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NGA Hall of Fame 2013 Remarks

Remarks as Prepared
Letitia A. Long
Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
NGA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Spring 2013
Allder Auditorium, NCE
Monday, May 13, 2013


Good afternoon and welcome to the NGA Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I would like to extend a warm welcome to our honorees and special guests — Colonel Peter O’Neill, Mr. Melvin Wagner, Mr. Curtis Ward, and Mrs. Lee Ann Hennig, the widow of the late Thomas Hennig.

Today is a day of reflection and celebration, to pay tribute to our history while building a bridge to the future. The NGA Hall of Fame honors former NGA employees for their distinguished achievements that significantly contributed to NGA’s mission. It is a small but notable group of 47 individuals, including:

      • Arthur Lundahl, the first director of the National Photographic Interpretation Center, NPIC, who was central to decision-making during the Cuban Missile Crisis;
      • William R. Allder, Jr., a visionary leader who helped transform geospatial intelligence into a digital industry;
      • And Dr. Irene K. Fischer whose pioneering work in geoid studies led to the development of the unified World Geodetic System—WGS—that we use today.

Members of the NGA Hall of Fame have made significant contributions during national security crises; advanced our tradecraft; furthered technology innovation; and brought honor and distinction to our agency, the intelligence community and to our nation.

They represent a shining example for all of us here and for future generations who will follow us in this important work. Achievement of the honor we bestow today requires dedication to duty; the support of family, friends and colleagues; and the guidance of role models and mentors.

The achievements of this year’s inductees represent NGA’s broad and complex mission. Between them, these honorees enhanced our support to the warfighter; helped to map 80 percent of the Earth’s surface; eliminated barriers that separated tradecrafts; helped lead us into the digital age; and worked on the consolidation of separate organizations to create NGA’s predecessor organization, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).

We will learn more about our inductees in a few moments, but let me say that the success and recognition NGA enjoys today would not be possible were it not for leaders like Tom Hennig, Colonel O’Neill, Mel Wagner and Curt Ward. Leaders with vision, drive, and a passion for our mission and our work.

These newest inductees into the NGA Hall of Fame, like those honored before them, are part of NGA’s long tradition of explorers, innovators and problem solvers. They inspire all of us as well future generations of NGA employees. On behalf of the men and women of NGA, I am now honored to welcome today’s inductees into the NGA Hall of Fame.