The United States Logistics Group (TUSLOG) was a cover designation agreed by the U.S. European Command (EUCOM). At the request of the Turkish Government, all U.S. military units and civilian components in Turkey was given this cover designation. HQ TUSLOG was headquartered in Ankara, Turkey. TUSLOG Units were located in Spain, Libya, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. By 1994, all TUSLOG Units had been deactivated.
TUSLOG evolved from the growing Turkish-American alliance that began shortly after World War II. Upon its conclusion, the Soviet Union demanded territorial concessions from Turkey in addition to military bases on the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, revision of the Montreaux Straits Convention which governed shipping in that body of water, and revision of the boundary in European Turkey in favor of communist Bulgaria.
Turkey rejected these demands and feared an armed Soviet intervention. In response to Soviet pressure on Turkey and Soviet encouragement of communist guerrillas in Greece, President Harry Truman delivered a speech to Congress on March 12, 1947 in which he proposed assistance to those two countries in order to counter Soviet actions. This speech became the basis of the “Truman Doctrine” of opposition to Soviet imperialism and marked a turning point in Turkish-American relations. Henceforth the U.S. would be Turkey’s major source of support against the power to the north.
In April 1953, the Joint Chiefs of Staff assigned responsibility for the logistical support of all U.S. forces in Turkey to Headquarters, U.S. Air Forces, Europe (USAFE). In turn, USAFE assigned this responsibility to the 7206th Air Base Squadron (ABS) at Hellenikon Air Base, Greece. On April 1, 1954, Detachment 1 of the 7206 ABS was activated in Ankara, Turkey with a staff of one officer and one airman. This modest force was absorbed by an advanced echelon of the Seventeenth Air Force deployed from Rabat, Morocco in December, 1954. On May 15 1955, Headquarters Seventeenth Air Force activated Headquarters 7217th Support Group in Ankara, Turkey. This unit was referred to as Headquarters “The United States Logistics Group” (HQ TUSLOG). On July 25, 1955, Detachment 1 of the 7206 ABS was discontinued and on August 1, 1955, the 7217 ABS was activated with a staff of five officers, 39 airmen and four Turkish nationals. The 7217 ABS was designated as TUSLOG Detachment 1. HQ TUSLOG oversaw all activities in Turkey as a whole for USAFE, while the Air Base Squadron (TUSLOG Det 1) handled local logistical support for units in Ankara and on the Black Sea coast.
During the “Cold War,” at U.S. listening posts along NATO’s south flank, electronic intelligence (ELINT) specialists assigned to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its affiliates, the U.S. Naval Security Group (NSG), the U.S. Army Security Agency USASA, and the U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) conducted invaluable electronic surveillance activities in various NATO nations. Including the San Vito Air Base near Brindisi, Italy; Iraklion Air Base, Crete, Greece; and, perhaps most importantly, from listening posts in Turkey. Turkey was the only NATO member with a “window” that overlooked the Soviet Union. Sophisticated equipment at Karamursel monitored Soviet air and naval traffic around Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast and through the Turkish Straits. Stations at Sinop and Samsun devoted similar attention to the Soviet Black Sea Fleet and missile testing sites farther north, while intelligence collectors at Diyarbakir in Turkey’s interior looked toward the Caucasus and Transcaucasus.
In 1957, one of those listening posts was built at Karamursel, in northwestern Turkey, on the Sea of Marmara, 37 miles southeast of Istanbul, Turkey. The station’s express mission was to monitor Russian radio transmissions using a 250 ft (diameter) parabolic antenna that could receive radio or radar signals. The communications facility located at Karamursel AB included an operations building located in the center of an AN/FLR-9 Circularly Disposed Antenna Array (CDAA), also known as a Wullenweber antenna array.
TUSLOG Det 28 was located in Karamursel, Turkey from January 1, 1957 through January 16, 1979, when it was relocated to Sinop, Turkey. TUSLOG Det 28 remained in Sinop until October 1, 1982, at which time Det 28 was disestablished.
U.S. Naval Security Group Karamursel, was located at the Karamursel Common Defense Installation, Karamursel, Turkey near the town of Yalova, Turkey. It was commissioned on January 1, 1957, and disestablished and closed on October 1, 1977.