Title: SID Around the World: Living High in the Balkans

Release Date: 2016-05-16

Document Date: 2003-06-06

Description: A linguist describes his experiences supporting NSA offices in the Balkans theater.

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

(U) SID Around the World: Living High in the Balkans
FROM:
Unknown
Run Date: 06/06/2003

(C) One thing is for certain. If you spend a significant amount of
time anywhere in what used to constitute the former Socialist
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ), you will definitely get a good
meal. Having traveled the world over, I believe that cuisine in
Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro is
some of the best food anywhere. But cuisine is only a small part of
what makes the Balkans special.
(C) As background, I am a former Air Force linguist who attended
DLI (Defense Language Institute) in 1977, way before anyone
thought that Serbo-Croatian would be such a valuable language at
NSA. I was stationed in Yugoslavia as an intelligence assistant to
the U.S. Defense Attache Office, Belgrade, and have been TDY to
the Balkans theater literally dozens of times supporting a variety of
offices at NSA.
(C) I was in Belgrade in 1989 during the 600th Anniversary
Celebration of the Battle of Kosovo Polje. This event signalled the
rise of Slobodan Milosevic to power, a man who ultimately caused
the collapse of Yugoslavia. During that trip, I was able to visit the
beautiful city of Dubrovnik. The next time I saw Dubrovnik, it was
being shelled by Yugoslav People's Army artillery literally
destroying a centuries-old historic city. Unfortunately, that was
only the beginning of the nightmare for the Balkans. For almost a
decade, war ravaged almost every corner of the "former
Yugoslavia." NSA supported and still supports the myriad, alphabet
soup of peacekeeping operations throughout the Balkans UNPROFOR, UNTAES, UNMOP, IFOR, SFOR, and finally KFOR.
(C) Being on the front lines, sometimes living in tents or buildings
partially destroyed by war and supporting these operations was
professionally very rewarding, even though many times it meant
spending significant time away from family and friends. But the
opportunity to support the visit of President Clinton to Tuzla Air
Base in January 1996, to work at a variety of new, state-of-the-art
collection facilities supporting national policy-makers and
commanders on the ground, meeting ambassadors and four star
generals, the Secretary of State, and touring Air Force 2, are once
in a lifetime experiences.

SERIES:
(U) SID Around the
World '03
1. Coming Soon: SID
Around the World!
2. SID Around the
World: Living High in
the Balkans
3. SID Around the
World: SIGINT from
Paradise (Okinawa)
4. SID Around the
World: A Country the
Size of Maryland
5. SID Around the
World: Life in the
Field
6. SID Around the
World: Washington,
D.C.
7. SID Around the
World: Peak
Conditions in Denver
8. SID Around the
World: The Rheinland
9. Spanning The
Globe...Misawa to
Menwith Hill: Part 1
10. Spanning The
Globe...Misawa to
Menwith Hill: Part 2
11. SID Around the
World: A TDY to
Guantanamo Bay

(U//FOUO) But even with all that excitement, all those experiences,
and all that good food, it is nice to be back at NSA, back in the
United States and back with friends and family.

"(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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