SOSUS Unclassified Cover Story

Sometime shortly after the establishment of Project Caesar in 1952 and the installation of Naval Facilities in 1954, the following unclassified cover story was developed and used to describe the mission of the NAVFACs and those who supported them. The slogan "We Serve In Silence" was widely adopted and displayed at many of the Naval Facilities. The cover story was used until 1991.

"During World War II, the U. S. Navy's efforts against the submarine threat were frequently frustrated because of limitations in its knowledge of the ocean environment and lack of information concerning oceanographic and acoustic conditions off the continental coasts. It became apparent at the end of the war that the German Navy had better information than the U. S. on ocean areas of the Atlantic and Pacific. Consequently, since the war, the U. S. Navy has maintained a continuing program of oceanographic surveys designed to provide more detailed information on currents, temperature, salinity and other factors which comprise the oceanic environment and affect the transmission of sound in sea water The U. S. Navy is determined to never again lag behind others in its knowledge of this vital area."

"This program of oceanographic and acoustic surveys requires ships to work throughout the year in the various ocean areas of the world. Because of other commitments, it is not always possible to allocate ships which can be exclusively dedicated to this duty on a continuous basis. Moreover, the collection of data by ships is very often a slow procedure. Rapid advances in the field of electronics have made it possible to obtain at least part of the information more expeditiously and more economically by means of shore stations. These are the U. S. Naval Facilities."

"The headquarters or evaluation centers of the Naval Facilities act as a central repository for the data received from the Naval Facilities by means of high speed communications. This permits a variety of users to quickly retrieve the data required. Certain of the data are provided to the Fleet ASW Data Analysis Program for post operational reconstruction of the overall picture of an ASW exercise by integrating environmental and tactical information derived during that exercise. This oceanographic information is also disseminated on a real-time basis to Fleet Commanders, since knowledge of the environment is a vital factor in successful ASW operations. Because of this, the Oceanographic System Commanders report directly to their respective Fleet Commanders."