Date of this Version
This is a very thorough manual which can be viewed as a detailed definition of Signal Corps technical intelligence and of the role of the Signal Corps Intelligence Agency (SCIA). When this was published the field of Signal Corps technical intelligence was about 15 years old and the SCIA was about six years old.
The modern US Army vision of the technical intelligence developed during World War II. Shortly before World War II, Army Technical Services had been instructed to set up intelligence sections in the office of their chiefs. The technical services were bureaus which supplied weapons, equipment, and services to the Army, managed the careers of officers in a particular branch, trained specialists, and organized and trained special purpose military units. There were a number of technical services including the Chemical Warfare Service, the Medical Department, the Ordnance Department, the Quartermaster Corps, etc. The Signal Corps developed, procured, maintained, and operated communication equipment for the Army and ran the Army’s communications networks as well as providing photographic equipment and services. It managed the careers of officers commissioned in the Signal Corps branch. The head of the Signal Corps was a general with the title of the Chief Signal Officer. The office of the Chief Signal Officer was the headquarters of the Signal Corps in Washington, DC.
During World War II, the importance of studying foreign military equipment had become apparent and procedures for collecting and evaluating of equipment had been developed. Technical intelligence organizations in the Technical Services grew and operating procedures were developed and refined. Technical intelligence came to be defined as production and dissemination of intelligence about foreign weapons and equipment and production and dissemination of intelligence about foreign capabilities analogous to those of the technical services in the US Army. For example, during the 1950s, the Signal Corps was responsible for intelligence concerning the communication systems of the Warsaw Pact armed forces. Since there was no national intelligence agency with expertise in communications and power systems, the Signal Corps was made responsible for intelligence about the communications and power grids of foreign nations.
This manual is a through elaboration of Army doctrine concerning signal technical intelligence and technical intelligence in general.
According the manual, “Signal intelligence is that portion of technical and scientific intelligence that is concerned with signal and electronic equipment, systems, installations, organizations, doctrines, tactics and techniques of foreign nations, both military and civil…” Note that the Signal Corps was not concerned with communications or electronic intelligence which involves the interception and use of communications and other electromagnetic radiation.
The organization responsible for handling signal intelligence for the Signal Corps was the Signal Corps Intelligence Agency (SCIA) which worked directly for the Chief Signal Officer with oversight from the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) in the Army General Staff. According to this manual, the SCIA was responsible for:
- Producing, and keeping current files of information and intelligence … This includes intelligence … [foreign countries of interest], such as:
(a) Foreign equipment designed, performance, manufacture, storage, maintenance, capabilities, and limitations,
(b) Foreign military communication organizations, installations, signal doctrines and techniques.
(c) Foreign civilian communications facilities: their nature, operating characteristics, capabilities, limitations, vulnerabilities, and military use potential, including the effects of weather, terrain, and other environmental factors.
- Disseminating intelligence…
- Exercising technical supervision over collection and use of signal intelligence information in theaters of operation.
- Processing and abstracting information from foreign equipment received from oversea theaters.
- Originating and processing collection requirements for signal equipment and supplies…
- Training personnel and units for specialization in technical analysis and preparation of technical reports, studies, and estimates.
The manual elaborates on the details of signal intelligence operations and training with emphasis on operations in the field.
Appendices contain information about various Signal Corps technical intelligence documents.