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GEOINT 2012 Symposium

Remarks As Delivered
Letitia A. Long
Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
2012 GEOINT Symposium
Gaylord Palms Hotel, Orlando, FL
October 9, 2012; 11:15 a.m. EST

Director Long:  So this is where I’m supposed to say Joan, thank you for that kind introduction. [Laughter]. What a way to start out.

Good morning to everyone. It is great to be back here at GEOINT, and Joan, thank you for that kind introduction. A big thank you to Stu Shea, Keith Masback and the USGIF Board of Directors, really, for all that you do and for putting on just another fabulous GEOINT Symposium. I hope you never get tired of hearing me say how fortunate we are at NGA to have a foundation that is all about the furthering of our business. So thanks for your leadership, thanks for your service, and thank you for everything that you do.

A big thank you to DNI Clapper also. Sir, thank you for being here again this year. Thanks for your great remarks this morning. Very kind words about NGA. We appreciate your support. I don’t think there is anyone who knows as well as you do the power of GEOINT and who knows what we contribute every day to the security of our nation. So sir, thanks for your continued support, and I appreciate you spending time here.

This is a group of folks who are transforming GEOINT. The talent, the capabilities, the diversity that is in this room is exactly what we need to continue to propel us forward. I think given the opportunity we can do just about anything. We help bring terrorists to justice, we support military operations from planning through execution, we safeguard lives in the aftermath of natural disaster. We are transforming GEOINT and we are creating tomorrow’s NGA today.

In 2010 at my first GEOINT in New Orleans I laid out the vision of putting the power of GEOINT in the hands of the user. Last year I introduced a framework, four priorities that we need to achieve to drive us towards that vision. Those four priorities were providing easy, intuitive access to our content; creating a three-tiered customer service model -- self-service, assisted service and full service -- in an open IT environment; and deepening and broadening our analysis so that we could provide new value, create new value for our users, for our customers.

So what I thought I would do here today is tell you where we are. Tell you about the progress that we’ve made, the challenges that we still have, as well as where you can help us.

Content. And when I say content I’m talking about our products, our data, our knowledge. Raw data even. It needs to be discoverable. You have to be able to find it. It’s got to be accessible. You’ve got to be able to get to it. And you have to be able to use it. Easily useable. So we set about making that happen.

We inventoried all of our data stores and we knew we didn’t know exactly how many there were out there but we’ve got them all inventoried. We’ve prioritized all of that information. And we have started to smart-enable it or service-enable it. You heard Al Tarasiuk talking about that earlier today.

We are 40 percent of the way there. Because we are concentrating on the top priority, because we’ve been able to weed out the redundancies, 40 percent there. Our goal by July 2013 is to have 100 percent of our data service-enabled in a smart data framework. We’ve published the standard.

So what does that mean?  Data smart-enabled or service-enabled?  Metadata tagged so you’ve got all the information about the data. It means it’s cataloged, and it’s in accordance with open geospatial consortium standards. So at the end of the day, easy to find.

The benefits, of course, we’ve eliminated redundancy. We’re down to one copy of everything -- I hope. And that reduces storage. We’ve improved the quality of the data because it’s now being tagged. It’s in accordance with community standards. And at the end of the day it reduces the burden on both our analysts and our users in searching for that data.

You’ve heard me say that our analysts spend far too much time looking for the information as opposed to analyzing the information. So a huge benefit.

But I will tell you the real benefit for the analysts is now, with that enabled data, they can overlay different data sets. They can begin to see those patterns and trends that we’re talking about and make those observations.

Moving now to the open IT and I will tell you thanks to Al Tarasiuk and Rob Carey for their leadership here. We absolutely must succeed with IT ITE, with the intelligence community IT enterprise and with the defense intelligence enterprise, the joint information enterprise that you heard Rob talk about. We have to succeed in order for NGA to achieve our vision. We need that open IT environment.

So that’s why I volunteered NGA to work with DIA to create that common desktop environment. You heard the milestones that Al laid out. We’ve started testing already limited numbers between DIA and NGA. By March 2013 we’ll have over 2,000 users on this environment. March 2014 the goal is 60,000 users.

So this enables our analysts, it enables all of us to log on from any computer anywhere in the community and get to your data and your apps. So you’ve got that data smart-enabled, you can get to it. You can find it. No more tunneling through networks. No more trying to find a computer that belongs to your own agency wherever you’re working. So key to us.

Key also, of course, is the work that CIA and NSA are doing on the secure cloud to give us that common infrastructure. Because when we have that it will enable us to rapidly scale our exploitation and processing capabilities and be able to take advantage of all that is out there. We don’t all have to be building it ourselves.

Are there challenges here?  You bet. And you heard about a lot of the technical challenges and some of the business challenges from the CIO panel. I  will tell you some of the challenges that we’re faced with and we’re thinking about is what’s the compensation model when you talk about licenses?  When you talk about 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 60,000 users?  When an app goes viral and you have a license for 10,000, do you cut people off?  Is it for 10,000 users or 10,000 concurrent users?  Do I have to buy an unlimited license?

I will tell you that is unaffordable in today’s environment. I’d say it’s probably unaffordable in an era of increasing resources. We’re certainly not increasing. So we need to work with our industry partners to figure out how we come up with a compensation model that works for both of us.

Likewise, as we are teaming more and more as agencies, we’re used to the point-to-point contracts. A contract between an individual agency and an industry partner. As DIA and NGA are working this common desktop environment we have multiple contracts with our vendors, and as we try to put them together we realize there are different terms -- some better than others. So working through that. It’s a challenge. I think it’s workable.

Let’s take that service-enabled content and the open IT environment and put them together. I will tell you when our content is enabled and it’s accessible through an open IT environment, now we’re talking about the ability to serve yourself. You can access our content. You can tailor it. You can do with it what you need to do.

What I ask in return is when you do access it and make enhancements or build a product or add to it, that you share that back with us. That will enable us to learn. That will enable us to provide better service in the future. And in return, we will host it and serve it back out to the entire community.

I also want your GEOINT content. I want to host that. Follow our service-enabling standard, but we will host that and serve it back out to the rest of the community. So we all benefit from having the ability to access the content in an open environment.

I will tell you, exposing our content to tens of thousands of users, we don’t know what will happen. It will be things that are unthought-of by NGA today, probably unthought-of by folks here. We’ve seen that happen.

Challenges. Data volume. We’ve been talking about large data for a while. This becomes even larger. So how do we deal with the volume metrics?

Data integrity. DNI Clapper got a question about data integrity. How do we ensure the integrity of data that others will give to us?  We’ve been working on a content maturity model but I’m sure that we can use your help to further evolve that.

Data standards. Data stewardship. Content management. All things that we have talked about, but as we do expose more and more data and add to that they become ever more important.

So now I’ve talked about making our content accessible and you providing your content to us also. That immediately makes our users not only consumers but also producers. That gets us to that self-service environment that we’ve been talking about because users as not only consumers but also producers are demanding a new reality. They want to be able to serve themselves. That’s exactly what we’ve been working on this past year.

When I was on stage last year I demonstrated a number of apps that we have developed and that we were working with FEMA and some of the state emergency management agencies. I’m very pleased to say that we’ve developed a whole lot more apps and FEMA and the state agencies are working in -- They’re in between the assisted service and the self service. They’re doing a fair amount themselves. We’re still there to help them.

Hurricane Isaac. We did no hard copy production. None. It was all delivered, all of the commercial imagery. And not only commercial overhead but airborne imagery, working with Civil Air Patrol, we were able to incorporate that, deliver that to hand-held devices, and using our apps two things came out of that.

One, our analysts were able to spend more time actually analyzing. Typically we would send about 20 folks forward for a natural disaster such as the size of Hurricane Isaac. We sent five. And none actually went all the way into the field. They stayed at sector headquarters. They were able to use some additional applications that we had developed to look at and measure the extent of the flooding. And we were able to do that in very short order, deliver that to FEMA, who was then able to make their assessment in 24 to 48 hours, then post that on their web site. Work that had previously taken them upwards of six to seven weeks they were able to do in 24 to 48 hours. I will tell you that is huge. I speak from personal experience. My little sister lost her house and all of her belongings in Hurricane Isabel. It took three months for them to find out whether or not they were going to get federal assistance. Huge game changer. FEMA, that’s just working extremely well.

Another self-service application that we’ve put out there, again for disaster operations is the ability for folks like FEMA and others to order imagery directly. We have a service that’s set up, a web service. And as an event is happening, the companies are watching, they’re taking a bet certainly that the imagery will be ordered but they’ll shoot a pre and a post and it’s there, automatically delivered to our partners. So another great example.

I was in Germany last week and met with the NGA support team there. I got an update on how they’ve taken some of the applications we developed for disaster support, using them on a mobile device, military teams out in the field are accessing unclassified imagery and taking their observation on the ground, adding to that. Again, a good example of user as producer.

I’ve talked a little bit about apps. At this point we have about 150 apps in our apps store. Al mentioned the apps stores that each of the agencies are developing. And of those 150, almost 80 percent were developed by NGA, so about 20 percent by industry and our mission partners. By next July 2013 I’d like to see that almost inverted. I’d like to see others developing 75 percent of those apps and NGA only developing 25 percent. Why?  Because of the innovation. Because of the ideas. Because of what it is that you all do each and every day. We can concentrate on that exquisite GEOINT. So that’s another goal that we have out there, another marker.

Challenges. Come back to the same as last time, the compensation model.

We held our first NGA Industry Day for applications a couple of weeks ago, and during that we unveiled a proposal. We’d like to get to a compensation model that is a business-to-business, a B-to-B application compensation model that is based on commercial standards, that is based on a commercial model. And that is we would look at, we would want developers creating apps speculatively. Then you are compensated based on the rating and the usage. We’ve incorporated a rating schema, business analytics into our apps store, so we are ready to do that. We had very good conversations and we are hopeful that we will be able to implement such a compensation model.

Another challenge there of course is training. Training our users. Training our own analysts. Although again, DNI Clapper talked to this, with the younger generations coming up it’s natural. As long as we build them such that they are intuitive to use, it may be less of a training challenge than we anticipate.

The fourth and final priority is analysis. Al Tarasiuk said and he said don’t tell me but I heard him back in the green room, that his favorite of our four priorities is open IT. I will tell you, mine is analysis and it’s actually all four of them. All four are inextricably woven together. We need to be able to do all four in order to succeed in achieving our vision. But the fourth, the analysis of course I laid out as one of the two goals in 2010. To deepen and broaden our analysis, to bring in new and different phenomenologies, to use as much information as possible including human geography information. So that’s exactly what we have been working on.

As we approached this we knew that we needed to really kind of change our thinking and really look at new analytic approaches. So we created a couple of integrated working groups. What we did is we took experts from across all of the occupation sets in NGA. So we took our imagery analysts, both regional and functional. We took our geospatial analysts, our imagery scientists, our R&D folks, IT specialist, HR specialists, trainers, security folks. We said okay, we want you -- gave them some key intelligence questions and said okay, we want you to stand back and look at how you would approach this differently. Think about new ways of doing analysis. Think about the tools you would need to do so. Think about who all you need in the room as you work this. I will tell you, what happened is exactly what we hoped would happen. The innovation came out.

So as the analysts, and let me tell you, functional and regional analysts, they would have like coordinated on a product right before publishing. So get them in the room together and they start thinking about if we had this, if we could only access that, and the collection strategist said well, we can probably get you that information. What if we got you this information also?  The analyst said well, okay, but then I’d have to be able to do the following. The R&D folks said I can build you an app for that. What has resulted is new collection strategies, new information that we’re bringing in that we haven’t looked at previously. New applications. So it’s exactly what we were hoping for as the integrated work groups have taken off.

If you have heard about the advanced campaign cell which is actually a DNI initiative, it’s kind of the integrated working groups on steroids. It’s the integrated working groups looking at it from a multi-INT perspective.

So what the integrated working groups, the IWGs are really doing, they are bringing us a new framework and it is one that, as I mentioned the advanced campaign cell, I think can really even push integration across the community.

One of the first things that the IWGs realized is there was a shortfall in the working environment that we had. Again, analysts couldn’t get to all the information they needed all in one place with the tools at hand. So this really pushed us to create what we now refer to as the integrated analytic environment, or IAE.

It’s an application, you get to it through a web browser. Simple, but very powerful. Take it back to that content. Contents enabled in one place, pull apps from the app store, create the work process that you need for the job at hand. So it’s tailorable. The analysts can set it up however they need to for the tasks that they’re working on that day.

Truth in advertising. We’ve got a couple hundred folks working on it right now. All the content’s not there, only 40 percent. Their whole work flow has not been put in place yet, but we will do so by December 2013. We’re doing drops with new capabilities every 60 days. We’re about to deliver the 5th drop. And so the analysts are seeing day in and day out changes and they’re getting what they’re asking for as far as the upgrades, as far as exactly what they need. So it’s really quite exciting for them.

The basis of the integrated analytic environment is both places and activity. So it’s not only the what, it’s also the what is happening. That’s very key here.

So instead of only recording something, we’re recording some things over time. So structured observations. We’ve created a structured observation database in order to capture those. Now you’re talking about a database that can be queried, can be manipulated, can be operated upon, and again, overlaying that different type of information.

The other change to our analytic approach, activity-based intelligence. Again, not only the why or the what, but what is happening. So activity over time. It enables you to paint that picture. It enables you to develop the network. The network of people, the network of places, the network of activities. And so that’s another big change into how we’re doing our business.

Likewise, the continued introduction of human geography information. The DNI spoke to this. He recently asked NGA to take on executive agency for the community so that we can better organize, again put standards out there for what the data elements are and how they should be structured. So we have brought this very different and disparate community together and have begun to do just that.

Challenges. Well, culture. Different folks working together. Asking them to approach problems from a different perspective. But I will tell you, when folks are seeing change and seeing what’s being delivered almost on a daily basis, the culture isn’t as hard as you might think.

Synchronization of content. As we’re moving from static products to dynamic products, as we’re moving from static products to interactive, allowing the user to tailor what they want. As you have a new observation, a new piece of information, how do you ensure that that ripples through all of the products that are out there?  How do we synchronize our content as we bring in new content between living products, if you will?

Tradecraft training. As we introduce new phenomenologies, as we introduce new types of information. Tradecraft training. Analyst certification.

Challenges. I look at them as opportunities. Opportunities for us to partner together and take GEOINT to the next level.

So I will say in closing, I’ve highlighted some of the progress that we’ve made over the last year and we really have made some tremendous progress. We are delivering more robust content. We have developed and are finishing that, the integrated analytic environment. We are introducing new analytic methodologies. And at the end of the day, I think we’re delivering better GEOINT.

Are we finished?  Not by a long shot. There is much left to do. There are many challenges out there. That’s why we need a community such as this. A community that has as much talent and capability as you all have.

Help me, help us transform GEOINT. Help us continue to create tomorrow’s NGA today. Thank you.


Moderator:  I want to point out that all she has to do is be Director of NGA. I have to sort through 200 questions on the fly and try to make sense of clearly a lot of appetite for Q&A this morning. We will try to get through as many of these as we can.


Director Long, you took over an agency a little over two years ago that your predecessors had focused largely but not exclusively on improving the current Ops Tempo and support to customers. Military customers on the battlefield, as well as policy-makers and platform manufacturers. You’ve laid out a vision now that’s very ambitious for how to modernize geospatial intelligence across both your organization, but the rest of the community. How do you deal with the tensions inherent in trying to continue the extraordinary level of support that NGA provides its customers while you take things like your integrated work groups into the mainstream of the agency?

Director Long:  I love a challenge. The theme of this conference is creating the innovation edge. The great video that we had this morning talks about the fact that we are who we are. We continue to push the edge.

I had a great foundation upon which to continue to move GEOINT. Admiral Dantone got the agency started; General King really brought the tribes together; DNI Clapper created GEOINT. He brought the imagery and the mapping together to what was really the purpose of creating NIMA to begin with. Then Admiral Murrett, rightly so, put us on a wartime footing.

As I came into the job I knew we were in a good place, but I was focused on the future. How were we going to remain in a good place?  How were we going to remain on the top of our game and continue to provide that exquisite GEOINT?

We are always building the plane as we’re flying it, so to say. So we will continue to deliver to our varied customer set what they need, when they need it, how they need it. But we’ve got to be thinking about the future. We’ve got to be continually pushing ourselves so that we do remain at the forefront.

Are there inherent tensions?  Sure. But I think we learn from what we provide each and every day.

Moderator:  A lot of questions, as you might expect, around commercial imagery and the future of commercial imagery. Many in the audience would like to know how you see the current effort to combine the two primary commercial imagery providers progressing. Do you support that merger?  What concerns do you have about it?  What do you see as the future of commercial imagery in the GEOINT world?

Director Long:  I see the future of commercial imagery as an enduring part of our architecture. Nothing has changed in that respect. Our current and future overhead architectures, we have set aside X amount of requirements for commercial imagery. I see that as an enduring part. That will continue to remain. What is happening between the two companies, as the DNI said, we’re supporting questions that we get from Department of Justice and DOD, and so we will continue to answer those questions as we get them. But I think what is key is it is an enduring part of our architecture. The ability that we have to use the commercial imagery, to share it with our coalition partners, to use it with first responders as well as what we do in what is known as the multinational geospatial co-production program. It’s a consortium of about 30 countries where we share the commercial imagery and others create foundation data and mapping products. So for each cell that they produce, they get ten in return. Same for us. We don’t have to do it all. So we are working with our international partners there. So an enduring part of the architecture.

Moderator:  A number of questions related to, we heard this earlier in both the CIO Panel and for Director Clapper, but talking about integration of other government agencies and allowing them to access NGA data. For example USAID. But also interest in cooperation with partners outside of the U.S. and how we see NGA continuing to partner and even enhancing its partnership and the bilateral cooperation which you talked about in your remarks. However specifically the European Union Satellite Center. How will NGA interface with it?

Director Long:  Specifically the EU Satellite Center, we do work with them today. Again, I see that continuing. We can’t do what we do on our own. The CIO Panel got a question about the architecture and are we thinking about our allies. The answer is absolutely. As we build out our open IT architecture we have a companion piece for our closest allies. And so you take somebody like the EU Satellite Center, they have something to offer. There are many countries out there that are building and launching satellites, so I think the more we can share and the more we can learn from one another the better off we’re going to be.

Moderator:  A lot of questions about specifically how will NGA deal with budget cuts. You’ve laid out a somewhat costly vision for how to integrate information across the geospatial environment. How do you deal with not just the potential for sequestration, but also the programmed budget cuts?  Can you still make progress?

Director Long:  Referring again back to DNI Clapper. If sequestration happens in the way it’s set out today it absolutely will be devastating. It doesn’t give us the flexibility to shape it. It doesn’t give us the ability to prioritize. It doesn’t give us the ability to manage the risk. So if I can put that aside and just talk about the specter or the possibility of budget reductions and being able to deal with them in maybe a more logical way, our vision is all about being ready for this. Our vision is all about efficiencies and doing things in a more efficient way.

Enabling our content. Let’s have one copy of it. One authoritative copy of it. I don’t need to store it at the headquarters level and at the regional level and at the local level five times over. Let’s store it once. Cut down on storage. Cut down on the ability to find things. So then analysts are working more efficiently.

The open IT environment. You heard both the DNI and Al Tarasiuk talk about the fact that we believe that this architecture will save money at the end of the day. Oh by the way, it will also be more secure.

So while we have laid out what seems to be, what is an ambitious program, at the end of the day it should be a lot more efficient than the way we’re doing business today.

Moderator:  A number of questions or comments around your goal of having 75 percent of your apps developed by industry in the future. Questions about how does industry become exposed to what goes on in the integrated working groups so we can help reach that goal?  How do small businesses participate in achieving that goal of 75 percent of apps?  And how do you retool your acquisition process to make achieving that goal possible?

Director Long:  We do have some folks supporting us now in the integrated work groups. Part of the way you do that is through the traditional contracts that you have already supporting us.

We’re very big on the mentor protégé program. So really working a lot with small businesses through some of the bigger companies, but also we have a very robust small business program office. So I would encourage you to work through our small business program office if you’re not being able to make headway, if you will.

We also have an industry interaction program, again that Jim Clapper referred to.

So we are always looking for innovators. We are always looking for the new ideas. I would just encourage you to be vocal about that.

Moderator:  We’ve heard from the CIOs this morning about cloud computing and there’s a lot of activity going on inside the community regarding going to the cloud. But NSA and NRO have major initiatives. What is NGA’s plan regarding cloud computing and what technology gaps exist that need to be addressed regarding the cloud?

Director Long:  We’ve actually already moved to the cloud. We had the benefit of our BRAC initiative with NGA Campus East and with that a new tech center. We were able to virtualize just about all of our systems and applications in our new environment. So we actually are already operating in the cloud. Largely. Not fully, but largely.

The differences will be the security protocols and the security construct that NSA is developing. So I don’t know the specifics of the gaps between but I think we’re actually in a pretty good place to import what NSA and CIA will develop.

Moderator:  There’s been talk in the past about borders between what was geospatial and what was MAZINT. Can you update the audience on where we are in working across those borders?  And how do you see signatures relevant to GEOINT exploitation?

Director Long:  I will tell you, I don’t so much see the borders. To me, it’s about the data. It’s about the content. So whether it’s GEOINT or MASINT or SIGINT or HUMINT, the way we look at it, everything’s in a place in time. Everything’s in a place at a point in time. So we look to geospatially enable that information. Whether it’s, as I said, SIGINT or HUMINT or even MASINT information.

So the key is having the ability, having that open IT environment, having the data accessible and being able to take advantage of the computing that will be available from the cloud. I think it’s less about making the distinctions and it’s much more about working in a multi-INT environment. Working in a multi-INT environment from the beginning. How can we use the spectrum -- no pun intended -- how can we use the spectrum to go after our hard problems?  How can we task from a multi-INT perspective up front and not just as we get the data on the back end?  So how can we bring all of the sensors to bear on a problem set up front with innovative collection strategies going after those hard problems, and then taking advantage of all of the data and information at the end?

Moderator:  Can you talk about your efforts to implement strong functional management and the intelligence community’s involvement in helping to define what GEOINT products and services are needed for the future?  What is that integration of GEOINT from an NGA perspective out to the intelligence community and in the larger user community that you serve?

Director Long:  From a functional management perspective, and I often get the question do you have enough authorities?  And after looking at this for two years, I think the answer is yes. We have all the authorities we need. It’s now executing those authorities.

The ability to set standards is huge. We have to make sure people are actually abiding by the standards. That was one thing that we actually weren’t doing. So we would write these standards, we would publish these standards, and then wonder why some of the data was not interoperable with our data. It’s because we weren’t participating in program reviews to ensure that the standards were actually being followed. We’re doing that now.

We’ve begun kind of a march through all of the GEOINT programs within the intelligence community and the Department of Defense to review with the individuals their program. Actually, we are putting the standards out there and they’re doing the review and giving us the report card back.

We’ve completed Air Force. Army is underway in the data collection phase. And CIA is next. The feedback we got from Air Force was thanks. We found programs we didn’t know we had. We found folks who were working on the same thing and they didn’t know each other were doing it. And oh by the way, we found a few things that we weren’t in compliance with. And to me that’s the best feedback that we can get.

As I said, we took the approach, here’s what we want you to look at. You review yourself and come back and give us the feedback. And as we’ve completed the first one, the rest of the community is saying we need to be a part of that too. General James and I said of course, why not?  Why wouldn’t we share what we learned as we did the Air Force review with everyone else?  So we will be doing that as we march through the future ones.

I think we are making progress in the functional management arena.

I don’t remember the rest of the question.

Moderator:  I don’t either, but that was a great answer so we’ll cut it off there. [Laughter].

We focused this morning, and rightly so, on the effects of reductions. NGA arguably has one of the best, okay, I’ll say it, the best relationship of all of the IC agencies with the industry that supports it and has done a tremendous job of broadening that industry base and bringing it into service in the geospatial world.

When you think about and look at reductions that are both already programmed and possible, how do you think about that integrated geospatial capability when you start to contemplate cuts?

Director Long:  One of the first things I think about is the self-serve environment. If the data is enabled and we have an open IT environment and you can get to it, that’s less that I need to do. That’s some of the basics.

It’s even beyond the basics in the assisted arena where you can get to the information, you can use an app or two or three or five with it, but you get to a point where you need some assistance so you find the expert at NGA or across the GEOINT enterprise.

As we develop this integrated analytic environment, one of the benefits, and there are many, but one of the benefits are that all of the GEOINT analysts out there can have insight to what one another is working on.

If we’ve got a problem somewhere in the world I don’t have somebody at headquarters, at CENTCOM, at Office of Naval Intelligence at 5th Fleet all working on the same issue. Unless we want them working on the same issue. Today folks don’t know what others are working on. They don’t know in real time what key intelligence questions are being asked and answered and there are still a lot of point-to-point solutions.

So I firmly believe that we need to continue to protect the resources, to invest in the achieving of our vision. Because at the end of the day, as I said, we’re going to be a lot more efficient and a lot more effective, and we’re going to be able to take advantage of this entire enterprise.

Moderator:  Director Long, you have a huge responsibility to support ongoing operations, and we talked about how NGA has improved its abilities over the life of its existence in providing that support. You’ve also laid out an ambitious vision for how you want to take the agency forward in the future.

Given the environment that we are in and it’s likely to get worse, what are the one or two or three things that you are most concerned about that could take you off the path that you’re on in achieving this vision?

Director Long:  I’d have to say the top concern would be sequestration. There’s no question about that.

Significant budget reductions also. Any budget reduction, any agency director is not going to be happy with.

Again, I’d flip it the other way and say I’m always looking for the opportunities. So I’m looking for the opportunity to partner because at the end of the day the whole of us working together in an integrated fashion is much more than the sum of the parts. I firmly believe that together we can continue to deliver the best GEOINT possible.

Moderator:  Director Long, thank you for being here today. Thank you for your support of this industry. Thank you for your leadership.