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September Travels — Utah and the Wye River Conference Center


NSA sent staff to two events: the opening of its first linguistic processing center in Utah, and a forum to identify "emergent phenomena"--trends that might impact SIGINT collection that could potentially take the NSA by surprise.


Oct 12, 2006


May 29, 2019

Page 1 from September Travels — Utah and the Wye River Conference Center
DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL (U//FOUO) September Travels -- Utah and the Wye River Conference Center FROM: Cindy M. Farkus NSA/CSS Senior Intelligence Authority Run Date: 10/12/2006 (U//FOUO) The NSA/CSS Senior Intelligence Authority visits the Utah Regional Language Center and a forum on "Understanding Emergence" (U//FOUO) I'd like to take a few minutes of your time to bring you up to date on some steps we are taking to change our approach to how we conduct our business. (U//FOUO) Update on the URLC (U//FOUO) In early September, NSA representatives* attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Utah Regional Language Center (URLC). Honored guests and speakers included Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. and MG Tarbet, Utah National Guard TAG**. The URLC is NSA/CSS's first language processing center - and just one year ago, it was just a dream. The URLC has come a long way over the past year and is already achieving its primary goal of "Supporting National Security through Linguistic Excellence." (S) The URLC was established in response to direction by Congress after 9/11 for NSA/CSS to increase its pool of diverse language analysts critical to the Global War on Terrorism. To accomplish that goal, we chose to focus on language processing in non-traditional locations likely to provide access to a broader pool of language skilled recruits who could be hired within a short time. Recruiting began in September 2005, and just seven months later, the first linguists walked through the door. The URLC currently has 16 linguists on board, some of whom are proficient in two or three dialects, or are already cross-training into other critical languages. These talented linguists are already making a difference for our mission and we're proud to have them as part of the Analysis & Production family. (S) Many of the party had the opportunity to see other elements of the Utah SIGINT system via a BLACKHAWK helicopter tour to Ogden and Salt Lake City. The long-standing relationship we have had with the National Guard has certainly paid outstanding dividends! Type "GO URLC" or click on this link for more information on the URLC and the ribbon cutting ceremony. (U//FOUO) URLC HQ in Draper, Utah (at a National Guard facility) (U//FOUO) IFA Forum: "Understanding Emergence" (U//FOUO) In mid-September, I attended the Institute for Analysis (IFA) forum on Understanding Emergence. The IFA is an Advanced Analysis Lab (AAL)-sponsored activity designed to reach out to experts, the vast majority of whom have not been involved with the intelligence community, in order to increase the intellectual capital engaged in intelligence analysis and develop new processes, methodologies, techniques and tools for the analytic community (see background article ). (U//FOUO) Why emergence? An essential aspect of intelligence-gathering is to avoid surprise. This requires anticipating phenomena that emerge without obvious warning. Without a playbook of pre-identified threats, understanding, detecting, and avoiding emergent threats poses substantial analytic and organizational challenges. The Intelligence Community is looking for new ways of understanding emergent phenomena - new methodologies, mindsets, and technologies that may enhance our ability to avoid surprise. (U//FOUO) The forum brought together thought leaders, experts and our intelligence analysts at
Page 2 from September Travels — Utah and the Wye River Conference Center
the Wye River Conference Center. We explored best practices for understanding emerging trends from a variety of disciplines, and how leaders in various fields anticipate, manage and sometimes gain advantage from emergent phenomena. We developed a framework for understanding the ways that the intelligence community can augment its understanding of emergence. (U//FOUO) You'll be hearing more about what challenges we looked at and how we intend to apply the framework to today's problem sets. Type "go ifa" to learn more or click here: IFA webpage . (U) Look for more details on these activities (and more) in the future. (U) Notes: *(U//FOUO) Representatives from the following organizations attended: Analysis & Production Installations and Logistics Human Resources Information Technology Directorate Legislative Affairs Office Associate Directorate for Education and Training The Senior Language Authority Denver Security Operations Center The Cryptologic Centers **(U) TAG = The Adjutant General "(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