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NGA in History - Defining Moments

Defense Mapping Agency

As the Vietnam War drew to a close, Congress looked for ways to consolidate military and intelligence organizations. The Defense Mapping Agency emerged in the Department of Defense on July 1, 1972, to increase efficiencies and economies by bringing into one organization the mapping, charting, and geodesy (MC&G) activities of the services. This new organization absorbed the Air Force’s Aeronautical Chart and Information Center operations, the oceanographic and charting services of the U.S. Naval Hydrographic Office, and the Army Map Service.

For nearly a quarter century, DMA provided MC&G support to the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the military departments and other Department of Defense components. This support included production and worldwide distribution of maps, charts, precise positioning data and digital data for strategic and tactical military operations and weapon systems. On Oct. 1, 1996, DMA was folded into the National Imagery and Mapping Agency – which later became NGA.

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