Page 20

We partnered with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to provide airborne light detection and ranging [LiDAR] imagery. LiDAR has been very effective in mapping the rugged terrain of Afghanistan, improving force protection, operational planning and situational awareness. At the request of the deputy under secretary of defense [intelligence] for joint coalition and warfighter support, NRO developed and fielded the Communications Externals Geo-fusion System [CEGS]. One of the key capabilities of the system has been to cue emitter locations in near real-time to full motion video operators, effectively speeding up the “find” portion of the ISR mission. The ability to combine CEGS geolocations with GEOINT has been used with great success, and has regularly contributed to enhanced battlefield awareness during combat operations, insurgent attacks and convoy operations. In the counter-IED effort, one of our most successful programs has been RED DOT. RED DOT takes the various sources of indications and warnings we receive, combines them into an integrated picture, then sends them out directly to the tactical user, to include the HMMWV on patrol. The program gets its name from the red dot it places on a map to highlight an area of concern. Last year alone, RED DOT indications resulted in the removal of more than 235 IEDs from the battlefield—a huge success for the program, and a real lifesaver for our men and women in harm’s way. A real strength of NRO is our ability to fuse multi-intelligence data to support warfighter intelligence needs. We have helped the warfighter visualize large volumes of data temporally and spatially, establishing patterns of life, identifying the unusual within a multitude of fused data sets, and integrating full motion video data with automated multi-intelligence tipping, cueing and alerting capabilities. Our cutting-edge solutions combine GEOINT and SIGINT, and span the space, air and ground operational domains to improve the warfighter’s common operational picture and enhance his effectiveness in finding, fixing and finishing targets. Specifically, the NRO has developed numerous advanced capabilities for personnel recovery and friendly force tracking, and our quick-reaction capability solutions have been employed with resounding success in counter-IED, homemade explosive materials detection, and special communications missions worldwide. Q: What are your plans for supporting the warfighter by delivering intelligence data to the field via mobile devices? A: We recognized long ago that one of the major challenges facing our servicemembers on foot-patrol in the streets of Afghanistan, Iraq or other parts of the world is getting the latest situational awareness info to them. That is one of the major reasons why we developed the Enhanced Quality Imagery Search Mobile [EQUIS Mobile] application in conjunction with NGA. EQUIS Mobile is a web-based geospatial intelligence discovery, display, production and dissemination tool. It allows users to search the unclassified NGA imagery library and then display, annotate or share the images right from their smartphone or tablet. As a note, law enforcement officials are now also using EQUIS Mobile for their operations. Q: What is NRO doing to help integrate information about its capabilities into military training programs? 18 | GIF 11.3

A: In addition to the use of our NRO field representatives, one of the most effective ways we integrate our capabilities into military exercises and training programs is through the use of mobile training teams [MTTs]. Our MTTs visit service schools and units as well as take part in combatant command exercises in order to provide insight into and instruction on NRO’s capabilities. By visiting the units and taking part in their exercises, our MTTs are able to provide valuable hands-on training and computer-based tools. These efforts all help to ensure the units are able to fully leverage the capabilities of NRO in their operations. Q: What role do you see the Ground Enterprise Directorate [GED] playing in the NRO mission, now and in the future? A: Ground functions are absolutely critical to planning and executing ISR missions, and in processing the data collected from our national satellites. One of the major challenges NRO faces is the current stove-piped nature of our systems—specific ground systems supporting specific space systems and specific functions. While these stove-piped systems were necessary in the past to address mission needs and provide critical information, they are not right for us today and into the future. They preclude us from using our overhead architecture as an architecture, and they drive support costs which are simply not sustainable in today’s budget environment. The NRO GED team has already made considerable headway in moving us toward a more holistic, “horizontal” ground enterprise— a single networked information collection and distribution system more responsive to user needs, more resilient in the face of projected threats, and much more efficient and effective in providing mission capabilities. The future NRO ground enterprise will enable the delivery of information to our mission partners and users when they need it and where they need it. Q: What is the status of NRO’s five-year strategy for optimizing IT? A: NRO, under the leadership of our Chief Information Office [CIO], has made great strides in the effort to optimize IT. The CIO, working closely with our Communications Directorate, has actively pursued innovative enterprise solutions to IT problems; developed a comprehensive roadmap to follow; tackled stove-pipes; and implemented a standards and commodity-based platform and operating model that will serve NRO well into the future. We also created an IT Executive Committee, which provides leadership, direction and guidance for NRO IT information assurance and information management programs and activities. The decisions made by this committee, such as establishing a common portfolio management approach, creating and using one corporate product list, and leveraging license agreements, have created major efficiencies for NRO. Perhaps more importantly, our efforts to optimize NRO IT have positioned us well to support and transition to the Intelligence Community IT Enterprise [IC ITE]. IC ITE is one of the biggest initiatives to hit the IC in the last 20 years or so, and one we completely support. IC ITE will allow us to operate more as a community, as well as more efficiently using fewer IT resources. The efficiencies realized will enable savings that can be reinvested to preserve our mission and our capabilities. IC ITE will enable integrated intelligence collection, analysis and sharing through an innovative, robust and secure IT environment.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you