Four National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employees briefed congressional staff members and answered their questions July 24 in Washington, D.C., as part of a new initiative to highlight the agency’s mission to ensure international safety of navigation.
As part of the initiative, called NGA on the Hill, employees discussed NGA’s dedication to maritime safety, aeronautical navigation and geomatics research and addressed the agency’s responsibility to provide products to the U.S. Navy and warn international partners about natural disasters and other dangers at sea.
“I think a lot of people here today will know what NGA is from a big perspective, but when you get down to the safety of navigation and some of the foundational GEOINT stuff we do, it’s not as well known,” said Frank Cooper, director of NGA’s Geomatics Office. “(NGA on the Hill) is just a great opportunity for us to share that knowledge.”
It is important for policymakers to know about the work that NGA is doing in collaboration with many other countries to keep the world’s oceans safe for navigation, said Navy Capt. Brian Connon, director of NGA’s Maritime Safety Office.
NGA on the Hill brings senior leaders and subject matter experts from NGA headquarters in Springfield, Virginia, to Capitol Hill each month to inform policymakers about NGA’s mission and the benefits of geospatial intelligence to national security.
This brief was the first unclassified presentation in the series, which began in April, said Christina McDonnell, deputy director of NGA’s Congressional Affairs Division. Past classified briefings focused on GEOINT crowd sourcing, the South China Sea, and the use of GEOINT in the Syrian conflict.