DoD Issues “Instructions” on GEOINT

Keith Masback (@geointer), president of the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), retweeted a U.S. Department of Defense document (PDF) issued today that "establishes policies, assigns responsibilities, and provides guidance for GEOINT operations within the DoD in accordance with the authority in DoD Directive (DoDD) 5143.01." Here are a few snippents of relevance from this document:

  • POLICY: It is DoD policy that GEOINT operations and activities shall be treated as high priority efforts and conducted in a unified and synchronized manner, due to the vital role GEOINT plays in the successful conduct of military operations and activities, in executing the mission of the DoD, and in supporting national security.
  • GEOINT conducted under the authority of the Secretary of Defense shall comply with the [National System for GEOINT] NSG strategic guidance, policies, and procedures issued by the Director, NGA, acting concurrently as the DoD GEOINT Manager and as the GEOINT Functional Manager.
  • The Director, NGA shall:

    • Prioritize and implement activities necessary for timely, relevant, and accurate GEOINT;
    •  Lead the evaluation of all available GEOINT sources, including foreign, to identify the current and future technical, analytic, and mission value.
  •  Director National Reconnaissance Office (NRO):

    • Coordinate with the Director, NGA, to develop and provide integrated GEOINT and DoD human intelligence, counterintelligence, and measurement and signature intelligence activities, as needed.
    • Coordinate with the Combatant Commands to synchronize DoD intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance resources with other collection activities, and monitor execution of GEOINT collection operations

This is only a sampling of what is contained in the document and if you are interested you should read it in its entirety. I'm not certain why this set of "instructions" (not a directive?) was issued at this time or whether the information changes what was in place previously. Was there confusion over responsiblities and accountablity? However, it does make clear that the director of the NGA, currently Ms. Letitia Long, sits as the key figure for all geospatial intelligence for the DoD. To me, however, this did not seem to be in doubt before.

Published Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Written by Joe Francica

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