[ [g J~~ j [ [g "(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet without the consent of S0121 L sid comms . " Information Owner: Page Publisher: Last Modified: 11/ 10/2012 I Last Reviewed: 11/ 10/2012
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