Title: SID Around the World: The Rheinland

Release Date: 2016-05-16

Document Date: 2003-09-16

Description: An NSA couple worked at locations in Germany’s Rheinland and enjoyed local cuisine and European travel.

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

(U//FOUO) SID Around the World: The Rheinland
FROM:
Unknown
Run Date: 09/16/2003

(S//SI) Having served on one field tour at NCEUR, Stuttgart,
Germany, in the mid-1990s, I was once again fortunate to get an
offer for another field assignment in Germany just two years later,
at NSA's European Technical Center (ETC) in Wiesbaden. The
position at ETC was as a Foreign Relations Staff Officer, responsible
for coordinating technical support to NSA's Third Party partners in
Europe and the Middle East. My wife served as NSA's liaison to the
Army's 66th Military Intelligence Group in Darmstadt. We lived
between Wiesbaden and Darmstadt, due south of Frankfurt, and
our school-age children went to the DoDDs school in Darmstadt.
(S//SI) For a career Intelligence and Language Analyst, the most
interesting and rewarding aspects of working at ETC were exposure
to the engineering work that NSA does and to the superb group of
people who carry it out. It was a pleasure, indeed, even an
inspiration, to deal with the technical personnel who put SIGINT
and related systems in place, to witness their expertise, and to
gain greater awareness of technical support, maintenance, and
logistics problems. The engineering and logistics friends I made in
Wiesbaden are ones I would likely not have met in my regular
career field back home, and I learned a lot from them. Supporting
NSA's foreign partnerships and sometimes dealing directly with
foreign partners was a particularly interesting experience as well.
(U) Outside of work, the most rewarding aspect of living in the
Rheinland area of Germany is the opportunity to travel across
Germany and much of Europe. France, the Benelux countries, and
Switzerland are all within a few hours' drive, for a weekend or, for
border destinations such as Strasbourg, even a day trip. For longer
drives, Paris and Berlin are within six hours drive, the Alps are 3-7
hours away, depending on which mountain is being sought, and
other destinations - in southern France, the Czech Republic,
Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy - are within
reasonable long-distance reach for an extended vacation. Living
near Frankfurt also puts one very close to rail and air connections
to anywhere in Europe, including low-cost air travel to many
European destinations. It was a thrill to be able to visit sites of
historical and cultural significance during our tour, and living in
Germany has marked our children with a considerable appreciation
for European history and culture.
(U) The middle Rhein area between Mainz/Wiesbaden and Koblenz
is quite scenic and offers many opportunities to sample aspects of
German life, especially gastronomic pleasures, closer to home. You
don't have to go far to find a really good white wine, for some very
good Rieslings may well be just down the street. Wiesbaden is
located within the Rheingau wine area; the Rheinhessen is just
across the Rhein, and the Rheinpfaltz (Rheinland Palatinate) and
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer regions, as well as the French province of
Alsace, are close by. Even lesser-known wine regions, like
Franconia, are within reach.

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) As for cuisine, eating in Germany can be a real pleasure for all
but the most conservative tastes. I have not had a bad German
meal yet. Local specialties abound; in the Rhein/Main plain closer
to Darmstadt, the Germans grow the sweet, white asparagus
("Spargel") that is harvested in May and enjoyed throughout
Germany. The strawberry season follows immediately thereafter.
(U//FOUO) It might belabor the obvious that I enjoyed living in
Germany to no end. Working and living in the field is a great
experience, and working at ETC and living in Germany was no
exception. I'd do it again.

"(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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