Title: SIGINT for NATO
Release Date: 2017-09-13
Document Date: 2005-05-02
Description: A dozen NSA staffers provide support to the political and military arms of NATO, which has no signals intelligence collection or processing on its own. The author estimates that the NSA provides more than 80 percent of SIGINT to the alliance, although NATO's policy prohibits any nation from knowing other nations' contributions.
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(U//FOUO) SIGINT for NATO
, FAD's NATO Affairs Officer (DP16) and
, SID NATO Account Manager (S112)
Run Date: 05/02/2005
(U//FOUO) Ever wonder how NATO gets its SIGINT? NATO has no organic SIGINT collection or
processing capability, and thus is dependent upon Alliance members for such support. Here's an
explanation of how this works, with an emphasis on NSA's role:
SIGINT Coordination Among NATO Members (U//FOUO)
(C) In order to facilitate and coordinate support to NATO, the SIGINT authorities in 24 NATO
nations participate in an organization known as the NATO Advisory Committee on Signals
Intelligence (NACSI). NACSI also sets NATO's SIGINT Policies and recommends improvements to
the NATO SIGINT handling system. NACSI is chaired by an NSA senior, who is also dual-hatted
as the SIGINT Advisor to the NATO ACOS/J2* at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
(SHAPE) located in Mons, Belgium. NSA representation to NACSI is provided by the Foreign
(U) Supreme HQ Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Mons, Belgium
NSA Resources (U)
(U//FOUO) NSA provides direct, sustained support to both the political and the military arms of
NATO through a number of NSA personnel in theater.
Five (5) full time augmentees in theater (NATO Headquarters, Brussels; SHAPE; and
Joint Forces Command - Naples) directly supporting these headquarters and commands.
Three (3) full time augmentees in theater (NATO Headquarters, Brussels; SHAPE; and
Joint Forces Command - Naples) providing national SIGINT support to U.S. policy-makers
Two (2) Foreign Affairs Directorate employees dedicated to providing representation to
NATO SIGINT committees and working groups and coordination of overall SIGINT-related
support to NATO.
One (1) Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID) employee dedicated to maximizing NSA
SIGINT reporting to NATO.
One (1) NSA SID employee to serve as senior level advocate for NATO issues within SID.
SIGINT Reporting (U)
(C) NSA provides a variety of reporting and technical services to NATO, to include Write-toRelease, TACREP/KL Reporting, RFI's and ELINT, in support of NATO forces deployed in the
Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq. A NATO SIGINT policy known as the No-Feedback rule prohibits
any nation from knowing the nature of any other nation's SIGINT contributions to NATO, so the
exact percentage of SIGINT reporting provided to NATO from NSA cannot be ascertained.
However, it is clear that NSA provides the "lion's share" of SIGINT reporting, with estimates
ranging from 80 to 90 percent. NSA also supports NATO headquarters with reporting on
counterterrorism and other transnational targets.
(C) NSA is far ahead of most of its NATO partners in the development of innovative SIGINT
reporting techniques, such as sanitization and Write-to-Release. In order to improve the quality
and utility of SIGINT reporting from the other NATO nations, NSA routinely provides an
instructor at the NATO SIGINT course conducted semi-annually in Ede, the Netherlands. In
addition, NSA has developed a sanitization course that it provides to individual NATO nations
Exercise Support (U)
(C) NSA routinely supports NATO exercises such as CMX, Courageous Bat, and Allied Action by
providing scripted SIGINT reports as well as exercise participants. A dedicated NSA NATO
exercise coordinator from S132 pulls together that support. NSA also intends to support the
upcoming Trial Hammer SEAD demonstration by sending several of its most experienced ELINT
analysts to the demonstration in Germany in April 2005.
Other Support (U)
(C) In addition to direct SIGINT support, NSA has provided NATO with an expandable,
deployable, shelter (known as "Quick Van") designed to house the NATO Signals
Intelligence/Electronic Warfare (SEWOC) capability. Developed by NSA at a cost of over $450K,
QuickVan is housed at NATO's ACE Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) in Rheindahlen, Germany, but
is deployed operationally at the behest of the SHAPE ACOS/J2.
(C) NSA's European Technical Center (ETC) also has been a critical player in providing support
to NATO SIGINT operations. ETC provided the communications infrastructure for the NATO
Deployed SHED Facility (DSF), a multinational SIGINT analysis cell in Naples that directly
supported NATO military operations in the Balkans beginning in 1993. In addition, ETC provided
most of the technical and engineering support that enabled SHAPE to stand up the multinational
NATO Special Intelligence Facility in Mons, Belgium, as the successor to the DSF. Finally, ETC
provided the QuickVan shelter with upgrades required to meet NATO standards, and transported
the shelter to its first official assignment at the NATO Allied Action exercise in Naples in 2004.
ACOS/J2 = Assistant Chief of Staff/Director of Intelligence
"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)."
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DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108