The comments on this site were composed by Leonard McCoy, active in the Clandestine Service of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1952 until the present in various relationships and capacities.  He is described in "Circle of Treason (Grimes and Vertefeuille, 2012) as "a brilliant reports officer...", and "...a renowned authority on Soviet military and political matters...".

His original assignment, in November 1952, was to the Reports Branch of the Clandestine Service Soviet Bloc Division.  Shortly after that, he was given several months' training in operations and surged to South Korea.  After two years in that assignment, he returned to Washington and the Soviet Bloc Reports Branch. His assignment there, from 1956 to 1975 was as the officer responsible for processing the reporting of, then also the requirements for, and evaluating the bona fides of, clandestine assets reporting on the Soviet Union.  The primary assets, all identified in the books cited in the comments on this site, were GRU Lt.-Col. Petr Popov, GRU Col. Oleg Penkovskiy, and Polish Army General Ryszard Kuklinski; defector Soviet Navy Lt.-Cdr. Nikolay Artamonov also was a priority assignment.

In February 1975, that assignment in the Soviet Bloc Division ended and McCoy became deputy chief of the Counterintelligence Staff..  That assignment ended in April 1978, when McCoy was assigned to Germany for six years.  He retired prematurely in 1985.  Following retirement in 1985, assignments for McCoy continued both at headquarters and in the field, which included eleven years in Europe, seven years in Belgium and four years in Germany.

Assignments for several months each were then carried out in seven countries--Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Qatar, and Guantanamo.  In the entire 60 years during which service has taken place, there were brief assignments to 24 other countries--Canada, Uruguay, Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, India, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

The origin of the name "IRONBARK" is spelled out in "The Spy Who Saved the World", by Schecter and Deriabin:

"Reports and Requirements separated Penkovskiy's material into two categories of highly classified reports created especially for the operation. One series of reports dealt with the documents Penkovskiy photographed and sent to the West. This was known as the IRONBARK series."


All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author, and do not reflect the official positions or views of the CIA or any other U.S. Government agency.  Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or Agency endorsement of the author's views.  This material has been reviewed by the CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.