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DoD Activates National Imagery and Mapping Agency

By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 1996 – Four organizations combined recently into one agency responsible for obtaining more accurate and timely information for the defense and civilian intelligence communities.

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency combines DoD's Central Imagery Office, the Defense Dissemination Program Office, the National Photographic Interpretation Center and the Defense Mapping Agency into a single organization. An Oct. 29 Pentagon ceremony marked the consolidation.

DoD created the new agency in accordance with the fiscal 1997 Defense Authorization Act. Navy Rear Adm. Joseph J. Dantone Jr. is acting director; the agency has nearly 9,000 workers.

Defense officials said the new agency plans to use new technology such as digital processing and collection systems to provide vital information to the military and civilian intelligence communities.

"This [agency] is part of the revolution in military affairs that will fundamentally change what we do," said Deputy Defense Secretary John White. The National Imagery and Mapping Agency will also receive input from the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office and National Reconnaissance Office in conducting its mission.

Army Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the new agency will provide better mapping and imagery needed by battlefield commanders. He said recent operations in Haiti and Persian Gulf showed a need for more accurate mapping something the new agency will provide.

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