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"When people think of Army OSINT, they think of the Asian Studies Center."
With these words, representatives from the Asian Studies Detachment (ASD) were introduced to the attendees at the First Army Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Practitioners Conference hosted by the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) in April 2005. Later that morning during a break, and before my turn had arrived to present the ASD mission briefing, one of the participants approached me and asked, "So what makes you guys so unique?" I jokingly answered, "Well, we're the only ASD in the Army, so by definition, I guess that makes us unique." Later that afternoon, my briefing answered a lot of questions, and the attendees came away with a much better understanding of the size and scope of ASD's mission and its capabilities, as well as the short and long term challenges that it faces. Still, many colleagues never get a true feel for what ASD is all about until they actually pay us a visit, and then the response is almost always an overwhelming, "Wow, I had no idea!" This article, of course, cannot possibly paint a complete picture, either, but I hope that it will, at the very least, raise the community's consciousness about the existence of ASD and the contributions the unit has been making to the Department of Defense (DOD) for the past 50 years.
Located on Camp Zama about 25 miles west of Tokyo, ASD is an element of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command's (INSCOM) 500th Military Intelligence Brigade, and is the Army's Open Source Intelligence exploitation center in the Pacific. ASD's mission is to collect, analyze, and report foreign OSINT information in response to …