Report of the Independent Commission on the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Report of the Independent Commission on the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Report of the Independent Commission on the National Imagery and Mapping Agency
table of contents

Executive Summary and Key Judgments
NIMA from the Beginning
NIMA in Context
Two-and-a-Half Roles for NIMA
The Promise of NIMA
NIMA and Its Stakeholders
NIMA and Its "Customers"
Is There a "National vs Tactical" Problem
NIMA and Its Peers and Partners
NIMA and Its Suppliers
NIMA Management Challenges
NIMA's Information Systems
NIMA Research and Development
NIMA and Its Information Architecture
Appendix A
Appendix B
Glossary of Terms

Table of Contents


Executive Summary and Key Judgments

Findings of the Commission

1. Introduction

1.1 Commission Creation

1.2 Specific Commission Tasks

1.3 Makeup of the Commission

1.4 Commission Methodology

1.5 A Review of Previous Studies of NIMA

1.6 Support to the Commission

2. NIMA from the Beginning

3. NIMA in Context

3.1 The National Security Context

3.2 The Collection Context-FIA

3.3 Commercial Imagery

4. Two-and-a-Half Roles for NIMA

4.1 NIMA as an Intelligence Producer

4.2 NIMA as a GIS Provider

4.3 The Role of Acquisition in NIMA

5. The Promise of NIMA

5.1 Convergence of Imagery and Geospatial Processes

5.2 What Did the Geographer Know ... and When Did He Know It?

5.3 What Did the Imagery Analyst Know... and When Did She Know It?

5.4 Convergent Systems and Convergent Products

5.5 A Tale of Two Cities

5.6 "Magic Maps"-Another Kind Of Convergence

6. NIMA and Its Stakeholders

7. NIMA and Its "Customers"

7.1 Kudos from Users

7.2 Support to CIA and DIA

7.3 Customer Readiness for Change-The Paper Chase

7.4 Turning Consumers Into Customers

7.5 NIMA "Commercialization" Strategy

7.6 The Short Attention Span of Most Consumers

7.7 Tension Between "National" and "Tactical" Users

8. Is There a "National Versus Tactical" Problem?

8.1 A Characterization of the Problem

8.2 The Need to Turn Down the Heat

8.3 Identifying Some Component Problems

8.4 Strategies for Relief and Mitigation

8.5 Some Longer-Term Concerns

9. NIMA and Its Peers and Partners

9.1 How NIMA Is Viewed by Industry

9.2 NIMA and the Other INTs

9.3 NIMA and Foreign Government Activities

10. NIMA and Its Suppliers

10.1 NRO and FIA

10.2 DARO, Where Are You When We Need You?

10.3 NIMA's Changing Role in a World of Commercial Suppliers

10.4 Commercial Imagery Providers

10.4.1 NIMA's Commercial Imagery Strategy

10.5 Commercial Value-Added (GIS) Product Suppliers

10.5.1 NIMA's Buying Habits-Actions Speak Louder Than Words

10.5.2 A Strained Relationship with Industry

11. NIMA Management Challenges

11.1 The Role of the DCI Versus SECDEF

11.2 The Tenure of the Director of NIMA

11.3 The Job of Director, NIMA

11.4 Authorities of the Director of NIMA

11.5 D/NIMA Span of Control

11.6 NIMA Culture(s)

11.7 WorkForce-21

11.8 SES/SIS Billets

11.9 Workforce Expertise

11.9.1 Imagery Analysts

11.9.2 Imagery Scientists

11.9.3 Engineering/Acquisition Expertise

11.10 NIMA Management

11.11 NIMA Resources

12. NIMA's Information Systems-TPED At Last!

12.1 Defining "TPED"

12.1.1 Tasking

12.1.2 Processing

12.1.3 Exploitation

12.1.4 Dissemination

12.2 If That's TPED, What is USIGS?

12.3 The Scope of TPED-Why Does It Cost So Much?

12.4 Managing TPED "Operations"

12.5 TPED Acquisition Management

12.6 The Role of Commercial Technology

12.7 The IDEX Replacement, IEC, Is a Case in Point

12.8 Making Commercial TPED Acquisition Work

12.8.1 Does It Scale?

12.8.2 Is the Design Too Tightly Integrated? Too Complex?

12.8.3 Choosing the Right Architects

12.8.4 Planning a Smooth Transition-Prototyping and Evolution

12.9 The Current State of TPED

12.10 The Need for an Extraordinary Program Office

12.10.1 To Establish the Baseline Architecture

12.10.2 To Migrate Toward a Data-Centric, Web-Centric Design

12.10.3 To Integrate Airborne and Commercial Imagery with NTM

12.10.4 To Integrate Libraries and Communications

12.10.5 To Support Multi-INT TPED

12.10.6 To Address TPED Implications of JCS-Identified FIA Shortcomings

12.11 Creating the EPO

12.12 Technical Advisory Board

13. NIMA Research and Development: A Road Less Traveled

14. NIMA and Its Information Architecture-A Clean Sheet

14.1 The Importance of Architecture

14.2 Toward a New Architecture

14.3 A Database to Support the TPED Process

14.4 Tasking, Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination as Transactions

14.5 Vector-Raster Integration

14.6 Product, Application, and Client Independence

14.7 Location Independence

14.8 Annotation

14.9 The Need for a Rigorous Data Model

14.10 Ways to Absorb Data from Third Parties

14.11 Methods to Deal with Logical Inconsistencies

14.12 Methods to Separate Public from Restricted Information

14.13 New Data Types

14.14 Precision and Persistence

14.15 Toward Multi-INT integration

14.16 Conclusions of the "Clean Sheet" Exercise

15. Recommendations

15.1 DOD and DCI Policy and Planning

15.1.1 Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (C/JCS) should commission a study of the demands and constraints that military doctrine places on imagery intelligence and geospatial information. The study should be available for congressional review within 18 months.

15.1.2 The Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD/AT&L) should include the cost of information as part of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of each new system; the programmed availability of that information should be the equivalent of a Key Performance Parameter (KPP). New, more emphatic guidelines should be promulgated to the Department of Defense, and available to Congress within one year.

15.1.3 D/NIMA should provide positive mechanisms that inform every consumer as to the 'true cost' of NTM imagery in order to promote conservation of this scarce resource, as well as to support rational economic decisions about the use of commercial imagery.

15.2 Long-Term (Strategic) Versus Operational (Short-Term)-nee "National Tactical"

15.2.1 The DCI, operating through the ADCI/C in conjunction with the ADCI/AP, should provide a suitable mechanism for high-level, collaborative resolution of lingering imagery contentions.

15.3 Resources

15.3.1 ASD(C3I) and DDCI/CM should work with NIMA leadership to aggressively seek the sources and means-dollars, competent management, and skilled personnel-needed to make NIMA's mission whole and its infrastructure functional.

15.3.2 The DCI and SECDEF should, at the earliest opportunity, provide additional SES/SIS billets for NIMA. Congress should act favorably on the request with similar alacrity.

15.3.3 The Director of NIMA should request through the DCI, and Congress duly authorize and appropriate, an increment to the NIMA Program for advanced research and development (R&D); the position of Chief Technology Officer should be created and a top-notch individual found to encumber it.

15.4 Commercial Imagery

15.4.1 The Director of NIMA, in concert with the Director of NRO, should develop, within 120 days, a new commercial imagery strategy-i.e., prepare an integration plan for commercial imagery-consistent with current market conditions.

15.4.2 The Office of the Secretary of Defense should establish a fund against which defense elements wishing to make direct use of commercial imagery can charge their purchase.

15.5 Outsourcing

15.5.1 D/NIMA should commission an independent 180-day study to determine the maximum extent to which outsourcing could be extended, to include operation of all infrastructure, production of all legacy MC&G products, and much science-based imagery analysis. Results of the study should be provided to the DCI and the SECDEF within 30 days of completion, together with D/NIMA implementation(s).

15.6 Commercial Technology

15.6.1 D/NIMA should periodically review all "NIMA Standards" which, if divergent from industry, should be revised (or revalidated); and, move NIMA toward a level 3 organizational rating for Software and System Acquisition.

15.7 TPED

15.7.1 DCI and SECDEF, with the full support of Congress, should form an "Extraordinary Program Office" (EPO) within 120 days in order to ensure the prompt and efficient acquisition of required TPED functionality and equipment.

15.7.2 D/NIMA should produce a proposed revision to the current plan for IEC acquisition and deployment, to include new cost and schedule data, for aggressively replacing all IDEX terminals with a fully capable commercial alternative; DDCI/CM and ASD(C3I) shall find the means to allow D/NIMA to execute this accelerated plan.

15.7.3 The SECDEF shall direct the ASD(C3I) and Chairman, JCS, to support the Director of NIMA and the Director of NRO in the preparation of a plan which clearly indicates the role and integration of airborne and commercial imagery into TPED and which integrates geospatial and imagery analysis.

15.7.4 Director, NIMA, should get out in front of any potential FIA upgrade; in particular, he should study the implications for TPED for the five FIA shortfalls identified by the JCS, each of which could have major TPED implications and none of which has been considered fully in the current architecture.

15.8 Imagery Dissemination

15.8.1 ASD(C3I) should ensure that the communications architecture for imagery dissemination for Defense and its intersection with Intelligence subtends both the designs of NIMA (more generally, of the "national" systems) and the last tactical mile designed by the respective services and secure sufficient DOD funding for execution.

15.8.2 The ASD(C3I) shall coordinate the efforts of NIMA, DISA, and the NRO to ensure that both the communications links and acquisition strategy for communications systems are sufficient to support TPED in the FIA era. Director, DISA, shall certify his ability, within the current POM/IPOM, to satisfy NIMA communications needs for dissemination or report to the SECDEF and Congress on the reasons for his inability to do so.

15.9 Multi-INT TPED

15.9.1 The DDCI/CM and ASD(C3I) shall jointly determine the extent and pace of convergence toward a multi-INT TPED. Consistent with their findings, the Director of NSA and Director of NIMA, inter alia, shall conduct the necessary architecture study.

15.10 Management-Director of NIMA

15.10.1 The Director of NIMA should establish a Technical Advisory Board

15.10.2 The Secretary of Defense, with DCI endorsement and congressional support, should fix the nominal tour length for the Director of NIMA at five years.

15.10.3 D/NIMA, along with other intelligence organizations, should work with the JCS to establish the need for, and CONOPS for, advising US commanders of the likely adversary insights into US operations-the OPFOR J2 role-given the loss of US imagery exclusivity.

15.10.4 D/NIMA should consider appointing an "Archive Manager" to maximize the value of the imagery archive, to be the advocate for archive use, and to create a "spec-deck" for tasking "to inventory" otherwise unused imaging capacity.

15.11 Culture and Convergence

15.11.1 Director of NIMA should regularize and extrapolate to the organization more broadly his experiments with teams consisting of both Imagery and GIS analysts to work specific, high-priority issues.

16. APPENDIX A: Terms Of Reference For The Independent Commission National Imagery And Mapping Agency (NIMA)







17. APPENDIX B: List of Appearances and Interviews

17.1 Office of the Director for Central Intelligence

17.2 Community Management Staff

17.3 Central Intelligence Agency

17.4 U.S. Congress

17.5 Defense Intelligence Agency

17.6 Department of Defense

17.7 Federal Government

17.8 National Imagery And Mapping Agency

17.9 National Reconnaisance Office

17.10 U.S. Commands

17.11 Industry

17.12 OTHER

18. Glossary of Terms

Foreword | Executive Summary and Key Judgments | Introduction | NIMA from the Beginning
NIMA in Context | Two-and-a-Half Roles for NIMA | The Promise of NIMA
NIMA and Its Stakeholders | NIMA and Its "Customers" | Is There a "National vs Tactical" Problem?
NIMA and Its Peers and Partners | NIMA and Its Suppliers | NIMA Management Challenges
NIMA's Information Systems | NIMA Research and Development
NIMA and Its Information Architecture | Recommendations | Appendix A
Appendix B | Glossary of Terms

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