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The National Archives National Declassification Center (NDC) has issued its seventh biannual Report on Operations of the National Declassification Center, covering January 1 through June 30, 2013. The report is online [www.archives.gov/declassification/ndc/reports].

Since its inception in January, 2010, the NDC has assessed the 357-million-page classified records backlog at the National Archives and completed equity referral quality assurance on 278 million pages. The NDC has completed all processing of more than 118 million pages of this backlog.

In our last report, NDC Director Sheryl J. Shenberger noted the completion of the first measurable stage in the NDC process, that of assessment. The next and most significant step is the quality assurance evaluation for national security information. Directed by Executive Order 13526 to facilitate quality assurance measures, the center has implemented an inter-agency process of risk management to ensure records are reviewed properly prior to public access. The quality assurance assessment ensures that the records containing still-sensitive information are properly withheld and that those appropriate for release are indeed declassified.

Nearly 80% of the backlog records have successfully passed this step.

“National Archives staff and our agency partners have completed the quality assurance review for national security information on some 278 million pages. Through expedited processes and inter-agency cooperation, the NDC believes it is on track to complete the quality assurance for declassification on the remaining 79 million pages by the 31 December deadline,” noted Shenberger.

“This progress was achieved in spite of the inconsistencies of earlier reviews; the problematic referral markings; the unexpected impact of absent page-level review for Restricted Data/Formerly Restricted Data; and preservation emergencies, such as mold and brittle records remediation,” she added.

 

You may comment on the report by sending a comment to this blog or to NDC@NARA.gov

 

USS Pueblo Ship Plans

by on June 28, 2013


Today’s NDC Blog post concerns a painful episode in modern U.S. history, an earlier chapter of a story that has been in the news frequently over the past months. On January 23, 1968, units of the North Korean Navy captured the environmental research ship USS Pueblo (AGER-2) in international waters off the east coast of North Korean near the port city of Wonson while she was conducting SIGINT operations in the area. One American sailor died during the capture, and the surviving 82 officers and men of the ship were imprisoned at two different locations in North Korea until their release on December 23, 1968. The North Koreans kept the Pueblo, and she was moored initially in the port city of Wonson. In 1996, the North Koreans moved the ship around the Korean peninsula and up the country’s west coast to a new berth in the Taedong River in the capital city of Pyongyang.  Pueblo is now moored outside a new museum in the North Korean capital, however she is still on the Naval Vessel Registry as an active commissioned warship in the U.S. Navy.

 
In this post, the NDC presents two drawings of the Pueblo which is, I believe, their first public appearance. These drawings are a part of the Pueblo historical record series created by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Security Group. The NDC is in the process of organizing and declassifying this record series, although we anticipate only a small number of records will be declassified from this effort.
As for the drawings themselves, in terms familiar to naval architects and ship afficianadoes we are presenting the Pueblo’s inboard and outboard profiles. An inboard profile is a cutaway view of the ship—you are seeing her as if she had been cut with a knife down her centerline. An outboard profile is a view of the ship as she would appear to an observer outside the skin of the ship. As you can see from the poor quality of these digital reproductions, these drawings are not originals. They are thermofax copies made either by or for Naval Security Group as part of their Pueblo history file. The drawings do not contain the ship plan data block usually found on drawings of this type. As a result, we don’t know the date of the plans, but they probably date from 1966, about when the ship started her conversion from a light cargo ship (AKL) to an AGER. We are sure, however, that the drawings are of Pueblo as her outboard profile carries the GER 2 hull designation.  Ironically, the ship was actually commissioned on May 13, 1967 with her former hull designation AKL-44 freshly painted on her bow.

 
I wish to thank NDC staff member Gary Denholm and the NARA Photo Imaging Lab staff Cecilia Epstein and Phillip Corrigan for conserving these drawings and digitizing them.

 

 

Outboard Profile USS Pueblo (AGER-2), ca. 1966

  

 

 

 

Inboard Profile USS Pueblo (AGER-2) ca. 1966

 

 

 



The NDC has released a listing of 416 entriesExcel document that have completed declassification processing between April 25 and May 31, 2013 and are now available for researcher request. This release records from both military and civilian agencies.

Highlights include:

  • Central Policy Files from the U.S. Army Office Of The Assistant Chief Of Staff For Intelligence,
  • Naval History and Heritage Command, World War II Command Files,
  • Atomic Energy Commission Subject Files of Chairman John McCone,
  • Department of State Subject Files Pertaining to the U.S. Admissions Program for Indochinese Refugees, 1980 – 1981,
  • Records Of The National Bipartisan Commission On Central America (Kissinger Commission),
  • United Nations Command, Prisoner Of War Command Records from the Korean Conflict,
  • United States Information Agency Country and Subject Files for Latin America and Spain, and
  • Air Force Directorate Of Plans; Secret Central Files

How to Request Records or Order Copies:

Requests to access the newly released records or to order copies should be directed to Archives 2 Reference at 301-837-3510 or archives2reference@nara.gov.

(When making a request, please cite the HMS Entry and Series Title.)



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The NDC has released a listing of 170 entries Excel document that have completed declassification processing between December 7, 2012 and April 24, 2013 and are now available for researcher request. This release records from both military and civilian agencies.

Highlights include:

  • Records from the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, Fort Holabird,
  • Naval Ordnance Systems Command records related to the Port Chicago Explosion,
  • Atomic Energy Commission Patent Files,
  • Country and Subject Files from the United States Information Agency,
  • Naval Air Systems Command Research and Development Files,
  • Far East Air Force Headquarters Bomber Command Korean Conflict Era Correspondence,
  • Tariff and Trade records from the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, and
  • Air Force records from Wright-Patterson, Langley, Arnold, Scott and Andrews Air Force Bases.

Requests to access the newly released records or to order copies should be directed to Archives 2 Reference at 301-837-3510 or archives2reference@nara.gov.

(When making a request, please cite the HMS Entry and Series Title.)

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