The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), a major Army command, conducts dominant intelligence, security and information operations for military commanders and national decision makers. INSCOM is both an organization within the US Army and the National Security Agency (NSA), the US' unified Signals Intelligence Organization. INSCOM and its counterparts in the Navy and Air Force are known as Central Security Service within NSA.
Charged with providing the warfighter the seamless intelligence needed to understand the battlefield and to focus and leverage combat power, INSCOM collects intelligence information in all intelligence disciplines. INSCOM also conducts a wide range of production activities, ranging from intelligence preparation of the battlefield to situation development, SIGINTanalysis, imagery exploitation, and science and technology intelligence production. INSCOM also has major responsibilities in the areas of counterintelligence and force protection, electronic warfare and information warfare, and support to force modernization and training.
INSCOM is a global command with four brigades that tailor their support to the specific needs of different theaters. Eight other groups or activities located worldwide focus primarily on a single intelligence discipline or function. They are available in a reinforcing role, enabling any combat commander to use INSCOM's full range of unique capabilities.
On Jan. 1, 1977, the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) was organized at Arlington Hall Station, Va. The formation of INSCOM provided the Army with a single instrument to conduct multi-discipline intelligence and security operations and electronic warfare at the level above corps and to produce finished intelligence tailored to the Army’s needs.
The new major command merged divergent intelligence disciplines and traditions in a way that was unique to the Army. Its creation marked the most radical realignment of Army intelligence assets in a generation. Several major building blocks were consolidated to form the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. They were the former U.S. Army Security Agency, a signal intelligence and signal security organization with headquarters at Arlington Hall, Va.; the U.S. Army Intelligence Agency, a counterintelligence and human intelligence agency based at Fort George G. Meade, Md.; and several intelligence production units formerly controlled by the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence and U.S. Army Forces Command.
Brig. Gen. (later Maj. Gen.) William I. Rolya, former commanding general of the Army Security Agency and INSCOM’s first commander, had a wide array of diverse assets at his disposal. Initially, these included eight fixed field stations on four continents inherited from the Army Security Agency, various single-discipline units commanded by the U.S. Army Intelligence Agency, and the production centers in the Washington, D.C., area and at Fort Bragg, N. C.
On Oct. 1, 1977, the former U.S. Army Intelligence Agency headquarters was integrated into INSCOM, and the command established a unified intelligence production element, the Intelligence and Threat Analysis Center, on Jan. 1, 1978. Additionally, INSCOM assumed command of three military intelligence groups located overseas: the 66th Military Intelligence Group in Germany, the 470th Military Intelligence Group in Panama, and the 500th Military Intelligence Group in Japan. These groups were transformed into multidisciplinary units by incorporating former Army Security Agency assets into the previously existing elements. A fourth such group, the 501st Military Intelligence Group, was soon organized in Korea.
Under the leadership of General Albert Stubblebine, INSCOM attempted to use parapsychologic methods in order to gather intelligence. This was done as late as 1981. Other intelligence services (such as some German services during World War II) attempted the same before, whithout any useful results.