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NSA Historical Figures

Maj Gen Doyle E. Larson, USAF

2009 Hall of Honor Inductee

Major General Doyle Eugene Larson served as the first Commander of the Electronic Security Command (ESC), a predecessor organization of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency. Combining visionary leadership with detailed technical knowledge, he dramatically improved the performance of the cryptologic mission of his globally-dispersed unit.

As a junior officer, General Larson served at the U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) Training School at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. There, he developed a training curriculum for twelve languages and instituted a language proficiency testing program for both students and instructors. He enhanced the program by developing a realistic simulation program for airborne linguists.

As a field grade officer, General Larson developed innovated uses of the RC-135 aircraft for strategic and tactical collection, and personally flew 71 missions over Vietnam. He also was one of the architects of the TEABALL system, a revolutionary concept that fused intelligence collected from various sources to broadcast warnings on surface-to-air missile sites and MiG fighters directly to U.S. pilots operating over enemy territory.

After assuming command of USAFSS in January 1979, General Larson took steps to adopt new technology and revise the doctrine for support operations. His visionary concept of operations broke new ground within the combat Air Force, helping prepare it for the challenges of the late Cold War.

General Larson retired from active duty on August 1, 1983. Throughout 32 years of service, he led by example and personally pioneered and directed implementation of countless singularly important changes in USAF cryptologic operations and C3CM procedures. A recent commander of the Air Intelligence Agency called General Larson the "father of modern C3CM (command, control, and communications countermeasures) and certainly one of the grandfathers of 21st century Information Operations."