Welcome to the home of what is but a brief glimpse into the relatively short life of the 6988th Security Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan, and the folks who served not just there, but in other USAFSS units throughout Asia
For those of you who are not familiar with the original United States Air Force Security Service (USAFSS), or any of its successor organizations, the mission of the Security Service (not to be confused with "security forces" or Air Police or other organizations responsible for keeping the order), was, in short, to gather intelligence. Yes, we were spies, or in the vernacular of the times: "Silent Warriors", a moniker we still wear with tremendous pride. The U.S. Armed Forces, in fact, have acted as the primary intelligence collection arms of the super secret (and oft contentious) National Security Agency (NSA) since 1952.
In short, USAFSS personnel, along with our then counterparts in the Army and Navy, collected, processed, analyzed and reported (primarily) communications intelligence (COMINT), electronics intelligence (ELINT), signal intelligence (SIGINT, basically ELINT and COMINT lumped together), and, indirectly, communications security data (COMSEC) -- mostly because of our cryptographic clearances and association with the NSA.
The members of the 6988th were comprised mostly of Chinese, Russian and Korean linguists who flew (again, primarily) aboard the venerable C-130 aircraft (we flew in the C-130B-II* model). We monitored, intercepted and recorded our adversary's military radio transmissions. But we had SIGINT specialists and Morse Intercept Operators aboard, too, to add to our collection and on-board analysis efforts.
In the 6988th at Yokota, our flight crews were called "Bats", and the gray patch above was our crew patch which we proudly wore on the sleeve of our flight suits.
Please click on the "History" link for a bit more information, including a short history of USAFSS.
Thanks very much for stopping by!
* The model was later referred to as "RC-130B-II ... the "R" standing for reconnaissance. The "R" wasn't used initially to help disguise (some would say, not very successfully) our true mission.