Director Long's Message to NGA Employees

This week, I am attending the 10th GEOINT Symposium in Tampa, Fla., hosted by the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. The symposium gives us a forum to learn from industry experts, share best practices, uncover latest developments, and share our current and future requirements with our customers and partners in industry, academia and government. In addition, the conference is invaluable to promoting GEOINT tradecraft and building a stronger community across the public and private sectors.

The conference was postponed from last fall due to the government shut down, and, as you well know, we continue to operate in an austere budget climate. As a result, our participation in the symposium has been scaled back from previous years. Rather than hosting an extensive booth space, this year we are exhibiting in a shared government pavilion along with NSA, NRO and CIA. In addition to enabling cost-sharing, this setup presents an increased opportunity for engagement -- in addition to co-located booths, there will be panel discussions in the pavilion throughout the symposium.

I remember the excitement of GEOINT 2010, where I had the honor of representing NGA for the first time. I set two goals in that speech. The first was to provide online, on-demand access to our GEOINT knowledge and the second goal was to create new value by broadening and deepening our analytic expertise – in order to achieve our vision of putting the power of GEOINT in the hands of the user.  

Due to your innovative and tireless work, we have made tremendous progress on those goals, finding ways to be more effective and more efficient with our priorities and resources. We have reached a tipping point in achieving our vision. NGA is transitioning from being a traditional product provider – static maps, charts, analytic products – into delivering advanced analysis, integrated intelligence, critical geospatial content and expert service to all our customers across each security domain and accessible anytime, anywhere.

In this year’s speech, I will talk about NGA’s platform for the future. This platform – the concepts, principles, priorities and values for which our agency stands – will enable us to complete our transformation and move forward to the next phase. We will use our momentum to drive integration forward and deliver the next phase of intelligence – immersion.

By immersion, I mean living, interacting and experimenting with the data in a multimedia, multi-sensory experience with GEOINT at its core. Immersion will break down the barriers between collectors, analysts, customers and decision makers. It will enable the IC to deliver more meaningful, more predictive insights on a scale that was unimaginable even a few years ago.

Our platform is upheld by a number of strong “pillars.” They include Map of the World, Analytic Capabilities, Next Generation Collection, the Globe, Open Information Technology, and Research and Technology. Together, these pillars establish a completely integrated GEOINT enterprise. They support and reinforce each other and bring to bear the power of GEOINT to discover the unknown and deliver faster, more predictive insights to decision makers.  

At the symposium, there will be a number of panels and presentations delving deeper into the specifics of these pillars. The topics to be addressed include focusing the research community on developing the GEOINT of the future, the online customer service experience, and navigating a global intelligence-sharing environment, as well as some of our specific initiatives.  There will be a number of ways to follow the action at the GEOINT Symposium, either through USGIF’s website or our own social media channels www.twitter.com/nga_geoint, www.facebook.com/NatlGEOINTAgency and a dedicated page on NGA.mil.  We’ll be posting photos, news articles, panel briefings and other media throughout the duration of the conference, putting you in the middle of the action.

I am excited to share with the GEOINT community the strides we have made since the last symposium and a glimpse of the future we are working toward. I am proud of the work we have done to advance intelligence integration, and I look forward to working with you to make intelligence an immersive experience.