Title: Generally Speaking: Back from the Front

Release Date: 2016-08-10

Document Date: 2003-12-08

Description: After returning from Baghdad, the Signals Intelligence director says all the SIGINT analysts deployed in the war zone are heroes.

Document: DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL

(U//FOUO) Generally Speaking: Back from the Front
FROM: MG Richard Quirk, USA
Signals Intelligence Director
Run Date: 12/08/2003

(U/FOUO) I just got back from a short visit to Iraq and, I can tell you, no matter how often we
say it, "there is nothing like being there." Before going over, I thought I knew the contributions
made by SIGINT'ers to this effort. But, walking in their shoes and watching the work they do,
under harsh conditions, I now truly understand that the SIGINT'ers deployed to Iraq are heroes.
Total professionals...every one of them!
(S//SI) I visited what could be called the SCS (Special Collection Service) site in Baghdad. First
of all, the breadth of knowledge held by these individuals is nothing short of amazing. I was very
impressed with the complex, high tech site that was set up in such a short time. The civilians
that operate this site are exposed to all the risks that come with living in a war zone but these
folks are not deterred.
(S//SI) We had a chance to see a site run by the 1st Armored Division, 501st MI Charlie
Company. Let me tell you, the OSHA people (Occupational Safety and Health Agency) would not
be too keen on the way these folks get to their place of business. The site is on top of one of
Saddam's bombed out palaces. A stairway that leads to the roof has been altered by U.S.
ordnance and there is a huge gap between the stair treads and any surrounding wall. One false
step and you're in trouble!
(U//FOUO) The CSG (Cryptologic Service Group) and the remarkable TAREX (Target
Exploitation) Team are all well known by the fighting forces. It was heartwarming to see that
these and all of the SIGINT'ers in country are well accepted by the combat arms people. I can
guarantee that this experience is something none of them will ever forget. It will change their
lives and influence every SIGINT decision they make from now on.
(U//FOUO) I learned many things on this trip. Among the most important is that getting good
intel is best accomplished with conversation - a two-way dialogue. The folks on the ground know
a lot of things that can make our jobs easier and more effective. We are going to have to find a
way to take advantage of what they know instead of relying only on what they want.
(U) Another encouraging thing I learned is that the closer you get to the street, the better
things look. The general support from the Iraqi people is reason for optimism. Along with that
optimism we must remember that we have a responsibility to do our very best at our jobs, each
day...every day. Knowing what I know about your professionalism, I have no doubt you will.

"(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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