Jake Provencio was born in Fillmore, N.M., on
March 4, 1927. He came to White Sands in 1951 as a security guard and retired
in 1985 as Deputy Director of Law Enforcement and Security. During his career,
he also served as Chief, Security/Counterintelligence Division, and as Deputy
Director, Security Directorate.
Jake worked in all aspects of security and was truly a
"self- made man" pulling himself up by his bootstraps to achieve the highest
civilian position in the Security Directorate at a time when higher grades
were normally reserved for those with a college degree.
He chaired the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) Signal
Security (SIGSEC) board and was a major contributor to the early signal
intelligence and operational security (OPSEC) surveys conducted at WSMR. His
leadership and participation in surveys like Century Fire, Canyon Dawn and
Canada Water resulted in the implementation of several programs that molded
SIGSEC policy throughout the Department of Defense (DOD).
Jake's experience and expertise were recognized by many
outside the WSMR community as well. The original SIGSEC plan he developed for
the range was recognized as the first comprehensive effort to address a
spectrum of potential SIGSEC threats and viable alternatives to counter those
threats. His efforts at WSMR greatly influenced SIGSEC policies, which are
still in effect today.
He also promoted OPSEC methodology as an essential
means of information protection. He had the vision to apply OPSEC
countermeasures in classified WSMR contracts years before DOD expanded the
program and made it mandatory for contractors.
Jake lives in Las Cruces with his wife Kay. The
Provencios have eight children, 15 grandchildren, and three great