NAVCOMMSTA Sicily - Sigonella


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1987 NAVCAMS MED DET photos from National Archives (photos by Jeff Landenberger)

RM3 Vaughn assumes the watch on the quarterdeck of the message center
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RM3 Linda Andrashko reviews a teletype message being received at the message center
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In August 1958, a Communications (COMM) Center was established as part of Naval Air Facility (NAF) Sigonella. The COMM Center was housed in the NAF Brig, which is now the present Security Building adjacent to the Naval Air Station I (NAS I) gate. As the Air Station grew, so did its need for communications. Various changes of location occurred over the next few years with an increase in communications capability accompanying each move.

On 1 July 1972, Naval Air Facility Sigonella transferred all communications, electronic assets and responsibility for Navy Sicily communications to NAVCOMMSTA Italy. On that date, NAVCOMMDET Sigonella was formed. In April 1976, when NAVCOMMSTA Italy was redesignated as NAVCAMS MED Naples, NAVCOMMDET Sigonella was renamed to NAVCAMS MED DET Sigonella. Nearly 30 years after its first debut in the Mediterranean, on 1 October 1987, NAVCAMS MED DET Sigonella was disestablished and NAVCOMMSTA Sicily was established as its own command.

In October 1991, Naval Radio Transmitter Facility (NRTF) Niscemi was established on a large plateau in the south-central part of Sicily. 22 HF transmitters and one 853 foot LF transmitter comprise the bulk of operations supporting Navy, Joint and Allied forces in the Mediterranean, Southwest Asia, Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean areas.

In that same month, NAVCOMMSTA Sicily was redesignated U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station (NAVCOMTELSTA) Sicily. This name change reflected the many technological advances that had taken place during recent years.

Today NAVCOMTELSTA Sicily is among the most capable military communications stations, not only in the Mediterranean, but throughout the world. It is the recipient of multiple Communications and Information Technology Excellence (CITE) awards, Golden Anchor and Silver Anchor retention awards and Defense Information Systems Agency Outstanding Facility awards.