National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

2007 - 2009

Materials presented in chronological order.

Waterman, Shaun. "Analysis: Clapper's Record at DIA." United Press International, 15 Jan. 2007. []

The man expected to be named as the next undersecretary of defense for intelligence, retired U.S. Air Force Gen. James Clapper, "instituted a controversial and ultimately failed reorganization" at DIA in the 1990's. More recently, Clapper left his post as head of the NGA in June 2006, "several months earlier than he had wanted, after clashing with [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld over his support for the idea" that the DNI "should have authority over the five major U.S. intelligence agencies inside the Department of Defense....

"Retired Army Col. Pat Lang, who was a senior official at the agency at the time, and left after clashing with Clapper over the reorganization, called it 'disastrous ... extremely destructive.'" Lang added that "Clapper 'had no interest whatsoever in the (agency's) national-level role in developing strategic intelligence for policy-makers.'" Instead, he "organized analysts 'strictly to support the military-technical side of things,' like assessing the capabilities of weapons systems."

Barrowman, Richard E. "Geospatial Intelligence: The New Intelligence Discipline." Joint Force Quarterly 44 (1st Quarter 2007): 14-18.

This article addresses "current and emerging doctrine" for GEOINT; discusses "how GEOINT is currently used and applied to the joint task force as well as standing commands"; identifies "the present geospatial intelligence picture and discuss[es] how it could look in the future"; and looks at "a few scenarios within the USJFCOM and how GEOINT is being applied to develop new concepts, integrate them within the current structure, and help train the warfighter engaged in today's operations."

Wait, Patience. "NGA Releases 2007 Priorities." Federal Computer Week, 16 Mar. 2007. []

The NGA's 2007 Statement of Strategic Intent spells out the agency's priorities:

"Unifying NGA and the National System for Geospatial Intelligence and strengthening its partnerships across the intelligence community.

"Advancing the geospatial intelligence mission, 'help win the fight.'

"Attracting, challenging and retaining the highest-quality workforce in first-class working environments.

"NGA's plans also include building, populating and maintaining ... a virtual central repository for geospatial intelligence data and information." The agency also intends "to develop a research and development road map aligned" with the ODNI's "Scientific and Technical Plan to pursue technology breakthroughs that can address enduring problems in securing intelligence. NGA stressed its intention to make use of all sources of geospatial information, including commercial, foreign and national satellite collection, and to speed up establishing standards for sensor data, metadata, compression formats and file identifiers, to facilitate information sharing."

Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Geospatial Intelligence Support to Joint Operations. Joint Publication 2-03. Washington, DC: 22 March 2007. []

From "Preface": "This publication provides doctrine for geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) support to joint operations. This publication discusses GEOINT roles, planning, coordination, production, dissemination, and existing architectures that support GEOINT and the geospatial information and services and intelligence officer in planning, execution, and assessment of the mission.... Joint doctrine established in this publication applies to the commanders of combatant commands, subunified commands, joint task forces, subordinate components of these commands, and the Services."

Foster, William J., and Marianne Kramer. "NGA and Air Force Develop Advanced GEOINT." Pathfinder 5, no. 2 (Mar.-Apr. 2007): 7-10. []

In July 2005, the DNI "named NGA the Functional Manager for advanced geospatial intelligence (AGI). Formerly known as imagery-derived measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT), AGI utilizes spaced-based remotely sensed multi-spectral data and advanced processing and analysis techniques. NGA had already assumed responsibility for AGI from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2002.

"The functional management changeover to NGA comes against a backdrop of successes in the development of AGI achieved over the years by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, NASIC is the Air Force's single integrated intelligence production center and the primary producer in the Department of Defense (DoD) of foreign air and space intelligence."

Southworth, Cheryl. "NGA and CIA Build Collaborative Partnerships." Pathfinder (May-Jun. 2008). []

The NGA Support Team (NST) to the CIA "has been a powerful force in assimilating CIA into the National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG), integrating geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) into the CIA's processes, building collaborative partnerships, increasing NGA–CIA developmental opportunities and facilitating cross-training programs." Clark comment: Years after NPIC was unceremoniously ripped from the CIA and given to the military mapmakers, I expect building bridges between the DoD-controlled NGA and the CIA has taken both time and effort. No mention is made of what role GEOINT may be playing in the CIA's Predator program in Afghanistan.

Hartbarger, Juanita T. "Partnerships: NGA Team Accelerates CENTCOM Intelligence Delivery." Pathfinder (May-Jun. 2009). []

According to this article in the unclassified NGA house organ, "the technical executive (TX) at the CENTCOM NST [NGA Support Team] decided to marry GEOINT with information technology to get actionable GEOINT to the warfighter faster and smarter. The result: the Data Production Environment (DPE)."

Marshall, Patrick. "NGA Taps Lockheed for Geospatial Intel." Government Computer News, 8 Aug. 2007. []

The NGA "has awarded a contract estimated to be worth approximately $20 million over five years to Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and Global Services, which will develop a pilot program for demand-based geospatial intelligence [DBGI].... The DBGI project is an early stage of NGA's Transforming the Dissemination Environment program, which will eventually allow clients to access geospatial intelligence via a storefront portal."

Aftergood, Steven. "Commercial Satellites as 'National Technical Means.'" Secrecy News, 5 Mar. 2008. []

In a 2007 study, an advisory panel told the NRO and NGA directors that "U.S. intelligence agencies could do more to incorporate commercial satellite capabilities into the U.S. intelligence satellite architecture."

The "National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Advisory Group" was chaired by Peter Marino. The group's report, "Independent Study of the Roles of Commercial Remote Sensing in the Future National System for Geospatial-Intelligence (NSG)," dated 16 July 2007, is available at: It posits that "the US government can commercially acquire robust commercial remote sensing capabilities to meet minimal acceptable requirements through the adoption of acquisition strategies that 'buy' proven, complex technologies but are modularly designed so as to maximize flexibility to meet dynamic mission needs."

Hartbarger, Juanita T. "NGA Support Team Bolsters SOCOM's Special Operations Forces." Pathfinder (Jan.-Feb. 2009). []

This article in the unclassified NGA house organ discusses the work of the NGA Support Team (NST) with the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). In carrying out its mission to provide "full-spectrum geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), the SOCOM NST has analysts working at ... SOCOM Headquarters ...and embedded" with "Special Operations units within and outside the continental United States."

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