Sept. 15, 1945
Sixty-seven years ago this week, the Army established the Army Security Agency, or ASA. During World War II, control of communications intelligence collection assets had been split between the Signal Security Agency and the theater commanders. This arrangement had created significant problems, since it was impossible to neatly separate the tactical aspects of communications intelligence from the strategic ones. Consequently, on Sept. 15, 1945, the Signal Security Agency was separated from the Signal Corps and became ASA, assuming command of all signals intelligence units and personnel in the Army.
The agency’s primary collection assets were a number of large fixed field stations that stretched from the U.S. to Germany to Turkey and Africa to the Pacific. Supplementing these resources, smaller mobile formations operated from semi-fixed locations.
Over the ensuing decade, ASA became the largest Army intelligence organization. It exercised tight control over its overseas elements through large regional headquarters in Germany and the Pacific, but processing and direction were centralized at its Arlington Hall headquarters, near Washington.
“This Week in History” is a feature on the Command History Office website. Those with AKO access can check out their site, https://ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_history/.
To learn more about the 2012 MI Branch and Corps Commemoration, go to the public website, https://www.ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_comm/.