Regional Security Operations Center, Fort Gordon
Don't let the bland name fool you. The Regional Security Operations Center (RSOC) at Fort Gordon is a facility shared by the various armed services to perform intelligence and cryptological tasks under the direction of the National Security Agency. In other words, this is perhaps the biggest concentration of military spooks and spies in the world.
Fort Gordon is the home of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, making it a logical place to locate a center for signal interceptions and intelligence, code-breaking, and interpretation.
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The Regional Security Operations Center (RSOC) includes personnel from each branch of the military, civilian Department of Defense employees, and National Security Agency (NSA) personnel. The main purposes of the RSOC are to supply intelligence data to the various armed services and to train military and civilian personnel in intelligence and cryptological techniques. Approximately 1,000 military and civilian personnel are assigned to RSOC. Fort Gordon itself occupies 56, 000 acres near Augusta.
What’s There: The 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, operated by the Army, is a mobile intelligence service that can be quickly dispatched to any location in the world. In peacetime, about 10% of this brigade is deployed overseas. The Naval Security Group Activity specializes in signals interception and intelligence-gathering from the world’s navies. The 201st Military Intelligence Battalion specializes in signal interception analysis, while the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion specializes in human intelligence, interrogation, and document analysis. The 297th Military Intelligence Battalion performs, in its words, “strategic all-source fusion intelligence support that includes targeting, collection management, and production to war-fighting commanders. ? The 31st Intelligence Squadron performs signal intercepts and gathers intelligence on the world’s air forces. Company D, Marine Support Battalion, trains U.S. Marines in signals intelligence and cryptography. In addition, there are several smaller military intelligence and cryptological units here.
Key Facilities: The good stuff here is kept away from prying eyes (like yours) inside the secured buildings at Fort Gordon.
Secret Stuff: RSOC at Fort Gordon is where the NSA keeps tabs on signal intercepts and electronic surveillance of Latin America. In other words, this is where the NSA tracks Castro’s phone calls, faxes sent by Colombian drug lords, and radio traffic from ships sailing the Gulf of Mexico.
Getting a Look Inside: The Signal Corps Museum in Regimental Hall is open to the public. While there is nothing directly pertaining to RSOC on display, it does have the largest collection of communications equipment and material, both American and foreign, in the United States. It is open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.
Getting There: From Interstate 20 near Augusta, take Exit 194 to Belair Road and Dyess Parkway. Turn onto Dyess Parkway and follow the Fort Gordon signs.