U.S. Army General Mary Legere, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command has a very clear vision of what she needs from geospatial information. General Legere states that the GEOINT vision for the Army is to have "accessible, timely, tailored GEOINT at the forward edge; near real-time access and multi-INT cross-cueing." She said that she needs force protection and decisions from “space to mud” providing the best technologies and practices.
But she also had competing needs. She’d love to have persistent surveillance but will settle for something close to that. She also said, "We are drowning in data” and “geospatial data is integrated into everything we do." And because of the Army’s diverse missions, everything from fighting terrorists to supporting humanitarian aid, Legere pleaded with the technology vendors to "build us technology that helps us…we need you to tell us what is possible in the world of technology."
To get across her point about how much the Army relies on geospatial intelligence and mapping technology, she said that the Army is very visual, ‘we like to see things and we like to blow things up; but before we do we need to know that we’re not blowing up an embassy (paraphrased).’
"We bring more soldiers home because of the technology," said Legere.
Legere was an excellent speaker and a forward thinker. The Army has a true technologist leading the way.
[Disclosure: The USGIF supported a portion of travel costs to the conference this year.]