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Press Release | June 4, 2002

President George W. Bush Visits the NSA

FORT MEADE, Md.  –  

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) was honored to welcome President George W. Bush to its headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland on June 4, 2002 for an up-close look at the Agency's mission and its contributions in the war against terrorism. President Bush recognized NSA's valuable support over its 50-year rich heritage of providing foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT) and protecting national security-related information systems. He was accompanied by Deputy Director of Central Intelligence John Mclaughlin; Director, Office of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge; and members of the Executive Office of the President.

This is the first time a U.S. President has visited NSA/CSS since his father's Administration, in the early 1990's, when former President George Bush addressed the NSA/CSS employees and praised their contributions in the Persian Gulf War. In a personal, unclassified address today to over 5000 NSA/CSS employees, President George W. Bush acknowledged the contributions made by the NSA workforce in the Nation's current war against terrorism.

During the classified portion of the visit, President Bush toured the National Security Operations Center--a 24/7 watch center that serves as "the nerve center of NSA," and was briefed on the latest counterterrorism initiatives that support the Nation's key policymakers and military warfighters. President Bush and his distinguished party were also shown the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Memorial, housed within NSA's main campus, that pays tribute to 152 military and civilians who lost their lives while performing cryptologic duties during both war and peacetime reconnaissance activities.

"This year marks NSA's 50th Anniversary of cryptologic excellence," Director, NSA/Chief, CSS Lt Gen Hayden said. "NSA has served America for decades as one of the most important sources of foreign intelligence and also as the national security community's center of excellence for information assurance. I am honored that President Bush and key members of our Nation'sleadership visited NSA this morning and helped us to celebrate this pinnacle year in our history."

The National Cryptologic Museum, adjacent to the NSA/CSS headquarters, offers tours and myriad displays on key SIGINT and information assurance activities from as early as the 16th Century and includes a display replicating the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Memorial.

For additional information, please call the NSA Public Affairs Office, 301-688-6524, or visit our web site at