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News Release


Release No: 621-95
November 28, 1995


Secretary of Defense William Perry, Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili today sent a joint letter to Congressional leaders and appropriate committees agreeing in concept to the establishment of a National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).

This new agency will consolidate imagery and mapping resources and related management into a single organization within the Department of Defense. It will improve the overall effectiveness of imagery intelligence and mapping support to both national and military customers.

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

Rear Admiral Joseph J. Dantone, Jr., U. S. Navy, currently deputy director for Military Support of the National Reconnaissance Office, has been named as the director of the NIMA Implementation Team. Leo Hazlewood, currently deputy director for Administration of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Dr. Annette Krygiel, presently director of the Central Imagery Agency, have been selected as deputy directors.

Specific details of the agency will be developed in close consultation with the Congress. It is expected, however, that NIMA will be formed by consolidating the Defense Mapping Agency, the Central Imagery Agency, CIA's National Photographic Intelligence Center, all imagery support resources of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and resources of the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Program and National Reconnaissance Program associated with imagery exploitation and dissemination. The target date for stand-up of the new agency is October 1, 1996.

NIMA will have about 9,000 employees, including approximately 7,000 from the Defense Mapping Agency.

Consolidation of activities and functions into a single agency will permit NIMA employees to focus on creating advanced technical support for customers in the military as well as national and civil government agencies. NIMA employees will have opportunities for professional development, including inter-disciplinary training. The agency's imagery specialists will find themselves working with the latest technological developments in optics, electronic computing, communications and imagery.

NIMA will be designated a combat support agency of the Department of Defense. Secretary of Defense and Director of Central Intelligence authorities for functions being transferred to NIMA are essentially unchanged.

The interagency task force that has studied the proposed merger since early summer 1995 recommended consolidation for three reasons:

-- a single, streamlined agency could best serve the imagery and mapping needs of a growing and increasingly diverse customer base across government;

-- the current dispersion of imagery and mapping responsibilities does not allow any one agency to exploit the tremendous potential of enhanced collection systems, digital processing technology and the prospective expansion in commercial imagery; and

-- the revolution in information technology creates the foundation for a combined imagery and mapping effort which can best be realized through centralized management.

General Shalikashvili commented on the consolidation, saying that the "standup of NIMA will substantially enhance the Intelligence Community's support to its policy-level customers as well as better accomplish its mission of supporting our combat forces." The General also remarked that "the men and women who are the imagery professionals in the Intelligence Community have amassed an extraordinary record of success. They have given our nation a capability that is unmatched in the world today. We owe it to them to ensure that the structure in which they operate will preserve and nurture their expertise."

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