Today the Secretary of Defense, Director of Central Intelligence and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a joint letter to Congressional leaders and appropriate committees agreeing in concept to the establishment of a National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).
The purpose of NIMA is to consolidate imagery and mapping resources and management into a single agency within the Department of Defense (DoD) to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of imagery intelligence and mapping support to both national and military customers.
NIMA will have program and budget authorities as well as the research, development, acquisition, exploitation and production responsibilities for imagery and mapping.
Rear Admiral Joseph J. Dantone, Jr., U.S. Navy, currently Deputy Director for Military Support, National Reconnaissance Office, has been named Director, NIMA Implementation Team. Mr. Leo Hazlewood, currently Deputy Director for Administration, Central Intelligence Agency, and Dr. Annette Krygiel, presently Director, Central Imagery Office, have been selected as Deputy Directors.
While the specifics of this proposal, including possible legislation, will be worked in close consultation with the Congress, it is envisioned that NIMA will be formed by consolidating the Defense Mapping Agency, the Central Imagery Office, CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center, all imagery support resources of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and resources of the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Program and National Reconnaissance Program associated with imagery exploitation and dissemination. The target date for stand-up of the new Agency is October 1, 1996.
About 9,000 persons (including approximately 7,000 from the Defense Mapping Agency) will be designated as NIMA employees. No new construction for a NIMA facility is planned.
The consolidation of activities and functions into a single agency will permit NIMA employees to focus on creating advanced technical support to customers in the military, and in national and civil government agencies. NIMA will put a premium on professional development for those employees in the imagery and mapping disciplines, creating opportunities for professional accomplishment, inter-disciplinary training and career enhancement.
NIMA will be designated a combat support agency of DoD. Director of Central Intelligence and Secretary of Defense authorities for functions being transferred to NIMA are unchanged.
The interagency task force that has studied the proposed merger since early summer 1995 recommended consolidation for three basic reasons: (1) a single, streamlined and focused agency could best serve the imagery and mapping needs of a growing and increasingly diverse customer base across government; (2) the current dispersion of imagery and mapping responsibilities does not allow any one agency to exploit the tremendous potential of enhanced collection systems, digital processing technology and the prospective expansion in commercial imagery; and (3) the revolution in information technology makes possible a symbiosis of imagery intelligence and mapping which can best be realized through more centralized management.
The three signatories to the letter to Congress indicated that the
proposed NIMA, when implemented, will improve the quality of imagery and
mapping support to all customers.