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Naval Security Group Activity Naples, Italy, held its decommissioning ceremony Friday in the same manner it operated for the past 25 years — behind locked doors.

The Navy cryptology command, which provided, among other things, “special intelligence,” according to a brief, unclassified history of the Naples unit, has ceased operations and will close officially March 31, 2005.

Most of the 100 or so personnel still working in the windowless Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence building at the Capodichino base will transfer back to the United States as the Navy shifts some of its security functions from overseas bases.

“There’s certainly a worldwide shift of naval security group activities from larger numbers of smaller detachments to a smaller number of larger detachments, balanced between the U.S. and abroad,” said John Schindler, Naval Security Group command historian and public affairs officer.

Schindler wouldn’t specify plans for the closure of any other of their European facilities, although NSGA Rota, Spain, is expected to close down in 2005. An NSG detachment in London closed on Sept. 30, according to Navy records.

With the Naples closure, and Rota’s pending shutdown, the only large-scale NSGA will be in Bahrain.

Schindler said that all these changes are being done in line with other major changes to naval forces in Europe.

“NSG is transforming itself, in every sense, in line with Navy transformation,” he said.

“Our shifts of personnel and facilities are to better serve the fleet, and national security as well. It’s about more effective use of scarce manpower.”

Smaller NSG detachments will remain in Europe and the Middle East, however, including one in Griesheim, Germany, that recently moved from Bad Aibling; three in England; and another on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.

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