Title: Who’s Who in Afghanistan?

Release Date: 2018-03-01

Document Date: 2009-02-11

Description: This 2 November 2009 post from the NSA internal newsletter SIDToday explains how agency resources are deployed in Afghanistan: see the Intercept article The Powerful Global Spy Alliance You Never Knew Existed, 1 March 2018.


(U) Who's Who in Afghanistan?


Afghanistan/Pakistan Mission Management Team (AF/PAK MMT)
Run Date: 11/02/2009

(U) Gunner looks out of US
Chinook helicopter flying
over Logar Province in
Afghanistan (Reuters)

(U//FOUO) Analysts: The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly changing,
with additional US troops being flown in every week, more NSAers
deploying, etc. Under such circumstances, it can be a challenge to stay
on top of "who's who" among those deployed to the country. To help
you get your bearings, this article will present some very basic
information on how the military forces there are organized, and will
then describe where NSA has deployed its people, and what their
specific roles are.

(U) First, a few elementary facts about how the military forces are set up:

(U) The coalition of foreign forces operating in Afghanistan is known as the International Security
Assistance Force, or ISAF. It is a NATO-led security and development mission in Afghanistan established
by the United Nations Security Council in December 2001. It includes the combined forces of 26 NATO,
10 partner and 2 non-NATO / non-partner countries. US General Stanley McChrystal is the Commander


(S//REL) ISAF has divided Afghanistan into five regional ---------------------------------

commands (RCs). Germany leads RC North, France heads
RC Capital (i.e., Kabul), Italy leads RC West, the US leads
RC East, and command of RC South rotates among the
British, Canadians, and Dutch. Most US forces are based in
RC East and RC South, which are the least peaceful areas of
the country. (The south was the main power base of the
Taliban prior to ISAF's arrival and the population includes
many who are still sympathetic to them, while the eastern
region is influenced by the presence of Taliban forces near the
Afghanistan-Pakistan border). (Click for larger view of map.)

(U//FOUO) ...Moving on to talk about how NSAers are organized in Afghanistan, here are a couple of
terms that you will see quite often:

(U//FOUO) CSG (Cryptologic Services Group): An NSA team that provides dedicated support to
military commanders or other U.S. government departments. CSGs have access to NSANet and
SIGINT databases. The construct of a CSG varies. Typically it includes an Officer-in-Charge (OIC),
a Battle Captain (shift lead), and Intelligence Analysts (IAs). Most CSGs have a mix of IA skill sets
to include SIGINT Geospatial Analysts, DNI Analysts, etc. The analysts in the CSG pull data from
NSANet and the RT-RG suite of tools, including finished intelligence, transcripts, and tippers.

Being embedded with customers, the CSG is able to tailor SIGINT responses to meet the most
critical needs.

• (U//FOUO) CST (Cryptologic Support Team): Smaller than a CSG, CSTs typically support a
Brigade Combat Team (BCT). CSTs provide direct NSA SIGINT capabilities to their respective
tactical units, and are the focal point at the brigade level for SIGINT education, target analysis,
planning, tipping, and coordination with other NSA elements ("reach-back").

(U) Where does NSA deploy its personnel? Here's a rundown. (A glossary of terms follows):

Kabul (where coordination with top-level political and military officials occurs) (U//FOUO)

(C//REL) NSA/CSS Representative (NCR) Afghanistan is the senior national cryptologic
representative in country. The NCR oversees all NSA operations and is the primary POC for
NSA. is the current NCRAFGH. The NCR has offices in Kabul and

Bagram. (Click HERE to review the NCR's website.) Staff includes:

o Afghanistan Foreign Relations Office (AFRO): Provides support on engagements with
foreign partners.

o SID/Data Acquisition (S3) representative: provides technical collection support, covering
many collection systems. He travels throughout the region.
o Information Technology Directorate (ITD): provides forward technical support.

(S//SI//REL) CSG Kabul: Supports the International Security Assistance Force/US Forces
Afghanistan (ISAF/USFORA) as well as the Combined Security Transition Command
Afghanistan (CSTC-A), and the Interagency Operations Coordination Center (IOCC) in
Kabul, with the assistance of Second Party integrees. CSG Kabul provides:

o SIGINT support to elements working all-source reporting;
o target packages to Special Forces units;

o force-protection for CSTC-A, Embedded Training Teams (ETTs) and Police Mentor Teams
(PMTs); and

o counternarcotics support to DEA.

...The CSG recently moved to a facility at Kabul International Airport.

(U//FOUO) CSG Team Kabul: Provides analytical support for special targeting.

(S//REL) CST 23: Provides analytic support for task force at FOB Shank.

(TS//SI//REL) Special Collection Service (SCS) Kabul:SCS
Kabul provides SIGINT collection, analysis and dissemination to local customers such as the
U.S. Ambassador, CIA Station Chief, etc. The site reports on topics such as leadership and
governance, as well as counterterrorism and insurgency. The site's collection is also
incorporated into RT-RG and is used by numerous target offices at both NSAW and

Bagram (Located about 60 km north of Kabul. Centered on the large Bagram Air Base. Bagram holds the
largest concentration of military and NSA-operated facilities in the country.) (U//FOUO)

(S//REL) Deputy NCR: Oversees SIGINT operations in Bagram. The Deputy NCR support
staff handles analytic and language issues throughout Afghanistan, to include those related to
RT-RG. Other staff include:

o CENTER ICE Theater Manager: In addition to supporting the CENTER ICE system,
provides guidance to U.S. personnel in theater on interaction with foreign partners.
o SID/Data Acquisition (S3) representative: provides technical collection support, covering
many collection systems. He travels throughout the region.
o Information Technology Directorate (ITD): provides forward technical support.

(S//SI//REL) CSG Bagram: Provides support to the tactical war fighter in RC East. Includes
Second Party integrees.

(S//REL) CSG Task Force (TF) 373: SIGINT support to the Special Operations Forces
throughout Afghanistan, targeting al-Qa'ida.

(S//REL) CST 20: SIGINT support to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in
Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A) teams operating throughout the country.

(S//REL) Afghanistan Remote Operations Cryptologic Center (A-ROCC): New
time-sensitive SIGINT processing facility in Bagram. Personnel from nine nations will
produce transcripts and gists, supporting ISAF priorities and tactical military operations.

Some mission-management and analyst positions are to come. (See related article.)

Kandahar (in RC South) (U//FOUO)

(S//REL) CST 24: SIGINT support to the 5th Brigade, 2nd Stryker Infantry Division.

(S//REL) CSG RC South: SIGINT support to RC South, all subordinate units and the Joint
Interagency Task Force for Counter-Narcotics (JIATF-CN).

(S//REL) CST 19: Supports the Kandahar Fusion Cell, fusing together operations and
intelligence to support all Special Forces operating in RC South.

Jalalabad (in RC East) (U//FOUO)

(S//REL) CST 17: SIGINT support to the operations conducted by the 3rd Brigade, 1st
Infantry Division.

Salerno (in RC East) (U//FOUO)

(S//REL) CST 18: SIGINT support to the operations conducted by the 3rd Brigade 1st
Infantry Division.

Glossary of Common Abbreviations and Terms (U)

(U) BCT (Brigade Combat Team): Tactical teams, typically belong to Army elements that perform
military operations. SIGINT support personnel may be embedded in BCTs.

(S//SI//REL) CENTER ICE: A Coalition communications system that provides TS//SI-level tipping and
threat information as well as direct support to operations, to SIGINT Seniors Europe partners (14
countries). Personnel handle the maintenance, training, etc. of the CENTER ICE program from Bagram,
frequently visiting other sites.

(U) Coalition Forces: Multi-national alliance of nations working together, to include 5-eyes, 9-eyes,

(U) COP: Combat outpost

(U) CSTC-A (Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan): Provides training and mentoring to
Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police forces, with an eye on transition of operations.

(U) ETT (Embedded Training Team): Coalition soldiers embedded with Afghan military brigades to
provide training.

(U//FOUO) FOB (Forward Operation Base): Any secured forward position that is used to support tactical
operations. A FOB may or may not contain an airfield, hospital, or other facilities. The base may be used
for an extended period of time. FOB's are traditionally supported by main operating bases that are required
to provide backup support to them.

(S//REL) Fusion Cells: Teams to fuse together multiple sources of intelligence and operations. Four
fusion centers will be stood up, in Kandahar (RC-South), Bagram (RC-East), Mazar-e-Sharif (RC-North),
and Herat (RC-West).

(U) IJC: Intermediate Joint Command.

(C//REL) JIOC-A (Joint Intelligence Operations Center Afghanistan): Provides and facilitates predictive,
relevant and fully fused, near- to long-term strategic and operational intelligence, supporting theatre-level
ISAF and US executive leadership.

(U) PMT (Police Mentor Teams): U.S. military personnel working as mentors with the Afghan National

(U) PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team): Largely civilian team that works with local leaders to
improve economic conditions, on transportation, agriculture, education, medical projects.

(U//FOUO) RT-RG (Real-Time Regional Gateway): Delivers tactical SIGINT to the war fighter within

(U) USFOR-A: US Forces Afghanistan

(U) Editor's note: Is this type of information useful to you? Let us know by using the
comments/suggestions button below. Thanks!

"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles
may not be republished or
reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121
(DL sid_comms)."


Click to send permalink to address bar, or right-click to copy permalink.

Un-highlight all Un-highlight selectionu Highlight selectionh