Arlington Hall Station
From the "MI Fact Book"
Courtesy of Dennis Buley
Arlington Hall Station, Virginia, once served as the site of the Arlington Hall Junior College for Girls. From 1927 to 1942, the Junior College provided a genteel education to a select clientele of young ladies. However, when the United States entered World War II, all-out mobilization of the Armed Forces caused the Army's Signal Intelligence Service to search for a new home after quickly outgrowing its office space in the Munitions Building in nearby Washington,
D.C. SIS discovered Arlington Hall quite by accident when several of its officers happened to be driving down what is now Arlington Boulevard in April 1942. The War Department secured the college's buildings and land through a court- imposed settlement of $650,000, which barely paid off the school's mortgage.
Arlington Hall Station officially became a post on 8 July 1942. Over the next 3 years, construction was undertaken to meet the operational and support needs of the expanding work force which at the war's end had reached 5,700 civilians and 2,250 military personnel (to include 1,000 WAC's). Two large operations buildings plus troop support facilities such as barracks, post exchange, theater, and a recreational center were ultimately constructed.
During the war, the Signal Intelligence Service underwent a number of organizational changes, finally being redesignated the Signal Security Agency on 1 July 1943. The Chief, SIS (later the Chief, SSA) also wore the hat of commander of the Second Signal Service Battalion, which controlled a number of worldwide monitoring detachments. Regardless of organizational changes, the mission at Arlington Hall Station remained focused on protecting U.S. communications and intercepting and deciphering enemy communications.
Following World War II, the Army combined all of its signals intelligence and communications missions and resources into one unit, the Army Security Agency, created on 15 September 1945. For the next 32 years, Arlington Hall Station served as the headquarters of the Army Security Agency and its worldwide command. In 1977, the U.S. Army Security Agency was redesignated the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command and given a new mission. However, Arlington Hall Station continued to served as the new command's headquarters.
Through the years, Arlington Hall Station served as a temporary home to a number of major tenants. These include the Armed Forces Security Service, the Air Force Security Service, the National Security Agency, intelligence elements of five Army technical services, ACSI's technical intelligence unit, Joint Task Force 7, the U.S. Air Force Intelligence Command, the U.S. Army Signal Communications Security Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Communications Agency.
Following the relocation of lNSCOM to a new headquarters building at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Arlington Hall Station was officially closed as an Army post on 30 September 1989. Although its long association with Army intelligence came to an end, Arlington Hall continues today as the new home of the Foreign Service Training Center and the National Guard Bureau.