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  National Reconnaissance Office NROL-39 insignia

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Author Topic:   National Reconnaissance Office NROL-39 insignia
SkyMan1958
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Posts: 459
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 12-06-2013 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NROL-39 was launched last night (Dec. 5, 2013) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. From its flight parameters it is inferred to be a radar reconnaissance satellite.

Its mission patch is an octopus with arms surrounding the world and the phrase, "Nothing is Beyond Our Reach" at the bottom of the patch. I've already seen comments in the Russian media about how it is an evil looking octopus strangling the world.

I'm a little surprised given the NSA's current PR disaster that the NRO didn't make a more politically-correct type patch. Of course, radar reconnaissance is typically a more military related endeavor as opposed to signal intelligence type satellites.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29911
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-06-2013 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NRO spokesperson Karen Furgerson provided this explanation to Forbes:
NROL-39 is represented by the octopus, a versatile, adaptable, and highly intelligent creature. Emblematically, enemies of the United States can be reached no matter where they choose to hide. "Nothing is beyond our reach" defines this mission and the value it brings to our nation and the warfighters it supports, who serve valiently all over the globe, protecting our nation.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29911
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-02-2014 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Business Insider received documents via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that show that the NROL-39 insignia was based on a hardware problem during testing of the satellite.
The NRO coordination sheet, a document passed along with information about the logo meant for signatures up the chain of command contains an interesting handwritten note with the NRO Director's approval: "Ok," it reads, "A little sinister!!"

While the agency came under fire for its choice of logo at a time of increased scrutiny on U.S. intelligence services, the documents show the logo was approved on Feb. 13, 2012, long before Snowden's disclosures.

In an article meant for internal consumption at NRO and "The Five Eyes" intelligence services called "The Patch Story," the agency explains how it was thought up:

"The secret origin of the patch is initially from [redacted] where the problem during the test stage in the thermal vacuum was traced to a large piece of cabling called an octopus harness," the article reads, while also mentioning the intelligence of the octopus and how it can reach prey in intricate spaces. "The running joke for the crew was that the octopus harness had taken over the world."

James913
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Posts: 47
From: Houston, TX USA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 07-03-2014 03:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James913   Click Here to Email James913     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the new background info, Robert.

Just in case anyone missed it, Jon Stewart did a hilarious bit on this patch on his Daily Show, concluding that: "Seriously, that logo is one terrified schoolgirl away from being a very popular comic in Tokyo..."

Which, of course, inspired a limited run of the following spoof patch from his artwork...

...and my desk globe.

Kevmac
Member

Posts: 195
From: College Station, TX
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 07-03-2014 03:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevmac   Click Here to Email Kevmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did Jon Stewart just do this routine recently? Could you/someone add the link if it exists? Many thanks.

butch wilks
Member

Posts: 244
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 07-03-2014 03:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How can I get one or two of these fantastic patches? As a patch collector and as a fan of Japanese anime I'd love to have one in my collection.

I have a collection of anime patches too I'd like one to go to. Please email if you can.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29911
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-03-2014 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to an eBay seller (roperha), the spoof patch was "produced by personnel associated with this program" and that "only 240 [were] produced from the original production run."

James913
Member

Posts: 47
From: Houston, TX USA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 07-03-2014 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James913   Click Here to Email James913     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Daily Show NSA spot:

The patch art comes up about three minutes into the "report."

Glint
Member

Posts: 812
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 07-03-2014 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just re-reading this thread again and something in the original post stood out:

quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
...Of course, radar reconnaissance is typically a more military related endeavor as opposed to signal intelligence type satellites.

Just wondered if there was some basis for this assumption, particularly the apparent inference that SIGINT missions are somehow less militarily related?

Very nice patch.

butch wilks
Member

Posts: 244
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 07-03-2014 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like it, love it. All we had in the UK was Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman (sorry a bit of a bore is our Jeremy). Can we have this guy (Jon Stewart) now please as Jeremy retired (at last)?

All times are CT (US)

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