106 years ago today, the Naval Security Group began when the Code and Signal Section was established in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. In 1918 the first modern codes were issued. They were copied after British codes during World War I.
After the armistice was signed, an intelligence clerk from the Cable Censor’s Office was transferred to the Code and Signals Section for research work in the development of codes and ciphers. This was the beginning of communications intelligence research. It became apparent at once that in order to learn the weakness of codes and ciphers, and hence how to construct secure ones, the first essential was to learn to solve them by cryptanalysis.
There is no evidence that the Navy engaged in radio intercept during World War I, but the Navy definitely has been engaged in radio intercept since the early 1920s. In 1923 the Office of Naval Intelligence requested that all ships of the Asiatic Fleet forward intercepted Japanese and commercial code messages. In 1924 and possibly before, the naval radio station at the Navy Purchasing Office, Shanghai, China was intercepting and forwarding Japanese traffic. In 1924 the Naval Radio Station San Francisco was forwarding all official Japanese traffic to the Code and Signals Section and in that same year the first Navy intercept station was established in the U.S. Consulate at Shanghai.
In early 1935, in accordance with joint action of the Army and Navy, radio intelligence was determined to be a function of communications and the Navy portion of radio intelligence was assigned to the Office of Naval Communications. On March 11, 1935, Op-20G became the “Communication Security Group.” This date commemorates the birth of the Naval Security Group.
In 1942 Op-20G expanded into seventeen subsections and its chief became as Assistant Director for Communication Intelligence in the Office of Naval Communications. This coincided with the inclusion of all communication intelligence (COMINT) functions, including direction finding, under one officer. On 7 February 1943 Op-20G moved from the Army-Navy Building on Constitution Ave. to the new Communication Supplementary Annex, 3801 Nebraska Ave., Washington D.C. This location was later renamed Naval Communication Station Washington, D.C. and in September 1950 it became the Naval Security Station.
On January 28, 1950 the following functional organizations were designated the Naval Security Group: Communications Supplementary Activities, Communications Security Activities, and Special Electronics Search Projects. In June 1960 the Registered Publication Section was added. In 1953 the organization now designated the Naval Security Group included Naval Communication Units, Security Group Departments of Naval Communication Stations, Naval Security Detachments and Registered Publication Issuing Offices.
In 1956, the U.S. Naval Security Group Headquarters Activity was established and in 1961 it was redesignated Naval Security Group Headquarters under the Director, Naval Security Group. The Naval Security Group Command, now under a Commander, reporting directly to the Chief of Naval Operations was activated l July 1968.
The Naval Security Group Command moved from the Naval Security Station to Fort Meade, Maryland in November 1995. The Naval Security Group Command was disestablished September 30, 2005, and on October 1, 2005 it was aligned with the Naval Network Warfare Command, Norfolk, Virginia. This action abolished the Naval Security Group after 70 years of service to the nation.
On January 29, 2010, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command (FCC)/U.S. TENTH Fleet (C10F) was established and has grown into an operational force composed of more than 15,000 Active and Reserve Sailors and civilians organized into 29 active commands, 40 Cyber Mission Force units, and 29 reserve commands around the globe.
U.S. Fleet Cyber Command reports directly to the Chief of Naval Operations as an Echelon II command and is responsible for Navy information network operations, offensive and defensive cyberspace operations, space operations and signals intelligence. As such, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command serves as the Navy component command to U.S. Cyber Command, the Navy space component to U.S. Strategic Command, and the Navy’s Service Cryptologic Component Commander under the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. U.S. TENTH Fleet is the operational arm of Fleet Cyber Command and executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders. In this role, TENTH Fleet provides operational direction through the command’s Maritime Operations Center located at Fort George Meade, Md.
The mission of Fleet Cyber Command is to plan, coordinate, integrate, synchronize, direct, and conduct the full spectrum of cyberspace operational activities required to ensure freedom of action across all of the Navy’s warfighting domains in, through, and from cyberspace, and to deny the same to the Navy’s adversaries.
The mission of Tenth Fleet is to plan, monitor, direct, assess, communicate, coordinate, and execute operations to enable command and control and set the conditions for subordinate commands by:
- Serving as the numbered fleet for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and exercise operational control over U.S. Fleet Cyber Command-assigned forces.
- Directing and delivering desired tactical and operational effects in and through cyberspace, space and the electromagnetic spectrum to Navy commanders worldwide and ensure successful execution of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command-assigned mission areas.