This site is dedicated to ALL those who served in usafss, the united states air force SECURITY service, on the nsa comint intelligence team, during the cold-war years

The headset is probably the most representative icon of our work--after all, we did a lot of listening. The photo on left was provided by Al Lorentzen (USAFSS 1956-1962). He wore this set while stationed on Shemya Island and later in Scotland. One can only estimate what intelligence came through this one set but, believe me, it was substantial. Then multiply that by the thousands that were in use 24 hours a day around the globe and you may get an idea as to the magnitude of the USAFSS MIssion.    

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USAFSS Was Special

In most respects, the United States Air Force Security Service, (USAFSS), was a unique command.  For instance, most Air Force units were in training status in preparation for the "big one," should it come to that.  We, on the other hand, had a COMINT, SIGINT, and COMSEC intelligence  mission that was live and ongoing and which was vital to our nation's security. This observation is underscored by the fact that during Security Service's existence,  more than 85% of the usable intelligence came from the National Security Agency (NSA), of which we were the largest component.  To put that in perspective, less than 15% of usable intelligence came from HUMINT  (Read:  CIA & The State Department) and PHOTINT (Photo Reconnaissance). The intelligence work we performed required a great deal of dedication, expertise, flexibility and individual initiative and it was these characteristics of our job that simply were not amenable to control by using the standard rules and regulations or military type discipline in general. We may have, at times, appeared to have been "loosey-goosey" but every one of us understood the importance of our mission in Security Service and never failed to turn in the best performance we could muster on the job. As the command was unique so were many of the events we encountered or experienced.  This site will be devoted to recording our "take" on those happenings for sharing with others as  well as for preserving for posterity's sake. 

Why Post Here?

There are a number of first-class inter-active USAFSS web sites which offer opportunities for us to post; however, many are not universal in that they require membership or the topics quite often are related to a specific USAFSS unit or a specific job specialty. We are a diverse group with many specialties contributing to the overall mission. We served world-wide during the Security Service Era and when one airman completed his shift or tour of duty overseas, there would be another standing by to pick up the baton forming an unbroken 26-year 24/7 chain of target coverage.  Regardless of when or where we served in Security Service we were all links in that chain and have many things to share. A central point for doing just that would seem to be ideal and whether we served in multiple units over the years or went for the one-or-two tour and out, we have to monitor a large number of web sites if we want to glean the interesting stuff from the chaff.  Also, this broad cross-section of experiences over the years would give our descendents a better feel for what it was like to have served in the premier intelligence group of the times and it would also give us a better idea how USAFSS evolved over the years.  So I propose to have a central point for submission of articles, essays, stories related to our Security Service days. (In fact, many of you already have some great essays and stories posted on other sites which you may want to also place  here and share it with a wider audience.) As we grow old, it would be nice to leave some of our Security Service heritage behind before we go on to that great and glorious, multi-windowed sunlit compound in the sky. This site will remain open to viewing to all who care to visit it.  Postings can be made through the web site administrator. 

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