White House Communications Agency
White House Communications Agency (WHCA)
Mission: "To provide premier communication systems that enables the President to lead the nation effectively".
The White House Communications Agency (WHCA), originally known as the White House Signal Detachment (WHSD), was officially formed by the War Department on 25 March 1942 during the Roosevelt Administration. The detachment was activated under the Military District of Washington to provide normal and emergency communications requirements in support of the President of the United States. WHSD provided mobile radio, teletype, telephone, and cryptographic aids in the White House and at Shangri-La, now known as Camp David.
In 1954, during the Eisenhower Administration, WHSD was reorganized under the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, Army Signal Corps as a Class II unit and renamed the White House Army Signal Agency (WHASA). In 1962 WHASA was discontinued by order of the Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy, transferred to the auspices of the Defense Communications Agency under operational control of the White House Military Office, and reestablished as the White House Communications Agency.
WHCA played silent, significant roles in many historical events to include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Panama and Guatemala, Operation Just Cause, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. WHCA was also a key player in documenting the assassination of President Kennedy and the attempt on the lives of Presidents Ford and Reagan.
The Agency evolved over the past 50 years from a small team of 32 personnel working out of the basement of the White House to a self-supporting joint service command. Headquarters for WHCA is at Anacostia Navy Annex and consists of seven staff elements and six organizational commands. WHCA also has supporting detachments in various locations throughout the United States. WHCA is organized into functional areas each with its own mission in support of the total WHCA mission of Presidential support. Functions:
WHCA provides telecommunications and related support to the President, Vice President, White House Senior Staff, National Security Council, U.S. Secret Service and others as directed by the White House Military Office.
This support includes non-secure voice, secure voice, record communications, audiovisual and graphic services, and information technology services in Washington, D.C. and trip sites worldwide.