With the recent signing of the FY2004 Defense Authorization Bill, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) officially became the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The new name — NGA — is the latest step in an ongoing transformation effort to ensure the nation’s (US)warfighters and senior policymakers receive the best geospatial intelligence possible in support of national security.
Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, NIMA accelerated the convergence of various analytic tradecrafts (cartography, geospatial analysis, imagery analysis, marine analysis, aeronautical analysis, regional analysis, geodesy) into a new intelligence discipline-geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT-that is clearly greater than the sum of its parts. GEOINT provides customers a more complete visualization of geographically referenced areas on the Earth. The application of GEOINT has helped to shorten military operations and save lives. The NGA’s customers now understand, and in fact, now demand GEOINT as a critical part of their Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace.
The name NGA reflects the Agency’s GEOINT support capability to its many and varied customers. From specialized three-dimensional city graphics to animated “fly-throughs,” NGA leverages the power of fusion to provide its customers GEOINT products in support of the nation’s defense. The complementary blending of its respective tradecrafts, each offering unique attributes, is part of a continuing transformation process; changing the name to the NGA is a profoundly important symbol of this transformation. NGA is both a national intelligence as well as combat support agency whose mission is to provide timely, relevant and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of US’s national security. Geospatial intelligence is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., NGA has major facilities in the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and St. Louis, Mo., areas with NGA support teams worldwide.