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Unified GEOINT Operations and the Quadripartite Partners

The United States shares a special relationship with its three primary Commonwealth partners - Australia, Canada and the Great Britain. The four nations work together to quickly respond to their customers' GEOINT needs with the best technology and information available. The quadripartite partners, through a shared vision, will enhance their worldwide capability to effectively address GEOINT requirements, focus research and development efforts, pursue economies in acquisition, and develop policies to improve information sharing. The participation of these Commonwealth partners with the NSG is critical to the success of unified operations.


The United Kingdom (U.K.) 

The Joint Forces Command (JFC), a four-star command based in Northwood, North London, has the UK Ministry of Defence lead for Defence GEOINT and acts in a primus inter pares role on behalf of the Royal Navy, Army and Air Force commands in terms of GEOINT development and delivery. 

GEOINT policy and capability development for the UK is led by the one-star C4ISR Joint User staff directorate in JFC HQ.  JFC's GEOINT operational analysis and production output is vested in the one-star Joint Forces Intelligence Group (JFIG).  JFIG is a GEOINT, HUMINT, SIGINT, MASINT and Multi-INT exploitation grouping with its headquarters in the Pathfinder Building at Wyton Station, Huntingdon. 

It comprises the Defence Geospatial-Intelligence Fusion Centre (DGIFC) and 42 Engineer Regiment (Geo) at Wyton, the Defence Geographic Centre (DGC) at Feltham, West London, No 1 Aeronautical Information and Documents Unit (No1 AIDU) at Northolt, West London (recently made an integral element of DGC), the Defence HUMINT Unit (DHU) at Chicksands and the Joint Services Signals Organisation (JSSO) at RAF DIGBY, Lincoln.  

DGC is responsible for the provision of maritime and metrological foundation GEOINT to Defence users through its customer-supplier arrangements with the United Kingdom Hydrographic Organisation (UKHO) at Taunton, Somerset and the Metrological Office (MetO) at Exeter, Devon.  R&D/S&T support for UK Defence GEOINT development is provided by the Defence Scientific and Technical Laboratories (Dstl) based at Porton Down on Salisbury Plain. UK has made the Pathfinder Building at Wyton Station a default Five-EYES working environment and hosts the ASG's Allied Operations Coordination Centre (AOCC) at this location.


Australia's lead GEOINT agency is the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO). DIGO collaborates with the Australian Hydrographic Service and the Royal Australian Air Force Aeronautical Information Service for the provision of maritime and aeronautical geospatial information. DIGO provides GEOINT support to Australia's defense interests and other national objectives. DIGO efforts focus primarily on providing GEOINT in support of:

  1. National intelligence requirements;
  2. National emergencies;
  3. Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations and activities; and
  4. International collaboration

DIGO is responsible for the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of imagery and geospatial products, and for determining the standards for imagery and geospatial information within the Australian Defence Organization (ADO). DIGO is accountable through the Defence Deputy Secretary Intelligence and Security (DEPSEC I&S) to the Secretary of the Department of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF).


The responsibility for geospatial, imagery, meteorology and oceanography support to the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence (DND) rests with Directorate of Geospatial Intelligence (D Geo Int). D Geo Int provides geospatial, imagery, meteorology, and oceanography (MetOc) support to the Department of National Defence (DND), with a focus on the operational and training requirements of the Canadian Forces (CF)—navy, army and air force—worldwide. Canada recently merged the geospatial, imagery, meteorology and oceanography support functions into a GEOINT capability.