Uncovering Cold War Soviet secrets with the USAF and NSA
Listen now
Tim served in the USAF and the NSA from 1975 to 1988 during some of the most tense periods of the Cold War. This included stints at the US Air Force Electronic Warfare Center at Kelly AFB, Texas, and RAF Chicksands, in the UK working on SIGINT collection of USSR/Warsaw Pact/Other targets. He also served as part of the Cryptologic Support Group, Strategic Air Command HQ, Offutt AFB, Nebraska providing SIGINT briefings to SAC leadership on worldwide events In 1983 he transferred to the NSA and later GCHQ, Cheltenham, Glos 1984-1988. We hear about how the first indications that something was amiss the morning Chernobyl reactor exploded in 1986, the day the cleaners answered the secure phone at SAC HQ, and how at GCHQ the US and British intelligence share information as part of the UKUSA Agreement. 0:00 Introduction and Tim's background in the US Air Force 5:12 Understanding electronic warfare and data gathering at Kelly Air Force Base 16:58 Posting at RAF Chicksands in Bedford, UK, and monitoring for changes in regular patterns 25:52 The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian hostage crisis 36:19 Able Archer alerts and other instances of signals intelligence at Strategic Air Command, Nebraska 44:16 Incident of the KAL007 Korean airliner and US Navy exercise incidents 57:08 Misinterpretation during a briefing on a recon flight of TU-95 bear bombers and gathering intel on the Soviet Union 1:01:18 Constant pressure to provide intel on Soviet leadership and missile alerts during Soviet drills 1:05:34 Transition from Air Force to NSA and role at the NSA 1:14:08 Tracking Chinese air defense and transition to GCHQ 1:22:08 U.S. stance during the Falkland conflict and witnessing the Chernobyl reactor explosion 1:30:59 Anecdote about NSA bureaucracy and language proficiency test 1:34:21 Closing and thanks to supporters Table of contents powered by PodcastAI✨ Extra episode info here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode310/ The fight to preserve Cold War history continues and via a simple monthly donation, you will give me the ammunition to continue to preserve Cold War history. You’ll become part of our community, get ad-free episodes, and get a sought-after CWC coaster as a thank you and you’ll bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history. Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/ If a monthly contribution is not your cup of tea, We also welcome one-off donations via the same link. Find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life! Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/ Thanks to listener Phil Curme for introducing me to Tim. You can read his blog here walkingthebattlefields.com Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/ColdWarPod Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/coldwarpod/ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/coldwarconversations/ Youtube https://youtube.com/@ColdWarConversations Love history? Check out Into History at this link https://intohistory.com/coldwarpod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
More Episodes
Many of Tim’s family had served in WW1 and WW2 and from a young age, he was determined to follow their path. Overcoming huge competition for places he became a driver of the Leopard AS1 MBT at 1st Armoured Regiment of the Australian Army. Australia is largely ignored in most Cold War histories,...
Published 12/02/23
Published 12/01/23
The Jordan Harbinger Show is an award winning podcast with some fascinating recent episodes. I hope you give it a listen.
Published 12/01/23