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The National Imagery and Mapping Agency: Harnessing Geographic and Imagery Intelligence in Support of the 21st Century Joint Force Commander.

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The current explosion of information technologies has had a broad impact on the manner in which all of the Service and Intelligence community organizations conduct business. The use of geospatial information and services in the geographic intelligence arena is in its infancy, but growing rapidly. The formation of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency NIMA in October 1996, fundamentally changed the means by which the National Command Authority NCA and Commander-in-Chiefs CINCs exploit national information resources. Historically, commanders have used hardcopy cartographic products with grease pencil overlays for data fusion and decision making. Today, the ability to disseminate and exploit digital information on the battlefield provide the same commanders with a wealth of geospatial information fusible to other intelligence, enabling them to better plan courses of action and perform battle assessments. This paper is intended to make the Joint Force Commander aware of MMA as an important new asset in the quest for total battlespace awareness. NIMA can be an effective force multiplier, or a frustrating operational constraint based on how well the commander understands NIMAs mission, capabilities, strategic vision and structure. The value of information about the earth is perhaps the only constant in this era of change. With its vision of global geospatial information and services, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency stands ready to support the Joint Force Commander today and into the 21st century. There is a need now for the Services to implement appropriate doctrine and for the Joint Force Commander to acquire the knowledge necessary to exploit the powerful new intelligence tools NIMA makes available.

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  • Military Intelligence

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