Title: GCHQ Cyprus
Release Date: 2015-08-03
Description: This two-page extract from a longer, undated, GCHQ document describing its presence in Cyprus, states that “Under the ECHELON Agreement, NSA provides 50% of the funding for the SOUNDER Comsat facility”: see the Intercept article GCHQ and Me: My Life Unmasking British Eavesdroppers, 3 August 2015.
Document: TOP SECRET STRAP1
24. Improve Mission Management to ensure efficient use of our Sigint resources.
The UK hubs/Access Services will continue to simplify and improve
performance by ensuring a better awareness of priorities and preventing
duplication of cover via more effective coordination of Comsat/TRF assets for
both UK and NSA intelligence collection.
25. To maximise Cyprus’s role within the GCHQ extended enterprise, address the
scope for standardisation of IT to facilitate interaction (in particular with Bude
and Scarborough, but also to include Cheltenham, Digby, LECKWITH and
MHS) to encompass information sharing, loadsharing, data exchange and
other forms of communication.
26. Where appropriate utilise system monitoring tools to check status of on-island
collection and forwarding systems. Identify gaps in monitoring capabilities
and feed back to tool developers so that system health checks become reliable
27. Sustain our capability relative to our unique environment, promoting
integration and fusion across COMSAT, TRF, Weapons and MASINT
maximising the benefit of the new Operations Building.
28. The full range of common GCHQ tools are available, complementing those of
NSA. Centrally coordinated SD, greater target and environmental knowledge
will contribute to enhanced Operations support. Greater access to NSANet for
both personal accounts and VTCs.
29. Sustain our capability to assist, develop and/or pull through as necessary
initiatives such as One IP Convergence, Ka Band development, Survey/Auto
Survey capability (particularly DARKQUEST, IVE/FORESIGHT), Burst
TDMA SHARKQUEST/BASSQUEST development, Apparition and New
Generation Wideband Glaive.
30. We continue to sustain and strengthen our partnership with the US/NSA and
with other 5-Eyes agencies. GCHQ’s Cyprus collection facilities are
acknowledged by NSA as important assets that make a major contribution to
UKUSA. Under the ECHELON Agreement, NSA provides 50% of the
funding for the SOUNDER Comsat facility. The expertise of forward
deployed staff on Cyprus, the implementation of the SHARED VISION and
GLAIVE common architectures, and the evolving emphasis upon improved
SD/Franchise services will guarantee a continued positive relationship, with
potentially greater opportunities for interoperability and sharing. Weapons and
SPACOL collection provides important data for both UKUSA operational
technical Sigint and longer term analysis work. The Cyprus Stakeholders’
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Conference will continue to be an important forum for resolving issues and
31. Cyprus will continue to support on island initiatives with other Government
Agencies where these support joint working aims with clear intelligence
Enablers and Governance
32. Maximise investment in Sigint/Cyber capability and reduce total cost of
ownership. This will continue to be achieved by remoting and concentrating
collection management functions at Bude and Scarborough, standardising
sustained collection architecture and infrastructure, and maintaining common
working practices and skills development processes across the wider
communities. Uniform skills and technology will continue to contribute
towards lower support costs and greater efficiency (e.g. reducing training
overheads for staff moving between locations).
33. Maintain data acquisition as priorities and environments change. This will be
achieved by implementing centralised collection supported by more focused
SD at the front end.
34. Improve integration with military planning and operations. The symbiotic
relationship between GCHQ and MOD on Cyprus requires close interaction to
ensure decisions are made in the interests of both partners. The agreement on
Sigint Facilities in Cyprus forms the basis of GCHQ’s expectations for MOD
cooperation. Requirements from either party to meet efficiency targets will be
carried forward in consultation with the other partner.
35. Cyprus hosts a wide range of UK and US intelligence facilities:
36. Comint (Comsat, HF) and Masint collection/SD at Ayios Nikolaos in the
Eastern Sovereign Base Area (SBA);
37. Masint transmission currently at Akrotiri, with an unmanned facility also at
Cape Gata (both in the Western SBA); and
38. Golf Troop Comint (V/UHF) and Elint/SPACOL/FIS/Proforma collection and
SD at Troodos, a Retained Site.
39. Comint collection benefits several strands of reporting, especially ITT, PMEA,
Europe, Counter Proliferation and Serious Crime. Weapons-related collection
from Troodos is used to support technical Sigint analysts in the UK and US.
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