Last year, the Congress requested that an independent commission be formed to review the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, or NIMA. This report documents the commission's finding and recommendations, some of which need to be addressed by the defense and intelligence leadership, and others by NIMA.
This is a commission of which I am proud. For almost ten months, our nine commissioners, richly experienced and with a set of diverse perspectives drawn from government and industry, worked hard to understand NIMA, including its management and organizations, technology development and acquisition strategies, and its business practices. They focused intensely on NIMA's large and diverse customer base, to understand where NIMA is performing well and where it might perform better. Finally, the commission endeavored to analyze and understand NIMA's future, whether to critically assess the current vision, or to suggest other paths that might be more wisely taken.
We had the benefit of considerable input along the way. Thousands of written documents, hours of briefings, and the attention of many senior Department of Defense and Intelligence Community officials provided candid inputs for our consideration. A diverse set of industry participants gave us a look at current technology and management practices and how NIMA might take advantage of these to best do their mission. Various Commissioners visited Denver, St. Louis, Tampa, and Omaha, and to NIMA representatives supporting U.S. forces in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy.
This Commission represents the most recent inquiry into NIMA, one which followed a Defense Science Board study covering many of the same topics. The Commission tried to build on previous studies and where appropriate expand on some of the ideas.
NIMA's mission is complex and daunting. Strong leadership support from both Intelligence and Defense as well as timely implementation of the enclosed recommendations is essential if NIMA is to meet the needs of the national security community in the coming years.
| Executive Summary and Key Judgments
| Introduction | NIMA
from the Beginning