A Data Communication Historical Series


Continental United States (CONUS) AUTODIN (Automatic Digital Network)

Data Source: Historical Documents & AUTODINERS (Jim Keenan, Bob Pollard, Ron Railing)


   Following the activation of the AESC at Norton AFB, San Bernardino, CA, in 1962, four other centers became operational during 1962 and 1963 in the United States. These were located at:

  • McClellan AFB, Sacramento, California
  • Tinker AFB, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Andrews AFB, Washington DC
  • Gentile Air Force Station, Dayton, Ohio

    Activation of these centers proceeded one at a time, and when the last one became operational, the AFDATACOM network became part of the Defense Communications System (DCS). Upon establishment of the Defense Communications Agency (DCA), AFDATACOM was incorporated into DOS as the initial portion of an Automatic Worldwide Department of Defense Digital Network and was renamed AUTODIN (ASC), Continental United States (CONUS).

AUTODIN- CONUS: Automatic Switching Center (ASC)

As mentioned above the AUTODIN-CONUS consisted of the five fully automatic switching centers (ASC), with several different types of full duplex terminals connected to each AUTODIN Switching Center and the centers were connected to each other through full duplex trunks.


   In February 1964 the Department of Defense (DoD) approved the expansion of the AUTODIN-CONUS system. This expansion included the modifications of the five existing centers to a 300- line capability, consisting of a 250 line Message Switching Unit (MSU) and a 50 line Circuit Switching Unit (CSU). DoD also ordered, in the same directive that the existing military Automatic Electro-Mechanical and manual teletypewriter-switching network be phased out by FY 69. DoD approved the leasing of four additional new ASC Sites, located as follows:

  • Ft Detrick, Frederick, Maryland.
  • Hancock Field, Syracuse, New York.
  • Marine Corps Logistics Support Base, Albany, Georgia.
  • Larson AFB, Washington (moved to Hawaii).

   The Larson ASC was never activated. The equipment destined for installation at Larson was diverted and installed at Wahiawa, Hawaii. Though the Hawaii ASC was not part of the CONUS, it was included in the AUTODIN-CONUS because it operated identical equipment and software as the CONUS ASC.


   The original and expanded AUTODIN system located at various stateside and oversea locations were under the management and operational control of DCA. It provided the DoD with a world wide, highly efficient, computer-controlled system to meet the ever-increasing demand for faster, more accurate communications. In 1972 the Defense Special Security Communications System (DSSCS) was integrated into the AUTODIN system. The DSSCS provides communications support for the intelligence community of the DoD.


Leased System ASC (Automatic Switching Center) Locations and Operating Agencies:

RUED Hancock Syracuse, NY US Army
RUEO Ft Detrick Frederick, MD US Army
RUEB Andrews Washington, DC US Air Force
RUCI Gentile Dayton, OH US Air Force
RUCL Albany Albany, GA US Navy
RUWT Tinker Oklahoma City, OK US Air Force
RUWJ Norton San Bernardino, CA US Air Force
RUWM McClellan Sacramento, CA US Air Force
RUHH Honolulu Wahiawa, HI US Navy


Activated-------Location-------RI---Code Letter------Deactivated

Aug 62----Norton AFS , CA--- RUWJ----N-------------June 91

Dec 62----McClellan AFB CA--RUWM--M----------- Sept 99

Jan 63----Gentile AFS, OH-----RUCI-----G------------ Mar 95

Jan 63----Tinker AFB, OK------RUWT----T-------------Jan 98

Feb 63----Andrews AFB, MD--RUEB----A------------ May 99

May 65---Hancock AFS, NY---RUED----H------------ Sept 00

Aug -------Ft. Detrick, MD-------RUEO----D      ?

Nov 66----Albany MCB, GA----RUCL-----B--------------1997

Mar 67----Wahiawa, HI---------- RUHH---W       ?


   In November, 2000, the only operational ASC’s were Wahiawa, Ft. Detrick, and Primasens (over seas).  These ASC’s were re-designated Defense Message Systems (DMS) Transition Hubs, or DTH’s and served as interfaces for the remaining AUTODIN terminals, which were connected to the DMS.


   DMS is a packet switching system and utilizes the Internet environment for switching messages or data.


Below is a map of the AUTODIN Switching Centers (Automatic Switching Centers; ASC), during the period of individual center phase-outs.