Sunday, December 16, 2012

GCHQ - Government Communications Headquarters

One of the highlights of my career at the NSA was the opportunity to visit the headquarters of our sister agency in the United Kingdom: GCHQ--Government Communication Headquarters.

They operate out of a beautiful facility in Cheltenham, England. It is called "The Doughnut" for obvious reasons.

Like the NSA, GCHQ is tasked with conducting SIGNT, i.e., Signals Intelligence. That's the interception of electronic communications. It's highly technical stuff which I, as a linguist, never completely understood. But I did appreciate the opportunity to then translate the product of these efforts.

I am also proud to have served side by side with a GCHQ agent assigned to the NSA during my time there. 

The partnership we share with the British in matters of Intelligence and Security is strong and mutually benefical. 

In my novel, In Saecula Saeculorum, one of the main characters is an agent at GCHQ. Like her NSA counterpart, she is undercover as a teacher in a school designed to train four high school students for a mission to go back in time to save the planet. 

I raise my glass, full of red wine, to the women and men serving at GCHQ. God bless your efforts in defense of the security of our nations.

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