On May 6, 1992, the Department of Defense established the Central Imagery Office, a combat support agency that ensured mapping, charting, geodesy and other needs for U.S. imagery intelligence were effectively and efficiently met.
In response to imagery shortfalls during Operation Desert Storm, a new agency was proposed to manage all imagery collection, analysis and dissemination. However, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell could not agree on the organizational structure and authorities.
Instead, CIO was created to set standards and policy for imagery quality, exploitation, and dissemination. In October 1996, CIO became part of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, along with DMA, NPIC and several other imagery and cartographic contributors.