Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Was a U.S. navy ship in Israel a NSA spy ship?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
Jara sang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 05:54 PM
Original message
Was a U.S. navy ship in Israel a NSA spy ship?

USNS Apache

Lebanese air and sea blockade
Jul 14, 2006

The US military ordered one of its ships out of Haifa in what a Navy statement said was a precaution. The fleet ocean tug USNS Apache had been on an exercise with the Israeli navy.

http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411366/787343

US supplying Israel with NSA signals intelligence
August 3, 2006

The National Security Agency is providing signal intelligence to Israel to monitor whether Syria and Iran are supplying new armaments to Hezbollah as it fires hundreds of missiles into northern Israel, according to a national security official with direct knowledge of the operation. President Bush has approved the secret program.

http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/US_supplying_Israel_w...

Powhatan Class Fleet Ocean Tug:
Laid down, 22 March 1979, at Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, WI.
Launched, 28 March 1981
Delivered to the Navy, 23 July 1981
Assigned to the Military Sealift Command (MSC), and placed in service as USNS Apache (T-ATF-172)
Apache is currently attached to MSC Atlantic
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Specifications:
Displacement 1,387 t.(lt) 2,000 t.(fl)
Length 218'
Beam 42'
Draft 15' (max)
Speed 15 kts.
Complement 16 civilians, 4 navy (communications unit)
Armament none
Propulsion two GM EMD 20-645F7B diesels (5.73 MW sustained), two shafts, Kort nozzles, CP props, bow thruster, 300hp (224KW)

http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/39172.htm


The USNS Apache is a naval auxiliary ship, it is listed as a Fleet Ocean Tug. The ship for all intents and purposes would be an ideal platform for naval SIGINT activities. Tugs are extremely slow and can linger off the coast of the target nation while collecting signals and not drawing attention to itself.
"What we wanted was a slow tub," recalled Frank Raven, "that was civilian, that could mosey along a coast relatively slowly, take its time, and spend time at sea." Frank Raven was the head of the NSA's "G Group" which monitored signals traffic concerning non-Soviet and non-communist countries in 1960, when the NSA decided it needed seaborne platforms to collect intelligence.
The Fleet Ocean Tugs within the Navy's Military Sealift Command have no homeports, which allows it to be anywhere around the world without suspicion. The USNS Apache just happened to be in Haifa when hostilities between Israel and Lebanon broke out. The ship also falls within Frank Raven's description as it has a complement of mostly civilians with a four man Naval communications unit(read NSA).
The possibility that the Fleet Ocean Tugs were being used as SIGINT platforms hit me when I noticed the resemblance of the Powhatan Class tugs to the navy's other overt surveillance ships, the Stalwart Class Ocean Surveillance Ship which were used in underwater ocean surveillance for Surveillance Towed-Array Sensor System (SURTASS) operations to detect submarines.


Stalwart Class Ocean Surveillance Ship


Powhatan Class USNS Apache


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. Basically, any US Navy ship can be a "spy ship..."
...the technology needed for spying tasks is rather compact, compared to what was used on USS Liberty or USS Pueblo (both of which had distinctive, big-ass antennas). So, your assumption might very-well be correct. :thumbsup:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jara sang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. But to have large navy ships dedicated solely to SIGINT would be costly.
You can't send out a destroyer every time you want to listen in on a certain country's communications. It would be too costly. Plus having it manned mostly by civilians means you don't have to have as many "liberty calls".
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Although the post no longer exists...
...I agree with the poster who wrote it: most of the eavesdropping tasks can be handled via satellite now.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jara sang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I wouldn't say most, but a lot can be handled via satellite.
It still helps to augment your capabilities with as many platforms as possible. Not all communications traffic is routed via satellite
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Jara sang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. kick!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Jara sang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. kick
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Jul 28th 2014, 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC