Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cale Brennan has a long history with geospatial intelligence and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He has served his country since 2003 and has supported NGA for nine years in some capacity, including an NGA deployment to Afghanistan in 2012.
He serves as an example of leadership and a steward of NGA values according to Chris Greene, NGA branch chief of the Asia/Pacific Foundational Geospatial-Intelligence Division. Brennan supported the Asia/Pacific branch for four years at the Rivanna Station in Charlottesville, Virginia. There he assisted Greene in oversight of daily production requirements and managing military and civilian personnel.
“The branch is large, and it’s large because the Asia/Pacific mission is critical to the Defense Intelligence Agency that we support. That made bridging daily communications between personnel, particularly our military and civilian personnel, a key part of my job,” Brennan said.
“Military and civilian employees don’t always approach issues the same way, and managing those healthy differences can lead to better analysis. It’s something I learned years ago and I enjoy doing very much.”
Brennan was part of GEOINT and NGA history in 2010 when he and a group of analysts were transferred from the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Military Forces Analysis operations to the new DIA center in Charlottesville. In conjunction with this move, he was also a part of the transfer of all DIA-assigned GEOINT analysts from DIA to NGA.
“In 2007, I was on assignment [with] DIA. Then in 2009, I was embedded with NGA in anticipation of NGA ownership of military analysts. We were a test group of analysts owned by DIA but functioning operationally under NGA. There were hiccups, but we managed,” Brennan said.
“Then I was selected to go Charlottesville in 2010 to help guide the DIA analysts who, like me, were now in NGA billets. Having been through the process, I taught them how to operate as an employee under NGA’s operational and administrative instructions versus the military or DIA’s,” said Brennan.
Brennan said that the biggest issue during the pilot and then formal transition from DIA to NGA was breaking down existing walls between military and civilian workforces amidst the administrative challenges of moving to another agency.
Breaking down those barriers is a specialty of Brennan’s, according to those who work with him. Greene said, “Brennan was hired to validate the accuracy and quality of the branch's GEOINT, but he became a natural at helping manage the team and bridging natural gaps in experience, training, education and operating in an environment with military from different branches and employees from different agencies.”
Brennan’s duty at NGA ended in December 2014. He now serves as an imagery analyst to CENTCOM where he works alongside NGA analysts.