Date of this Version
Reorganization of the Army and creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara lead to the creation of the Area Intelligence Analysis Agency.
For 20 years before 1962, the concept of technical intelligence had evolved in the US Army. Originally the Army Technical Services were charged with producing intelligence about German and Japanese weapons and about organizations analogous to the Army Technical Services in the German and Japanese armed forces.
The Army Technical Services were bureaus within the Headquarters, Department of the Army, which supplied weapons, equipment, and services to the Army, managed the careers of officers in a particular branch (like the Quartermaster Corps, the Chemical Corps, and several medical-related branches in the Army Medical Department), trained specialists, and organized and trained special purpose military units. Each was headed by a general officer with a headquarters in Washington called the office of the chief (Like the Office of the Surgeon General). The Technical Services were:
Service Name / Title of Chief / Abbreviation for Headquarters
Chemical Corps / Chief Chemical Officer / OCCO
Corps of Engineers / Chief of Engineers / OCE
Army Medical Service / The Surgeon General* / OTSG
Ordnance Corp / Chief of Ordnance / OCO
Quartermaster Corps / Quartermaster General / OQMG
Signal Corps / Chief Signal Officer / OCSO
Transportation Corps / Chief of Transporation / OCT
*The Surgeon General, US Army, should not be confused with the Surgeon General of the United States who is the head of the Public Health Service.
After World War, Army intelligence efforts changed focus but remained interested in foreign weapons and equipment and technical services organizations in foreign armys. Since there was no national-level military intelligence agency, the Army Technical Services intelligence organizations were assigned to produce various kinds of strategic intelligence. For example, the Transportation Corps produced intelligence concerning railroads, inland waterways, and highways with assistance from its contractor Georgetown University. The Signal Corps produced intelligence on civilian communications and electrical networks with assistance from its contractor the Radio Corporation of America. The Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors of the Corps of Engineers produced intelligence about foreign ports. The Beach Erosion Board of the Corps of Engineers produced intelligence about potential landing beaches. The Corps of Engineers produced intelligence about terrain with assistance from its contractor the Military Geography Branch of the US Geological Survey. The Army Medical Services produced intelligence about public health and the public health systems in foreign countries.
McNamara decided to modernize and centralize the way the Army does business. The Army was required to devise plans for centralizing weapons acquisition, military personnel management, training, etc. This required the abolishment and or radical reorganization of the Army Technical Servces. The Army Medical Services and the Corps of Engineers survived with greatly reduced responsibilities. The McNamara reforms of the Army are described in detail in From Root to McNamara: Army Organization and Administration (1975)by James E. Hewes, Jr., an official history produced by the Army Center for Military History which is available at: http://www.history.army.mil/books/root/
Because the Army Technical Services were being abolished, their intelligence functions had to be reassigned. . It was decided to divide the intelligence responsibilities of the old Army Technical Services between two new Army intelligence Agencies:
- The Army Foreign Science and Technology Center (FSTC) which was responsible for the intelligence about weapons and equipment, and
- The Area Analysis Intelligence Agency (AAIA) which took over the other intelligence responsibilities of the old Army technical services.
That decision was formalized in in a Reorganization Planning Directive, “Department of the Army Reorganization Planning Directive 381-2, Technical, Area Analysis, and Order of Battle That decision Intelligence Production, 18 May 1962” which is available at:
This file contains detailed instructions for disentangling the intelligence activities of the Army technical services to create the Army Area Intelligence Agency (AAIA), a special purpose military organization subordinate to the Army Map Service within the Corps of Engineers. The Medical Information and Intelligence Agency (MIIA) of the Army Medical Services was to be collocated with the AAIA and to work closely with it. The AAIA was to have about 720 workers , including personnel from contractors, and a budget of approximately $8 million dollars.
Enclosure 2 to Tab B (Page 32 of this PDF document), describes the mission of the AAIA as follows:
[AAIA] is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing a balanced intelligence program within the area of Army responsibility for the following fields of interest:
b. Military Geography,
c. Telecommunications, [and]
d. Military Resources.
Such a program contains an all source capability and will include initiating and guiding the collection of intelligence information, organizing and maintaining intelligence, and producing and disseminating intelligence in whatever form required for Army, joint, and national intelligence use in R&D, operational and logistical planning, training, and missile support. The Agency will receive and integrate health and sanitation data produced by the Medical Information and Intelligence Agency, Office of the Surgeon General.
The organization chart of the AAIA in Enclosure 2 to Tab D (on Page 51 of this PDF document) shows that the AAIA would have three department:
(1) A Transportation Department with four divisions:
- The Highways Division
- The Railroad Division
- The Ports Division
- The Inland Waterways Division
(2) A Military Industrial Department two divisions:
The Telecommunions Division
- The Miliary Resources Division
(3) An Environment Department with three divisons:
The Terrain Division
- The Urban Areas Division
- The Coast and Landing Beaches Division
A short time after AAIA was organized, it was nationalized when it was absorbed by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). At that time the Medical Information and Intelligence Agency was also absorbed by DIA as well.