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NSA Historical Figures

Brigadier General Bernard Ardisana, USAF

2006 Hall of Honor Inductee

Brigadier General Bernard Ardisana served in the U.S. Army Air Force during WWII, then received his degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, where he became chief of the Communications Intelligence Analysis Section 4 at the 6901st Special Communications Group, Zweibrucken, Germany, 1958 to 1961. As chief, he was instrumental in designing the Operations Communications (OPSCOMM) system and his section developed analytic techniques that allowed accurate prediction of an important activity by a major U.S. adversary.

In 1976, Brig Gen Ardisana became the first U.S. Air Force Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) officer to attain general officer rank. He went on to command the USAF Security Service's 6924th Security Squadron during the Vietnam War, and from 1976 to 1977, he served as the Vice Commander of the USAF Security Service.

Throughout his many years of military service, Brig Gen Ardisana was the on-scene cryptologic communications expert who developed or implemented fundamentally important changes to USAF cryptologic operations and procedures. His work on the OPSCOMM system remained the basic configuration for nearly 25 years at U.S. SIGINT sites. His pioneering work in the development of rapid communications was a key concept that was used in the development of the Critical Intelligence Communication system.

Brig Gen Ardisana passed away in January 1978, while serving as NSA's Assistant Deputy Director for Operations.