The National Security Operations Center (NSOC) was inaugurated formally with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 21, 1973.  In a formal message announcing this event, the Director observed: “The National SIGINT Operation Center, although still evolving, is a significant milestone in the continuing development of a coherent and responsive SIGINT System for the United States.

The NSOC is the part of the United States National Security Agency responsible for current operations and time-sensitive signals intelligence (SIGINT) reporting for the United States SIGINT System (USSS).

An operations center on a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week basis, NSOC provides total situational awareness across the NSA/CSS enterprise for both foreign Signals Intelligence and Cyber Security, maintains cognizance of national security information needs, and monitors unfolding world events.


On April 15, 1969, a U.S. Navy EC-121 patrol plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. In the ensuing hours, NSA leaders raced from office to office to gather the information necessary to assemble a coordinated response for the agency and national leadership. This incident demonstrated the need for a dedicated watch center to respond to breaking world events.

The center was established in 1968 as the National SIGINT Watch Center (NSWC) and renamed into National SIGINT Operations Center (NSOC) in 1973. This “nerve center of the NSA” got its current name (National Security Operations Center) in 1996.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, the NSOC’s mission was broadened from watch center to the operations center.  Today, NSOC is called the Nation Security Operations Center (NSOC).

On November 17, 2022, the Morrison Center at the NSA Fort Meade East Campus welcomed its first occupants — signifying a new age in NSA’s world-class defense operations. 

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