The Yakima Training Center (YTC) is a United States Army training center (Army maneuver training and live fire area) located in south central Washington state. It is bounded on the west by Interstate 82, on the south by the city of Yakima, on the north by the city of Ellensburg and Interstate 90, and on the east by the Columbia River. It comprises 327,000 acres (132,332 hectares) of land, most of which consists of shrub-steppe, making it one of the largest areas of shrub-steppe habitat remaining in Washington state. According to a 2001 report by the European Parliament, the Yakima Training Center is also an integral part of the ECHELON global communications interception system.
Sugar Grove is an American government communications site located in Pendleton County, West Virginia operated by the National Security Agency. According to a December 25, 2005 article in the New York Times, the site intercepts all international communications entering the Eastern United States. The site was first developed by the Naval Research Laboratory in the early 1960s as the site of a 600 ft (180 m) radio telescope that would gather intelligence on Soviet radar and radio signals reflected from the moon and would gather radioastronomical data on outer space, but the project was halted in 1962 before the telescope construction was completed. The site was then developed as a radio receiving station. The site was activated as “Naval Radio Station Sugar Grove” on May 10, 1969, and two Wullenweber Circulary Disposed Antenna Arrays (CDAAs) were completed on November 8, 1969. Numerous other antennas, dishes, domes, and other facilities were constructed in the following years. Some of the more significant radio telescopes on site are a 60 ft (18 m) dish (oldest telescope on site), a 105 ft (32 m) dish featuring a special waveguide receiver and a 150 ft (46 m) dish (largest telescope on site).
GCHQ Bude, formerly known as the the GCHQ Composite Signals Organisation Station (CSOS) Morwenstow, is a satellite ground station located on the north Cornwall coast between the small villages of Morwenstow and Coombe, UK operated by the British signals intelligence service (GCHQ) on the site of the former World War II airfield, RAF Cleave. Staff are drawn from GCHQ (UK) and the NSA (U.S.) and the station is operated under the UKUSA agreement, gathering data for the ECHELON signals intelligence (SIGINT) network. Comparable stations in operation include Menwith Hill (UK), Sugar Grove (West Virginia, U.S.), Yakima (Washington, U.S.), Sabana Seca (Puerto Rico), Misawa (Japan), Pine Gap (Australia), Geraldton (Australia), GCSB Waihopai (New Zealand) and GCSB Tangimoana (New Zealand) that cover other INTELSAT areas such as South America and the Pacific Ocean. GCHQ Bude is located about 100 km from the commercially operated Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station that handles civilian communications which was closed in 2008.
The existence of a global system for intercepting private and commercial communications (the ECHELON interception system)
A. whereas the existence of a global system for intercepting communications, operating by means of cooperation proportionate to their capabilities among the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand under the UKUSA Agreement, is no longer in doubt; whereas it seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail . . .