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DoD, CIA Propose New Mapping and Imagery Agency

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 1995 – The Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency sent a letter to congressional leaders asking to establish a National Imagery and Mapping Agency. The target date for standup of the new agency is Oct. 1, 1996.

Defense Secretary William Perry, Central Intelligence Agency director John Deutch and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. John M. Shalikashvili said the new agency will consolidate imagery and mapping resources into a single DoD organization.

Specific details of the agency will be developed in close consultation with Congress. However, DoD officials expect the new agency to consolidate many defense and intelligence elements into a 9,000 member organization. Elements include the Defense Mapping Agency, the Central Imagery Agency, CIA's National Photographic Intelligence Center and all imagery support resources of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

In addition, the agency would include Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Program resources and National Reconnaissance Program elements associated with imagery exploitation and distribution.

Officials say consolidation into a single agency will allow employees to focus on creating advanced technical support for military, civil and nationals customers. They will have opportunities for professional development, including interdisciplinary training. The agency's imagery specialists will work with the latest technological developments in optics, electronic computing, communications and imagery.

The agency will become a combat support agency of DoD.

"The standup of NIMA will substantially enhance the intelligence community's support to its policylevel customers," said Shalikashvili, "as well as better accomplish its mission of supporting our combat forces."

He said the consolidation will improve effectiveness of imagery intelligence and mapping support to both national and military customers.

An interagency task force began study for the merger last summer and provided reasons for consolidating.

First, a single, streamlined agency could best serve the government's imagery and mapping needs.

Second, the task force reported current distribution of imagery and mapping responsibilities doesn't allow any one agency to exploit the tremendous potential of information. This includes enhanced collection systems, digital processing technology and the prospective expansion in commercial imagery.

Finally, officials said this revolution in information technology creates the foundation for a combined imagery and mapping effort that can better serve through centralized management.

Navy Rear Adm. Joseph J. Dantone Jr., currently deputy director for military support of the National Reconnaissance Office, will become director of the NIMA implementation team. Selected as deputy directors are Leo Hazlewood, currently deputy director for CIA administration and Annette Krygiel, director of the Central Imagery Agency.

NIMA will have program and budget authorities as well as research, development, acquisition, exploitation and production responsibilities for imagery and mapping.

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