Whole-of-Government Teaming Through Collaborative Construction: NRO/NSA Synergy
by Leilani DeWitt and Bob Dillinger
Each member of the Nation’s Security Agency Community is defined by the distinct responsibilities, competencies, and capabilities it contributes to the national intelligence mission. The melding of the unique overhead information processing of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) with the related production proficiencies of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) has created a unique and enduring whole-of-government teaming. This paper describes the substantive jointagency ownership of multi-intelligence (multi-INT) fusion tools that meld NRO capabilities and competencies to advance NSA’s national and tactical missions to include support to military operations. This decade-long collaboration, focused on joint system “construction,” efficiently and effectively advances the mission of each agency.
NSA leads the U.S. government in cryptology, which includes foreign signals analysis and related services for intelligence and counterintelligence missions. NSA’s information assurance (IA) products combined with its enabling of computer network operations affords decision advantage for the U.S. and its allies. NSA’s core values include accountability, innovation, and collaboration.
NRO designs, builds, launches, and maintains highly technical overhead collectors. NRO contributes unique information and perspectives regarding early warning of missile launches, signals intelligence, and imagery for U.S. forces in support of national defense missions. By design, NRO is a hybrid organization with stated objectives including “collaborate to deliver intelligence capabilities…”
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|About the Author: Leilani DeWitt works in the National Reconnaissance Office, Ground Enterprise Directorate, and focuses on composite materials research and modeling. Recently, she has applied her experience in the hard sciences to build new models to advance the soft science of interagency collaboration.Bob Dillinger served as a U.S. Navy cryptanalyst before joining the National Security Agency (NSA). Over the past twenty years, he has aided in the development, delivery and sustainment of national mission capabilities as an NSA technology directorate national security special assistant.|