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Vision: Information Dominance; Anytime Anywhere….

Mission: Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I)

The Navy Management System has been in operation since 1978 – The Navy Management Systems Support Office was established to support three existing fleet systems operating at 81 sites in 1978.

Did you catch that date?

The 1980, began a period of remarkable transformation within the U.S. Department of Defense and each of the services.  The post­ Vietnam denigration of things military was reversed by dramatic international events such as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the overrunning of the U.S. Embassy and taking of U.S. citizens as hostages by Iran.

On the national scene, the inauguration of President Reagan, an outspoken supporter of a strong military, led to dramatically in eased defense budgets.  As part of the Reagan administration, a controversial but dynamic new Secretary of the Navy, Mr. John Lehman, began to inject a new sense of purpose and vitality into the fleet.

It was during the 1980s that a fundamental shift began-away the preeminence of strategic priorities for use of space assets, toward a balanced approach that considered tactical requirements equally valid.

4.1 Navy organizational changes

In 1981, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) created the Navy Space Systems Division (OP­943) and assigned as its first Director, Rear Admiral Bill Ramsey (a post-battle group commander), to consolidate sponsorship and oversight for all Navy space programs. Also in 1981, the Navy authorized a Space SUBSPECIALTY (SSP) CODE for officers with significant experience in the management or operation of space programs.

Along with these changes, in 1983, all Navy space systems development and acquisition was consolidated under the Navy Space Project Office (PME-106).

As these changes began to take hold, two final adjustments were made, in 1987, when the Navy Electronic Systems Command was renamed the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and OP-094 was redesignated the Space, Command and Control, and Electronic Warfare directorate.

4.2 Evolution of tactical requirements for satellite surveillance in support of over-the-horizon targeting

As the TASM development effort got underway in the mid-1970s, a dedicated but surprisingly informal effort was begun to unravel the complexities of the over-the-horizon targeting (OTHT) problem.  These efforts began with an investigation of the capabilities and limitations of the following surveillance resources:

  • Land and Sea-based patrol aircraft.  These aircraft were capable of both “eyes-on-target” and stand-off surveillance (using radar and/or SIGINT systems).
  • Underwater acoustic arrays.  U.S. Navy SOSUS capabilities against Soviet submarines also had potential for application against surface units. 

SIGINTThese informal investigations were brought into sharp focus in 1976 when Congress gave the Navy one year in which to develop a solution for targeting Teradata Active System Management (TASM), or have the program cancelled.  In October 1977, the Navy provided to Congress a response that kept the program alive but which was sparse on specifics.  The Navy’s concept for OTH-T was based on four elements:

  • Use of both aircraft and satellite surveillance, working together in some unspecified fashion.
  • Employment of multi-source correlation techniques such as chose tested informally as part of the OUTLAW SHARK effort.
  • Deployment of a radar satellite (CLIPPER BOW).
  • Creation of an office tasked specifically to focus on tactics development and evolution relating to OTH-T (PME-108). 

This team came up with a revolutionary (and, of course, controversial) approach to the OTH-T problem, which became known as “sensor-to-shooter.”  The revolutionary part of their idea was the notion of sending raw (or nearly raw) data from surveillance sensors, directly to units at sea.  Their concept included providing fleet units with a capability to automatically (or semi-automatically) correlate data from several sources, in near-real-time, to produce targeting information.  The controversial element of the concept was that the Navy’s Ocean Surveillance Information System [OSIS] would be bypassed.  It was the team’s assessment that: (1) only a sensor-to-shooter approach would achieve the timeliness required to achieve a targeting solution; and (2) OUTLAW SHARK demonstrations proved that afloat correlation was feasible.

The National Security Agency  Super Surveillance History  DMSP  

The only military weather satellite, operated by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), had its roots in the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) imagery satellite program, which began in the late 1950s.

When the first CIA U-2 reconnaissance mission flew over the Soviet Union on 4 July 1956, the Soviets tracked the flight but had no weapon with which to attack the high-flying platform.  Estimates varied, but U.S. analysts knew it was only a matter of time before the Soviets would develop a weapon to knock down a U-2 (which they succeeded in doing with an SA-2 surface-to-air-missile four years later).  The CIA responded to this threat by starting the SR71development effort in 1958, but even this ultra-high speed reconnaissance aircraft had one significant limitation, the need to overfly the territory of another nation to collect images more than a few tens-of-miles inland.  The CIA’s solution to this problem was to attempt to develop, in partnership with the Advanced Research Projects Agency, an imaging satellite system, code-named Discoverer.

virtual reality

Recognition of this problem coincided with the major successes of the R&D versions of the TIROS polar-orbiting weather satellites launched by NASA.  The Air Force, which was frustrated by the decision to give the CIA the imaging satellite mission, took on the task of building a Defense Meteorological Satellite based on the proven TIROS design.  The DMSP, as it became known, was to: (1) serve as a “weather scout” for the imaging satellites, to reduce wastage of film on cloud-covered targets; and (2) satisfy other DOD requirements for high-resolution weather data. [Note: The emphasis on high-resolution is important. NASA and the Weather Bureau had put the R&D TIROS initially in orbit approximately 600 miles above the earth.  While this altitude provided excellent images of small portions of the Earth’s surface, weather forecasting required instantaneous coverage of larger areas.  As a result, Nimbus, the operational version of TIROS, was raised to an altitude of approximately 1,000 miles.  The resolution required for a weather scout could not be achieved from this altitude.]


The first DMSP was launched in 1963 but experienced stabilization problems.  Four operational DMSP satellites were launched successfully in 1965. The DMSP has been upgraded significantly over the years, but remains the only dedicated U.S. military weather satellite.  Navy efforts

In 1971, the Navy Electronics System Command borrowed an Air Force DMSP van to be used in tests of prototype AN/SMQ-10 antennas aboard USS Kitty Hawk Two large S-Band tracking antennas were installed (one on each side of the ship) and efforts were made to lock-on to the downlinks of DMSP satellites in order to receive weather data directly aboard ship.  The test was successful and led to the first prototype installation, in USS John F. Kennedy, in 1974.

The Navy has been a major beneficiary, for three decades, of weather satellite programs managed by NASA, NOAA, and the Air Force.  The Navy has developed shipboard antennas, receivers, and processors that give large fleet units routine access to near-real-time data from the two civilian and one military U.S. weather satellite systems in operation today.  Smaller ships still experience difficulty during independent operations in obtaining current weather data that includes satellite images and large-scale synoptic charts.  The personnel of the Fleet Numerical Weather Center and the Meteorological and Oceanographic Centers (METOCs) of the Fleet CINCs have ready access to all pertinent weather data, however, and provide daily forecasts and ample warnings to all fleet units to prevent the type of disaster that struck Task Force 38 in 1944.

naval space command1

4.10 CINCSPACE and the Naval Space Command

4.10.1 Background: the U.S. Space Command

The idea of forming a joint command to oversee the operation of U.S. military space systems first surfaced as early as 1959 from musings by then Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Arleigh Burke.

No serious effort toward forming a joint space command was started until the early 1970s when Congress urged the U.S. Air Defense Command to broaden its perspective on issues such as strategic warning, threat characterization, and command and control, to include existing and planned satellite systems.  In the early 1980s, Congress took more forceful action and pushed the Air Force toward consolidation of the Air Defense Command, Air Force Space Command, and the U.S. portion of the North American Air Defense Command into a single organization.

As a result of this prodding, the Air Force formulated a concept for a U.S. Space Command, headed by a Commander-in-Chief (CINC).  This concept was catalyzed and brought into much sharper focus by President Reagan in March of 1983 when he proposed a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) (soon called “Star Wars” after a popular science fiction movie of the time). 

strategic defense

The President’s vision of SDI did not delineate any specific technological approach to neutralizing nuclear weapons but the responses that emerged soon thereafter had a strong space-based component, including both satellite sensors and orbiting battle-stations.  It was only a small step to envision the inclusion of antisatellite weapons in such a mix. If space was to become a legitimate theater for conflict, a CINC Space was thought by some to be a logical evolution.  [The fact that no orbiting battle-stations or anti-satellite weapons were ever built as operational systems has given rise to frequent questions about the need for a joint space command to this day.]

U.S. Space Command was established on 1 October 1984. The Commander, U.S. Space Command was “triple-hatted” as Commander-in-Chief, North American Air Defense Command, and Commander, Air Force Space Command.

Naval Space Command (discussed immediately below) was designated as the naval component of the joint U.S. Space Command on 23 September 1985.

4.10.2 Naval Space Command (and related organizational issues)

On 1 October 1983, the Navy provided its most public indication of its intention to emphasize the operational aspects of space support to fleet operations.  The highly publicized establishment of Naval Space Command, under the leadership of a recently-promoted, distinguished astronaut, had been wafted by Navy Secretary John Lehman to send a message that the Navy intended to remain a serious player in space activities.

When Commodore Richard Truly cook command of Naval Space Command, he had been away from the Navy for almost two decades.  But he had also been on the leading edge of manned U.S. efforts in space and had significant credibility as a spokesman and advocate for Navy space interests.  Naval Space Command began with 72 military and civilian personnel.  The initial organization chart for the command indicated responsibility for the activities of the Navy Astronautics Group (which controlled the TRANSIT satellite navigation system and the Naval Space Surveillance Center (the U.S. CONUS-based radar space-tracking system).

space handbook

It was anticipated at the time that Naval Space Command would form the final node of a triangle that included: (a) Naval Space Command, to collect and validate requirements for satellite support for fleet operations; (b) Navy Space Systems Division (OP-943), to craft and sponsor programs; and (c) NAVELEXSYSCOM (PME-106), to execute the programs and deliver space systems.

During the mid-1980s, Naval Space Command began to organize itself and to formulate its approach to Navy space activities.  A Naval Space Master Plan was drafted to serve as a roadmap for future activities.  A Naval Reserve Unit was commissioned on 1 October 1984 and a Marine Corps Reserve Augmentation Unit was established as part of Naval Space Command in 1987.

As organizational capabilities matured, Naval Space Command assumed operational management of Navy UHF satellite communications and was designated operational commander of the Navy Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar ROTHR (Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar Naval Space Command was given responsibility for ROTHR because the system, although not a Space system, was viewed as a component of a wide-area surveillance “system-of-systemswhich included ROTHR and satellite reconnaissance systems.  Naval Space Command also assumed responsibility for the Navy SLOW WALKER program, which involved placing Navy operators at Air Force Defense Support Program (infrared warning satellite) ground stations.  (See section on TENCAP, below, for more information on SLOW WALKER.)

Tactical Exploitation

From its inception, Naval Space Command accepted responsibility for training Navy and Marine Corps personnel concerning the potential contributions of satellite systems to their missions.  These missionary activities included creation of a variety of teaching tools, including:

  • Senior Officers Space Awareness Wargame
  • Space Tactical Awareness Briefing
  • Space Threat Briefing
  • Space Cell at Naval War College Wargame
  • Joint Space Intelligence Operations Course
  • Sponsoring a Space Chair at the Naval War College
  • Creation of Space Support Teams to work with fleet staffs

By 1989, Naval Space Command had grown to encompass the following subordinate activities and responsibilities:

  • Navy Astronautics Group, Pt. Mugu, California (which controlled Navy satellites such as TRANSIT and GEOSAT).
  • Naval Space Surveillance Center, Dahlgren, Virginia (which operated the U.S. radar tracking system for satellites).
  • Fleet Surveillance Support Command, Chesapeake, Virginia (which was preparing to control Navy ROTHR sites).
  • Naval Space Command Reserve Unit
  • Marine Corps Reserve Augmentation Unit.
  • Naval Space Command Detachment, Colorado Springs, Colorado (an O-6 level liaison office at U.S. Space Command headquarters).
  • Naval Space Command Detachment ECHO (which provided Navy personnel for SLOW WALKER operations at DSP ground stations in Australia and Colorado).
  • Navy TENCAP Detachment, Dahlgren, Virginia.

One difficulty experienced by U.S. Shuttle Astronauts taking photographs from orbit using hand-held cameras was the lack of location information on the pictures.  As part of Shuttle Mission STS-32 (Columbia), Naval Space Command with Navy TENCAP support sponsored initial tests of a Latitude, Longitude, Locator System.  This joint Army-Navy program, under the name HERCULES, continued over a number of Shuttle missions until a reliable system was developed.  This system is still used on selected Shuttle missions.

It is a tribute to Naval Space Command that they also managed to employ MAGSAT in support of Operation Deep Freeze summer’ activities at the same time.  Satellite communications is very difficult in Antarctica because geosynchronous satellites cannot establish line-of-sight below approximately 70 degrees south latitude.  Naval Space Command established MACSAT store-and-forward nodes at: Headquarters, Commander Naval Support Force Antarctica Pt. Hueneme, California

; Detachments at Christ Church, New Zealand and Mc Murdo Station, Antarctica; and for scientific parties on the ice.

op deep freezeIn the Fall of 1993, Naval Space Command withdrew its Detachment ECHO (SLOW WALKER) personnel from the DSP ground station in Australia for JTAGS training and redeployment for JTAGS operations.

In 1992 and 1993, Naval Space Command used R&D funds provided by Navy TENCAP to establish a prototype multi-spectral imagery (MSI) production facility as the Colorado Springs Detachment.  An example of this activity was exercise TANDEM THRUST 93.  During the planning phases for the exercise, which was to be executed on the island of Tinian, it was discovered that the only Defense Mapping Agency maps of Tinian dated back to 1944, were still marked CONFIDENTIAL, and had Japanese positions plotted on them in preparation for an amphibious assault.  [Note: History buffs will recognize that Tinian is the island from which the nuclear attacks against Hiroshima and Nagasaki originated.]


4.11 Navy Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP)

4.11.1Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities

When Congress established the TENCAP program two decades ago, they set in motion a process that has frequently generated tension between the Service TENCAP programs and those responsible for developing and operating U.S. intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance systems.  This section is not a comprehensive history but a chronological summary of highlights from the 19 years of the Navy TENCAP program.  Throughout this section, the institutional conflicts that arose during the course of many Navy TENCAP projects are described briefly because resolving strong differences of opinion has been a consistent element of the TENCAP process.  Finally, this summary focuses on “successful” efforts but, in fairness, many Navy TENCAP endeavors have not resulted in new and useful tactics, techniques, or procedures.

In 1973, the Army began to explore the potential for using national satellite reconnaissance systems in support of tactical forces in the field.  These systems, also called “national technical means of verification,” had been used almost exclusively for gathering intelligence for the national command authorities and strategic forces up to that time.  The Army’s efforts were focused on developing equipment that would permit Corps-level forces to receive and exploit national systems’ data in the field.

During the establishment of the program, the decision was made to limit Navy TENCAP activities to research and development, and training.  The Army had a different perspective and gave its TENCAP organization responsibility for acquiring TENCAP systems and for full life-cycle support of any equipment they developed.

4.11.2  1977-1981

During the initial years of the TENCAP effort, the program’s budget was taken “out of hide” and never exceeded $1.0 million in any fiscal year.  The focus of the Navy TENCAP program during this period was on training fleet personnel in the capabilities and limitations of national systems.  Initial Navy TENCAP efforts involved: the injection of information on satellite reconnaissance systems into the curriculum and wargames of the Naval War College; providing materials to the Fleet Training Centers; and working with the other services to develop a Tactical Exploitation of National Systems manual.


4.11.3  1982-1983

The Navy TENCAP budget broke the $1.0 million dollar threshold for the first time and the office began to initiate research and development efforts.  The first independent Navy TENCAP efforts were influenced by two studies:

The Chief of Naval Operations sponsored an Integrated Tactical Surveillance System (ITSS) study (see Section 4.7.1) which provided funds to several of the largest Department of Defense contractors for assessments of state-of-the-art capabilities that might be used for wide area surveillance against Soviet forces.  As noted earlier, the ITSS studies recommended a “system-of-systems” approach to wide area surveillance, with heavy reliance on satellites and over-the-horizon-radar.

At the same time, Mr. Leo Brubaker, a maverick, mid-level analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, conducted an assessment–under the study name Sudden Dawn-of unusual phenomena uncovered during Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) efforts using reconnaissance satellites.

In 1982, Navy TENCAP began detailed research into the tactical support potential of the Air Force’s Defense Support Program (DSP) strategic infrared warning satellites, under the project name SLOW WALKER.  This effort was based in part on ITSS suggestions that infrared sensors should be part of the wide area surveillance mix and hints in the Sudden Dawn results that unexploited capabilities of the DSP satellites might have tactical applications. TRAP

One fall-out of this intense, effective, but substantially “ad hoc” effort was demands from the fleet to install TRAP receive equipment and tactical data     processors on a large number of combatants.  The Navy’s Afloat Correlation System program, an effort to develop advanced tracking correlation, information management, and display capabilities for shipboard use (a program that had fiscal and schedule problems) was cancelled and the funds were used to satisfy the fleet’s demands.  High To ??

Commander Hardcastle-Taylor could not find support for his idea within the lice of Naval Intelligence or the Naval Security Group and approached Navy TENCAP which agreed to sponsor an operational test.

4.11.5  1988 -1989

NSA placed numerous roadblocks in the way of this effort, frequently citing lack of funds as the reason for not making progress.  Persistence on the part of the Air Force-Navy team in validating operational requirements, coupled with Navy TENCAP funding for on-line databases and system interfaces, and a final political push by the joint Staff TENCAP office, led eventually to a prototype operational capability.  Details on the application of this capability are provided below.

Navy TENCAP responded to CINCPAC ‘s priority by arranging joint demonstrations of three new technical capabilities and one highly controversial operational concept, as follows:

The first operational demonstration of AENs on the TRAP Broadcast, reporting live targets. 


NSA resisted the Tactical Support Group idea throughout the year-long project planning process.  The concept involved placing personnel from operational commands-people intimately familiar with threats, priorities, and joint operating procedures in the western Pacific-into one of NSA’s covert facilities, in a deliberate attempt to influence collection, processing, and reporting in real-time, for the benefit of combat units.

The NIGHT FURY Tactical Support Group comprised eight enlisted intelligence analysts (two from each service) provided by CINCPAC; and an officer-in-charge with recent VQ/EP-3E experience in the Pacific (Lieutenant Commander Scott Orosz), provided by Navy TENCAP

NIGHT FURY yielded the following improvements in joint tactics, techniques, and procedures:

The reporting of nonELINT data, via Alliance for Europe of the Nations (AENs, on the TRAP Broadcast worked well and was used extensively during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (and is used today in all U.S. exercises and operations).

4.11.6  1990  

4.11.7  1991-1992

[Note: Since 1990, Navy TENCAP has assigned specific names to those R&D efforts which attain project status.  In compliance with CNO naming conventions, TENCAP projects are given two-word labels, the first word of which is always “Radiant.”

Many members of the national intelligence and space communities have opposed the Service TENCAP programs over the years because of their “intrusion” into areas that are often regarded as the responsibility of other organizations.

For these individuals, two historical events at the beginning of the 1990s offered hope that the TENCAP program would soon wither away.  These events were: (a) the end of the Cold War, which caused national intelligence organizations to shift their focus from strategic to tactical priorities (as a matter of fiscal survival); and (b) DESERT STORM, the most significant U.S. military operation in twenty years, which forced national intelligence and space organizations to place tactical support above all other priorities.  The 1990s have, instead, proved to be something of a Golden Age for the Navy TENCAP program.

The Army and Navy argued forcefully that in the post-Cold War era, and in light of DESERT STORM experiences, it was time to push existing satellite systems to the full limits of their potential.  Recognizing that pushing the performance envelope would, however, produce some false alarms, the Army and Navy proposed using separate processors and the existing TRAP Broadcast, to keep tactical and strategic reporting entirely separate.

cyber forceNavy TENCAP and the Army were eventually able to arrange a meeting involving: the Commander, U.S. Space Command, General, USAF; Vice Admiral the Director, Space & Electronic Warfare (on the CNO staff); Naval Space Command; and the Commander, Army Space Command.  At this early 1991 meeting, General Kutyna approved the test proposals and thanked the Army and Navy for “dragging the Air Force kicking and screaming into the Twenty-First Century.”

For several additional months, however, Air Force Space Command stalled Army preparations for joint testing by finding numerous administrative reasons for not turning over crypto keys for the DSP downlink.  In the fall of 1991, at a meeting chaired by Brigadier General Stewart, USA, Director, Plans and Policy for U.S. Space Command, Air Force Space Command finally agreed to provide the DSP downlink crypto keys to the Army.

After four successful days of testing, with cross-system fusion, an Air Force Space Wing Commander (subordinate to Air Force Space Command) initiated a “no notice’ strategic readiness exercise at the DSP European Ground Station, which required the site to terminate all on-going R&D projects.

Navy TENCAP requests for an exemption from these rules (made to both U.S. and Air Force Space Commands) – on the basis that: (a) the extent of the R&D effort at the DSP Ground Station was merely a passive tap offthe DSP downlink; (b) Navy TENCAP had invested significant funds in leasing a satellite communications channel; and (c) the tests had been fully coordinated in advance with both U.S. and Air Force Space Commands­ were to no avail.

Joint Tactical Ground StationThe Army transformed their TSD effort into the Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) program and subsequently deployed prototype systems to Germany and the Republic of Korea, where they remain today.  Production JTAGS are scheduled for deployment in 1997.  Naval Space Command Detachment ECHO provides 50 percent of the JTAGS manning.

An interesting sidelight of the TSD- JTAGS saga is that Air Force Space Command recognized belatedly that the Army effort was going to succeed and, after toying briefly with the notion of developing an Air Force system from scratch, went to Aerojet General Corporation (who built TSD and JTAGS for the Army) and purchased two systems.  One, called ALERT, is an operational component of U.S. Space Command’s Theater Event System (with the two deployed JTAGS and TACDAR); the other is an R&D testbed under the name Shield.

4.14  Navy funding policy for space: historical perspective

The U.S. Navy clearly was (and will undoubtedly continue to be) the largest user of satellite systems for support of its operating forces.  In the press of Navy budgeting for ships, aircraft, and weapon systems over the years, however, the Navy never made funding contributions for space-based systems that were commensurate with the degree of Navy’s dependence on them.  Most military satellite systems are very expensive-comparable with aircraft squadrons and major ships.  Until the OPNAV reorganization of 1992, there was not a high enough convergent point of sponsorship responsibility on the CNO’s staff to weigh the worth of satellites compared to the costs of additional ships, submarines, aircraft, and weapons.  Instead, Navy leaders consistently hoped, and came to expect, that “someone else” (NRO, ARPA, DOD, or Air Force) would pay for the acquisition, launch and operations of the satellites.

It was this funding strategy (or lack of it), as much as any national or DOD policy constraints, that resulted in the fact that the Navy did not undertake (after the Transit navigation system in the 1960s) the development of any major satellite-systems acquisition.

surveillance targeting

4.14.1  Navy’s “leveraged funding” approach

Instead of contributing a major share of funding to space programs (or even a “fair share”, according to the Air Force), Navy chose to make minimal investments in its space program (about $300-400 million dollars per year) and attempt to leverage this minimum into the acquisition, by others, of the space-systems to support the Navy’s needs for communications, navigation, surveillance, targeting support, and environmental-data collection.

4.14.3 “Common User” requirements

The persistent hope of Congress in funding deliberations has been that space-surveillance systems can be made more affordable by designing them to meet “common-user” requirements-that is, by collecting requirements from all potentially interested users, and then designing each space system to meet some set of those requirements. That approach worked reasonably well, for example, in the acquisition of the space-based Global Positioning System for “common-user” navigation.


Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic reports directly to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command located in San Diego, Calif.  We utilize our major stateside offices in South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Florida and Washington, D.C., as well as overseas posts in Europe, the Mideast and Antarctica, to effectively meet the needs of our customers.

SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic is a Department of the Navy organization.  We meet our nation’s demands for uninterrupted vigilance, fail-safe cybersecurity, adaptive response and engineering excellence by delivering secure, integrated and innovative solutions to many naval, joint and national agencies.

We are honored to serve naval, joint and national warfighters’ unified efforts to best cope with the dangers of the 21st century and beyond by enabling them to respond to any situation, anywhere, at any time.  We design, acquire, engineer and sustain the systems, sensor connections, cyber network infrastructures and knowledge management services to ensure reliable information is available to only those who need it, where and when it is needed.

History of SPAWAR:

2011 Captain (Sel) Mark Glover assumed command of SSC Atlantic at a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station July 28, 2011.  Glover was officially promoted to the rank of Navy captain Sept. 1, 2011. (Note this date)

2008 – The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic was commissioned September 29, 2008 during ceremonies in Charleston, S.C., Norfolk, Va., and New Orleans, La.  Under the command of Captain Bruce Urbon, SSC Atlantic includes the former SSC Charleston, SSC Norfolk and SSC New Orleans, along with several sites in the continental United States and strategic satellite offices in Europe, the Middle East and Antarctica. SSC Atlantic also incorporates approximately 48 civilian former employees of SSC San Diego who work in the Tidewater, Va., area to support the Atlantic fleet. SSC Atlantic has more than 3,400 government employees, 120 military personnel and significant industry partnerships.

2002 – Norfolk, Va. – In January 2002, SSC Chesapeake physically relocated to Norfolk Naval Base and became SSC Norfolk.

2000 – New Orleans, La. – SSC New Orleans officially became part of the SPAWAR family in November and was initially called the Space and Naval Warfare Information Technology Center.

1999 – Charleston, S.C. – The Naval Computer and Telecommunications Command (NCTC) signed an agreement  Aug. 10, 1999 to transfer its Navy Working Capital Fund (NWCF) activities and associated NCTC headquarters personnel directly supporting the NWCF activities to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. NCTC activities in Norfolk, Va., Washington, DC, Pensacola and Jacksonville, Fla., transferred to SSC Charleston.

1999 – New Orleans, La. – The doors of SSC Atlantic’s New Orleans Office were officially opened in dedication ceremonies in May 1999, but the center’s personnel, like the city, have a long-standing relationship with the Navy. In fact, the SSC Atlantic New Orleans Office actually traces its origins back nearly a quarter of a century, when the Naval Reserve, which is headquartered in New Orleans, began using computers and information technology to automate business processes related to manpower, personnel, pay and training.

1997 – New Orleans, La. –  The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition designated COMNAVRESFOR the Systems Executive Officer for Manpower and Personnel (SEO(MP)), with assigned responsibility for acquisition and program management of all Navy manpower and personnel information resources, as well as designated Department of Defense personnel and pay systems. NAVRESINFOSYSOFF worked closely with the SEO(MP) staff, providing technical execution expertise, systems engineering, and operation and maintenance of systems under the purview of the SEO(MP). The two organizations were co-located at the Naval Support Activity in New Orleans. Also in 1997, with increasing command-critical Navy work being executed in New Orleans, federal, state and local officials obtained approval from the Navy to partner with the local academic community and private industry to establish an Information Technology Center in the University of New Orleans Research and Technology Park then under construction adjacent to the University’s Lakefront campus.

1997 –  Charleston, S.C. – On Sept. 30, 1997 a BRAC decision merged the Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center into its parent command, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. As a result, the field activities were renamed and NISE East became SSC Charleston.

1997 – Norfolk, Va. – In October, Navy Management Systems Support Office joined with SPAWAR and became SSC Chesapeake.

1995 – New Orleans, La. – The office was formally designated the Naval Reserve Information Systems Office (NAVRESINFOSYSOFF) and conferred Echelon III status. NAVRESINFOSYSOFF became the central design agency for Naval Reserve manpower, personnel and training systems. Based on its excellent record of customer service and rapid deployment of systems, NAVRESINFOSYSOFF in 1997 was designated as the central design agency for many Navy manpower and personnel systems, and assumed responsibility for managing and maintaining dozens of Navy legacy programs.

1993 – Charleston, S.C. – A naval command was commissioned Jan. 9, 1994, establishing the Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center, In-Service Engineering, East Coast Division (NISE East). The consolidation was the result of the 1993 Base Closure and Realignment Commission’s  decision. This new command brought together the expertise of approximately 1,000 federal workers from four former naval activities along the East Coast:

  • Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center in Charleston, S.C.;
  • Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center in Portsmouth, Va.;
  • Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Activity in St. Inigoes, Md.; and
  • Naval Electronic Systems Security Engineering Center in Washington, D.C.

1981 – Norfolk, Va. – The command’s mission expanded to include automation responsibilities for key fleet business areas including aviation.

1978 – Norfolk, Va. – Navy Management Systems Support Office was established to support three existing fleet systems operating at 81 sites.

A recent study shows that Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic based in Charleston plays a vital role in local, regional and national economic development, and provides a significant impact on local economies in South Carolina.


NSA’s Suite B approved crypto is strong when implemented properly. But is it? Common implementations of AES, SHA-256 and ECDSA can leak secrets via radiated emissions and power consumption measurements. See how keys can be extracted from all three algorithms and learn how developers and product integrators can address side channel vulnerabilities.