NRO reveals future plans at GEOINT 2011

NRO reveals future plans at GEOINT 2011

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San Antonio, US: Addressing the GEOINT 2011 Symposium, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Director Bruce A. Carlson revealed his vision for a lean, cost-reducing organisation that nevertheless has and is continuing to maintain an aggressive schedule of satellite launches.

Noting that the agency had recently completed six launches in just seven months, he reported that it would undertake four more launches in as many months next year. At the same time, he said, NRO has, despite its relatively small size, been one of the largest contributors to proposed budget cuts, achieving savings on all its platforms and offering incentives to contractors to save costs. “We cut a great deal of money, but without sacrificing our core capabilities,” he said.

Carlson also addressed the Symposium’s theme of intelligence integration. “We have several integrated intelligence programmes that are either in development or operation today,” he said. “We have three Joint Collaboration Cells, which have been certified by the Director of National Intelligence, and we’re very excited about them.”

Outlining his approach to integration and intelligence delivery, Carlson observed, “We believe that if you can move your ability to deliver farther and farther to the left [in time], to those who need it immediately, then you will have the most impact.” A major problem has to do with the fact that 95 percent of the geospatial intelligence NRO produces, and 90 percent of the signals intelligence, are classified at the secret collateral level. “That means that the bulk of what we hand out is relatively easy to distribute to people in the field, because of its classification level. The vast majority of it is not Top Secret. Yet only 5 percent of our soldiers have access to that data,” he said.

Source: KMI Media Group