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NGA welcomes new Coast Guard GEOINT unit

By Erica Fouche, NGA Office of Corporate Communications

SPRINGFIELD, Virginia – The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency welcomed a new U.S. Coast Guard Intelligence Coordination Center GEOINT unit to its headquarters here July 15 that will expedite information sharing between NGA and the Coast Guard and create new professional development opportunities for Coast Guard personnel.

Director Letitia Long welcomed Coast Guard Rear Adm. Christopher Tomney, assistant commandant for intelligence and criminal investigations, and other Coast Guard personnel to the ribbon cutting ceremony.

A mixture of uniformed “Coasties” and civilian personnel will staff the ICC GEOINT, which operates as a detachment from the ICC’s main unit located at the National Maritime Intelligence Center. As embedded analysts at NGA, the ICC GEOINT crew is prepared to leverage their capabilities to collaborate on law enforcement operations, search and rescue efforts, humanitarian crisis responses, and more.

 “This was really Rear Adm. Tomney’s vision and I have always believed it made perfect sense for the ICC to embed GEOINT analysts here,” said Long. “NGA has continuously maintained a very strong partnership with the Coast Guard, from Deepwater Horizon to Hurricane Katrina to our NGA Support Team embedded at Coast Guard Headquarters. We do so much together, but we do it better when we are integrated.”

During the ceremony ICC Commanding Officer Capt. Rob Hayes, and Tomney reflected on how far they have seen GEOINT capabilities progress in recent years, as well as the strides NGA and the Coast Guard have made to create a unified GEOINT presence.

“Whether it was us relying on NGA products during counter-narcotics operations in Central and South America, or NGA relying on us during a variety of maritime missions, it is clear to see how a stronger analytic partnership will benefit our organizations and the entire intelligence community,” said Hayes. “I believe we will see early on the value our joint efforts add to all NGA and Coast Guard GEOINT products.”

Coast Guard analysts have also gained the opportunity to participate in GEOINT, leadership and professional development courses at the NGA College. Tomney believes leveraging these additional tools and gaining an increased expertise on all geospatial intelligence aspects is an advantage of embedding the unit here. 
“We want the benefits to go both ways here,” said Tomney. “I think both teams will benefit from this extended partnership and we want to give as much as we get.”

Director Long, who was designated a plank holder of the new unit, said the Coast Guard would always have a home at NGA.

“Standing up ICC’s GEOINT detachment is NGA’s way of working toward the Coast Guard’s motto of Semper Paratus – always ready,” said Long.