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Yakima Research Station at 30 Years: The Beginning

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DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL (U) Yakima Research Station at 30 Years: The Beginning FROM: YRS Station Chief Run Date: 03/05/2004 FROM: YRS Station Chief (U) In early October, Yakima Research Center will commemorate 30 years of operations. We thought this would be a good time to look back at the earliest days to see how it all began here at YRS. Here are a couple of snippets: (U) From the Yakima Herald Republic, Monday, November 23, 1970: $2 million Communications Base Research Unit at YFC? A proposed $2million communications research facility may be constructed at the Yakima Firing Center, Sen. Henry M. Jackson, D-Wash., announced Sunday. "The Department of Defense has pretty well settled on locating the communications base at the Yakima range," Sen. Jackson said. The department has a number of problems to resolve, "including a hang up on the funding," said Jackson, a member of the Senate armed services committee. "This has the promise of a long-term operational with a high caliber, well paid staff - it will be a fine addition to our state," Jackson said. The facility could be in operation by 1974 if all the plans are worked out, he predicted. (S//SI) The below letter was received by YRS in 1974, accompanied by a wood carving of the Imperial Parabolic Lion of Judah. The woodcarving, which still resides at the Station, was most likely made locally in Asmara, Ethiopia. From Department of Defense, STONEHOUSE** Facility, FPO, New York, 09545 "STONEHOUSE, the oldest of the Agency's 'big dish' facilities, sends greeting to NSA Yakima, the youngest. May the Imperial Parabolic Lion of Judah bring good luck in your future endeavors." -- , Chief STONEHOUSE. (U) Throughout this anniversary year I will provide more snippets of the history of YRS, and wrap up in November with our view of the future of the station/mission. Watch for further installments! ** (U//FOUO) Here's some background on STONEHOUSE, as reported in the May 8, 1995 Communicator: (S//SI) May 1965: NSA opened STONEHOUSE, the first and only facility designed for the collection of signals from Soviet deep space vehicles. STONEHOUSE was located at a remote Army Security Agency (ASA) station in Asmara, Ethiopia, and was jointly manned by NSA civilians and ASA cryptologists. The site sported two huge dishes, one measuring 150 feet, to collect the distant radio transmissions. The Soviets launched very few space probes. As a result, STONEHOUSE's main value turned out to be the collection of Soviet MOLNIYA communications satellites which were first launched about the time STONEHOUSE went into operation.

(S//SI) STONEHOUSE closed in 1975. "(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)." DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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