2015 News

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IC Secures Top Spot Among National Security Agencies in 'Best Places to Work in the Federal Government' Rankings

December 8, 2015

For the seventh consecutive year, the Intelligence Community (IC) was named one of the "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" by the Partnership for Public Service. The IC placed first in the national security mission area and ranked second for job satisfaction among large organizations that employ more than 15,000 full-time permanent employees.

For the first time since the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings were established, the partnership grouped 75 federal organizations into six mission areas: public health, law enforcement, national security, energy and environment, financial regulation and oversight. This was done in order to examine agencies that have similar responsibilities and employ workers in comparable occupational areas, to see if there are commonalities in employee satisfaction and commitment. The data will allow agency officials to learn from one another and gain insights about how they can better meet the needs of their employees.

The Partnership for Public Service is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that aims to revitalize the federal government by transforming the way government works and inspiring a new generation to serve. The Partnership for Public Service's Best Places to Work rankings is the most comprehensive rating of employment satisfaction and commitment in the federal government, and provides important data for managers and leaders to boost employee engagement. The complete rankings are available online at http://bestplacestowork.org.

IC Secures Top Spot Among National Security Agencies in 'Best Places to Work in the Federal Government' Rankings

December 8, 2015

For the seventh consecutive year, the Intelligence Community (IC) was named one of the "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" by the Partnership for Public Service. The IC placed first in the national security mission area and ranked second for job satisfaction among large organizations that employ more than 15,000 full-time permanent employees. The additional information concerns the presidential documents that authorized the inception and implementation of the program.

For the first time since the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings were established, the partnership grouped 75 federal organizations into six mission areas: public health, law enforcement, national security, energy and environment, financial regulation and oversight. This was done in order to examine agencies that have similar responsibilities and employ workers in comparable occupational areas, to see if there are commonalities in employee satisfaction and commitment. The data will allow agency officials to learn from one another and gain insights about how they can better meet the needs of their employees.

The Partnership for Public Service is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that aims to revitalize the federal government by transforming the way government works and inspiring a new generation to serve. The Partnership for Public Service's Best Places to Work rankings is the most comprehensive rating of employment satisfaction and commitment in the federal government, and provides important data for managers and leaders to boost employee engagement. The complete rankings are available online at http://bestplacestowork.org.

Happy 240th birthday, USMC!

November 10, 2015

On Friday, November 10, 1775 in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress resolved to raise two battalions of American Marines to serve during the American Revolutionary War. Two hundred forty years later, United States Marines are still proudly serving our great nation with approximately 186,000 active duty Marines with more than 33,000 who are deployed around the globe.

From the Marine Corps' first amphibious raid on Fort Nassau, Bahamas in 1776 to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to earthquake relief in Nepal earlier this year, Marines have proven to the world time and again that "there is no better friend, no worse enemy than a U.S. Marine."

What marks the U.S. Marine Corps an elite fighting force not to be reckoned with: our values and our combat skills. Every Marine considers himself or herself a rifleman first, whether cook or Commandant, and places those values and skills above everything else. "Death before dishonor" captures the essence of every Marine – we will fight together as one and never let our comrades down, never leave the fallen behind. No other Service has the privilege of being called a Devil Dog!

Every Marine, whether still in uniform or not, was forged in the crucible of the recruit depots or the hills of Quantico. That experience and shared adversity indelibly transformed us into Marines. For all who bear the title, happy birthday!

DIA Announces New Deputy Director for Commonwealth Integration

October 30, 2015

The Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, USMC, today announced that Air Vice Marshal Sean Corbett, Royal Air Force, United Kingdom, has been selected as the agency's first deputy director for Commonwealth Integration (DDCI).

The DDCI is a newly-established rotational flag officer position for "Five Eyes" (FVEY) allies at DIA. The DDCI will act as the DIA Director's senior advisor on all FVEY defense and intelligence issues. FVEY is an intelligence alliance between the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The U.S. has increased integration with its FVEY partners during the past decade to better exchange intelligence, assessments, and burden share to enhance collaboration on challenging intelligence issues.

Air Vice Marshall Corbett is the Royal Air Force's senior professional intelligence officer and has commanded joint and single service intelligence organizations at every level, including a tour as the United Kingdom's Chief of Intelligence in Afghanistan. His most recent posting was as the Assistant Chief of Staff (Intelligence), Permanent Joint Headquarters, United Kingdom.

Five Cryptologists Added to NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor

October 29, 2015

FORT MEADE, MD—Five "cryptologic greats" were inducted into the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor today at the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM). ADM Michael S. Rogers, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service presided over the ceremony and highlighted the distinguished achievements of each of the inductees:

Mr. Ralph W. Adams, Jr.: A superb Vietnamese language analyst and an extraordinary manager and mentor of linguists who rose to the Agency's second highest civilian position as Executive Director. He was a champion of diversity at NSA who recognized the importance of equality in the workforce.

Mr. Charles R. Lord: A strategic leader and visionary innovator who shaped NSA policies and practices that led the Agency through the Cold War. He improved and developed relationships across the Intelligence Community and with foreign partners, and developed an early watch center at NSA that served as a model for today's National Security Operations Center (NSOC).

Mr. William O. Marks: A key innovator who led the development of cryptographic systems to protect the security and integrity of our nation's vital U.S. Nuclear Command and Control (NC2) communications and built a legacy upon which today's NC2 capabilities operate.

Mr. Robert J. "Mac" McNelis: A dynamic leader who developed a science of system evaluation for computer security (COMSEC) practices, redesigned mathematical applications for crypto-security, and influenced the design and development of all U.S. government cryptographic devices.

Mrs. Virginia Jenkins Riley: A consummate cryptologist who taught herself cryptanalysis and computer programming, and also excelled as a linguist, cryptanalyst, educator, computer practitioner, and senior manager. She wrote and implemented one of the most widely-used statistical programs for all cryptanalysts during her time, and introduced new curricula in cryptanalysis for generations to come.

The Cryptologic Hall of Honor was created in 1999 to pay tribute to the pioneers and heroes who have made significant and enduring contributions to American cryptology. Click on Cryptologic Hall of Honor for more information about these cryptologic greats.

The National Cryptologic Museum is located at the intersection of Maryland Route 32 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (I-295), adjacent to the headquarters of the National Security Agency. Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (except federal holidays), and 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. Admission and parking are free. Click here for more information about the National Cryptologic Museum. You can also follow the National Cryptologic Museum on Facebook.

New Commercial GEOINT Strategy Emphasizes Greater Persistence, Advanced Analytics

October 26, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced today its commercial GEOINT strategy which outlines the agency's plans to deliver commercial geospatial intelligence products and services to customers by leveraging greater persistence from its traditional and new and emerging GEOINT providers.

"This is an exciting time for GEOINT," said NGA Director Robert Cardillo. "Innovators in industry are developing remarkable capabilities and services that will offer a wealth of unclassified data sources and new opportunities. NGA will strengthen its partnerships with innovators to explore new ways to access, analyze and evaluate data in support of diverse customer needs."

Army Corps of Engineers Releases Initial Findings for NGA's New West Campus

October 9, 2015

ST. LOUIS — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Friday released a draft environmental impact statement, or DEIS, for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's new west campus, that contains preliminary findings of analysis of the potential effects of building and operating new facilities at four potential sites near here.

NGA will use the findings and analysis outlined in the DEIS—along with public input—to select a site for its Next NGA West campus, commonly called N2W (http://www.nextNGAwest.com). The DEIS does not identify an environmentally-preferred alternative. NGA has not chosen a preferred alternative.

Members of the public may comment on the statement and findings through Nov. 23.

A series of public meetings and an open house are scheduled for the week of Oct. 26. These will provide members of the community with information about the project, the agency and the findings of the environmental impact statement. Attendees will have opportunities to comment on the project during the meetings.

Comments can also be submitted online at http://www.nextNGAwest.com/comment.

More information can be found at https://www.nga.mil/MediaRoom/PressReleases/Pages/Army-Corps-of-Engineers-releases-initial-findings-for-NGA%E2%80%99s-new-West-campus.aspx

NGA Provides Damage Assessments of Southeast US

October 9, 2015

Springfield, Virginia — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is assessing damage to the southeastern U.S. at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The NGA team deployed to Summerville, South Carolina, to assist Virginia Task Forces 1 and 2 with search and rescue efforts. The team consists of two NGA geospatial intelligence analysts and two expeditionary support team members equipped with an unclassified satellite communications system, workstations, plotters and printers.

Under the direction of the FEMA Red Incident Support Team, the NGA team will provide on-site tailored support and serve as liaisons to NGA headquarters for additional requirements.

FEMA has also asked NGA to provide flood and damage assessments in and around the South Carolina cities of Charleston, Columbia, Beaufort, Quinby, and Orangeburg, and Savannah, Georgia.

Intelligence Community Unveils State-of-the-art Campus

October 8, 2015

James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence, participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the opening of the Intelligence Community Campus-Bethesda.

The purpose of the state-of-the-art facility, which is located at 4600 Sangamore Road in Bethesda, Maryland, is to develop a collaborative IC campus for the relocation of up to 3,000 intelligence professionals in the Washington National Capital area.

I believe this world-class facility is a beautiful addition to the community," said DNI Clapper during the ceremony, which was hosted by the Defense Intelligence Agency. "This facility is – in so many ways – the physical manifestation of 'intelligence integration.

In 2011, the intelligence community began redeveloping the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's Summer Campus into an integrated, multiagency site as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence designated DIA as the executive agent for the reconstruction project.

The ICC-B features a new six-story parking garage, as well as a sleek glass façade that wraps around the three pre-existing buildings to create a unified modern structure that centralizes and efficiently distributes mission services.|

The campus, which is conveniently located in the heart of the intelligence community, will host employees from ODNI's National Counterintelligence and Security Center, the National Intelligence University, and DIA.

"If you look at a map, the Bethesda location is almost exactly in the middle of all of the intelligence agencies," said Jim Manzelmann, ODNI's new assistant deputy director for facilities. "That was one of the big selling points when decisions were being made to move forward with this program."

From the shapes of the buildings and exterior paneling to the earth-tone pigmented walkways, the entire campus is being constructed to minimize any impact on the environment. Roberdeau Hall will feature LED, or light-emitting diode, lighting technology that uses only 10 percent of the energy used by standard office lighting, as well as daylight sensors to reduce electricity use. The building will consume 69 percent less energy than it did before renovation and can also be zero-net energy, meaning it could produce as much energy as it consumes during a year. Running off photovoltaic solar panels, the garage, Vehicle Control Center and Vehicle Inspection Station at ICC-B already operate as zero-net energy buildings. The VCC uses groundwater heat pumps, temperature control and energy-efficient glass. The facility's garage is net-positive, meaning it generates more power than it needs. Overall, the entire campus is expected to use 31 percent less energy than before renovation.

By using what was already in place, the intelligence community was able to get a state-of-the-art facility for roughly 60 percent of the cost, according to Manzelmann, who oversaw this project during his recent tenure as DIA's director for mission services. "Finding a way to take a campus where some of the buildings were 70 years old and converting it into a brand-new facility makes this extremely special," he said. "Rather than throwing everything away, this location has been given a rebirth – a new beginning."

NGA Deputy Leads Agency Acquisition Changes

October 6, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — A streamlined and more efficient acquisition system is the goal of a new initiative announced internally Oct. 5 by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's deputy director, Sue Gordon.

"A few months ago, I began a dialogue with [the workforce] about improving the agency's acquisition system," Gordon wrote. "To further demonstrate my commitment to acquisition reform, last month I assembled a subset of NGA's most senior leaders — those involved in day-to-day acquisition decisions — and charged [them] with identifying barriers to making our acquisition efforts faster, clearer, leaner and better and to establish a clear action plan to remove those barriers."

Gordon's agencywide letter shares the results of those discussions and her plans moving forward, which includes moving the agency's acquisition authority directly under the director of plans and programs and dispersing a small group of acquisition experts throughout the agency. Gordon also outlines ways to improve communication of acquisition decisions and ways to measure the success of the implemented changes.

"With your energy, ideas, and commitment to the mission and the organizational framework presented above, I have great confidence that, between us, we have the power to transform NGA's acquisition system," Gordon wrote. "Let's get to it."

The DOJ Releases Additional Information from IG Reports Concerning Collection Activities Authorized by President G.W. Bush After the Attacks of Sept. 11, 2001

September 21, 2015

The Department of Justice has released additional information contained within Inspectors General reports on the President's Surveillance Program (PSP). The additional information concerns the presidential documents that authorized the inception and implementation of the program.

The release today supplements the IC on the Record posting of April 25, 2015, wherein the ODNI posted statutorily mandated, detailed reviews of the PSP by the Inspectors General of five different agencies-DoJ, DoD, NSA, the Central Intelligence Agency, and ODNI-as well as a joint report signed by the IGs of each of these agencies.

Today's posting was made in response to requests made by the Department of Justice Inspector General to the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act.

Volume I*
PSP Vol IA | PSP Vol IB | PSP Vol IC

Volume II*

Volume III*

* The forms are available for use with Adobe Acrobat Reader. The latest, free version of Acrobat Reader is available for download at Adobe.

NGA Provides Damage Assessment for California Wildfires

September 18, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Va. - The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency provided analysis and damage assessments to the destruction caused by the Valley and Butte wildfires in California. Responding to an official request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, NGA products are assisting federal, state and local responders in disaster response efforts due to the fires.

NGA is providing these damage assessments to increase FEMA's awareness of a dynamic and dangerous situation. Additionally, disaster survivor assistance teams are utilizing NGA's geospatial information to plan their ground inspections in order to expedite recovery operations.

Happy 68th Birthday, United States Air Force!

September 18, 2015

The following are comments made by Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, USMC, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

On a cold December morning in 1903, two brothers changed the world with a historic, successfully controlled 12-second flight of a heavier than air vehicle. Within four years America had its first airmen, 18 pilots, 100 support personnel, and 31 planes, all belonging to the Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Thirty-seven years later, at the height of World War II, the United States had 2.4 million airmen and 80,000 planes. Airpower had come into its own, and on September 18, 1947, the United States Air Force became the newest Armed Service, marking the start of unrivaled dominance in air and space.

The men and women of the United States Air Force were at the forefront of last century's frontiers. Airmen were the first to break the sound barrier; airmen were among the first to walk on the moon; and, airmen were the first to wield the power of the atom.

Staying true to this rich heritage, airmen continue to push onward and upward, finding new frontiers to explore and defend. Our airmen stand guard in cyberspace; airmen lead the way in drone combat; airmen develop technologies that leave no hiding places for our enemies; and airmen deliver humanitarian aid the world over.

Beyond this great work, airmen are our coworkers, our friends, and our family. The members of the United States Air Force are models of integrity, service and excellence. They defend this country with honor and sacrifice. They are wingmen to us all.

General Curtis LeMay said it best: "If we maintain our faith in God, love of freedom, and superior global airpower, the future of America looks pretty good." On Friday, Sept. 18th, the United States Air Force celebrates 68 years of independent service. Along with the rest of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise, let me say: Happy Birthday, United States Air Force.

Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, USMC
Director, Defense Intelligence Agency

Are You Up to the Challenge? NSA Issues the 2015 Codebreaker Challenge for College Students

September 16, 2015

The joke is that undergraduates think they know everything and graduate students believe they know even more. For its part, NSA wants them and everyone else to better understand the agency's mission to defend and protect the nation. Witness the annual Codebreaker Challenge.

The challenge started when NSA's Signals Intelligence Directorate sought ways to attract top talent from the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to a career in national security. They hoped to develop long-term relationships with academia through a variety of engaging activities.

The effort began a couple of years ago with the Senior Class Project. NSA provided to university professors semester-long coursework for students to solve a problem with a scenario similar to that of an existing NSA problem.

"Our goal is to form relationships with potential recruits from the country's finest universities," said Ross, an NSA security education academic liaison. "The Senior Class Project gives NSA a better assessment of the capabilities of students, to identify who would be a great fit for the agency," he said.

Because the Senior Class Project focuses on small classes to develop a proposed solution, NSA created the Codebreaker Challenge three years ago as a way to reach a broader number of students.

"Internally, we work closely on a technical level before even going to the campus. We will give a technical talk at the school on a cutting edge topic as an introduction to the students," said Eric, a cryptographic technologist. "We then create a problem based on a recent issue that NSA faced."

The NSA experts build a story around whatever problem is presented, such as breaking into a terrorist organization's communications network or protecting a computer system from a hack. The challenge consists of multiple tiers that become progressively harder. Last year, only 10 students solved the fourth and final tier problem.

"It is fun to create. Creating a good problem is a good challenge within itself," said Eric.

The small team of NSA volunteers visits the colleges, provides guidance to students working on the challenge and evaluates the submissions.

"This challenge offers exposure to other kinds of problems. Plus, it stretches my reverse engineering skills," said Julie, an NSA technical director. "If I can understand how to structure the problem, I can solve the problem myself," she added.

The program grows and improves every year. This year NSA created a website for students to download the problem and track progress. It even includes a leader board, which offers the schools bragging rights. Each participant who downloads the problem receives a unique identifier with slight modifications to the problem to provide each participant a custom experience.

"It takes an interesting mindset to develop the problems,00 and it is so rewarding when students get something out of the challenge," said Andrew, the website's developer.

Two weeks in, more than 1,000 participants from 130 schools are participating in the new online version of the challenge. Only three years ago, when the inaugural challenge was issued, the program reached only 13 schools. There are still more than 100 days to go. So there is still time to join for those up to the challenge: https://codebreaker.ltsnet.net/.

President Obama Thanks NSA Workforce for Dedicated Service

September 11, 2015

President Obama met with a group of about 250 employees at the National Security Agency's headquarters on Sept. 11 to thank them for their ongoing support in defense of the nation - a visit that employees characterized as an honor for foreign intelligence and information assurance professionals accustomed to serving in silence.

The employees - both military and civilian - represented NSA, the Central Security Service and U.S. Cyber Command. Adm. Michael S. Rogers introduced the president at the event, which was streamed live on an internal network to the agency's global workforce.

NSA provides vital foreign intelligence to identify threats and to help prevent conflicts. The agency also defends critical U.S. national security systems around the clock. And NSA's efforts protect U.S. warfighters, helping to bring them back home safely.

"My main message, the main thing I want you to take away from this, is the simple words: 'thank you,'" the president told the group. "I appreciate what you do and the country should appreciate what you do. You are vital to keeping this country safe."

NSA is a unique national asset because of its talented workforce, many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States, the president noted. "Because of your efforts," he said, "America's safer today than it was in 2001."

This Day in History: Sept. 11, 2001

September 11, 2015

On Sept. 11, 2001, a mild, sunny, morning in New York City and Washington, D.C., Al-Qaeda terrorists launched an unprecedented attack against the United States. That morning, they hijacked four passenger airliners. Two were deliberately flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third struck the Pentagon in northern Virginia, and a fourth crashed in a field outside Shanksville, Pa. The attacks killed more than 3,000 people.

The strike at the Pentagon was a defining event for the Defense Intelligence Agency. American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, hit the west wall of the Pentagon on the first floor at 9:37 a.m. It proceeded diagonally through the building, setting off a chain of explosions as it ripped through the interior walls. All 64 people aboard the plane died; 125 people inside the Pentagon were killed, and over 100 were hospitalized. Flight 77 crashed through office spaces occupied by 70 DIA employees, killing seven of them, all of whom worked for DIA's Office of the Comptroller: Rosa Maria Chapa, Sandra Foster, Robert Hymel, Shelley Marshall, Patricia Mickley, Charles Sabin and Karl Teepe.

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, DIA employees at the Pentagon searched the burning office spaces for their friends and colleagues. Others helped relocate young children to a safer location, some of whom were still in their cribs after a rushed evacuation of the building. "It was like walking into hell," recalled one employee.

With smoke pouring into his office, then-DIA Director Vice Adm. Thomas Wilson helped orchestrate the agency's response from the National Military Command Center and National Military Joint Intelligence Center, both located within the building. Wilson had to balance the difficult tasks of providing intelligence to national leadership and accounting for all DIA employees.

Across the Potomac River at the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center (known now as DIA Headquarters), DIA employees could see smoke billowing from the Pentagon. Non-essential personnel were ordered to conduct a phased evacuation, while many other personnel stayed behind to funnel intelligence to Wilson and his staff. The director was undaunted. The day after the attack he told DIA personnel, "We will pull together ... to get the job done." In the days and months that followed, he reconstituted DIA operations, personally supported the families of the dead and injured, and grieved with his employees at the tragedy that had befallen the agency.

NSA/CSS Employees Reaffirm Their Oath to the Constitution

September 11, 2015

Military and civilian employees of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) gathered at the agency's Memorial Wall on September 11, 2015 - Patriot Day - to collectively recite the Oath of Office, reaffirming their commitment to the Constitution and to the safety, security and liberty of the American people.

Led by Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander, U.S. Cyber Command/director, NSA/chief, CSS, the participants in the ceremony rededicated themselves to the defense of the nation and the values enshrined in our nation's founding documents.

The event began with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time when the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Adm. Rogers then invited the workforce to join him in reaffirming their oath, which is officially known as the Oath of Office.

"In assuming these responsibilities, the nation is counting on us," he said.

All federal employees must take an oath to the Constitution, promising to defend it and all for which America stands. This commitment is the very foundation of the agency's mission. Moreover, NSA is a unique national asset because of its talented workforce, many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States.

IARPA Announces Winners of its ASpIRE Challenge

September 10, 2015

WASHINGTON - The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), today announced the winners of its speech recognition challenge, Automatic Speech Recognition in Reverberant Environments (ASpIRE). The winning teams from Johns Hopkins University, Raytheon BBN Technologies, the Institute for Infocomm Research and Brno University of Technology will share $110,000 in prizes.

Typically, speech recognition systems are "trained" on speech recorded in environments very similar to the environments in which they are expected to be used. The ASpIRE challenge contestants tackled a harder problem: building accurate systems for automatically transcribing speech recorded in noisy and reverberant environments without knowing anything about the recording devices or the acoustics of the space, and without training data that resembled the contest's test conditions. At the start of the challenge, contestants were given a telephone speech to develop and train their systems over a period of roughly three months. Their systems were tested on very different speech recordings collected in noisy rooms with various sizes, shapes and microphone configurations. The ASpIRE challenge was uniquely challenging because of this kind of mismatch between training data and test data.

The speech data were collected by Linguistic Data Consortium. Appen Butler Hill transcribed the microphone recordings. MIT Lincoln Laboratory and IARPA together evaluated results. InnoCentive managed the challenge website including maintaining a leader board.

Challenge entries were scored under two evaluation conditions with equivalent background noise and reverberation:

  • The Single Microphone Condition tested accuracy of speech recognition on recordings from single microphones selected arbitrarily from among six microphones placed in the room.
  • The Multiple Microphone Condition tested accuracy of speech recognition on recordings from six different microphones recording at once.

All of the ASpIRE challenge winners delivered systems with more than a 50 percent reduction in word error rate (WER) compared to the IARPA baseline system. WER is the standard measure of accuracy for speech recognition systems; lower WER scores indicate more accurate systems.

The winners in the Single Microphone category are:

  • The team from the Center for Language and Speech Processing, Johns Hopkins University (Vijayaditya Peddinti, Guoguo Chen, Dr. Daniel Povey, Dr. Sanjeev Khudanpur);
  • The multi-institutional team from Raytheon BBN Technologies (Jeff Ma, Roger Hsiao, William Hartmann, Rich Schwartz, Stavros Tsakalidis), Brno University of Technology (Martin Karafiat, Lukas Burget, Igor Szoke, Frantisek Grezl), and Johns Hopkins University (Sri Harish Mallidi, Hynek Hermansky); and
  • The team from the Institute for Infocomm Research, A*STAR, Singapore (Dr. Jonathan William Dennis and Dr. Tran Huy Dat).

The winner in the Multiple Microphone category is:

  • The team from the Institute for Infocomm Research, A*STAR, Singapore (Dr. Jonathan William Dennis and Dr. Tran Huy Dat).

"We're delighted with the diversity of solutions submitted by the ASpIRE challenge contestants," said Mary Harper, IARPA's program manager for the ASpIRE challenge. "Their performance under rigorous evaluation conditions suggests that accurate speech recognition - even for speech recorded in environments for which training data are unavailable - is possible."

DNI Clapper Statement for the Record, Worldwide Cyber Threats before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

September 10, 2015

The following comments were made by James R. Clapper before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Sept. 10, 2015

Worldwide Cyber Threats

Chairman Nunes, Ranking Member Schiff, members of the committee, thank you for the invitation to offer this Statement for the Record. My statement reflects the collective insights of the Intelligence Community's extraordinary men and women, whom I am privileged and honored to lead. We in the Intelligence Community are committed every day to provide the nuanced, multidisciplinary intelligence that policymakers, war fighters, and domestic law enforcement personnel need to protect American lives and America's interests anywhere in the world. Information available as of September 10, 2015, was used in the preparation of this Statement for the Record.

Cyber threats to U.S. national and economic security are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication, and severity of impact. The ranges of cyber threat actors, methods of attack, targeted systems, and victims are also expanding. Overall, the unclassified information and communication technology (ICT) networks that support U.S. government, military, commercial and social activities remain vulnerable to espionage and/or disruption. However, the likelihood of a catastrophic attack from any particular actor is remote at this time. Rather than a "cyber Armageddon" scenario that debilitates the entire U.S. infrastructure, we envision something different. We foresee an ongoing series of low-to-moderate level cyber attacks from a variety of sources over time, which will impose cumulative costs on U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.

Several nations-including Iran and North Korea-have undertaken offensive cyber operations against private sector targets to support their economic and foreign policy objectives, at times concurrent with political crises.

Risk. Despite ever-improving network defenses, the diverse possibilities available through remote hacking intrusion, supply chain operations to insert compromised hardware or software, actions by malicious insiders, and mistakes by system users will hold nearly all ICT networks and systems at risk for years to come. In short, the cyber threat cannot be eliminated; rather, cyber risk must be managed. Moreover, the risk calculus some private sector entities employ does not adequately account for foreign cyber threats or the systemic interdependencies between different critical infrastructure sectors.

Costs. We continue to witness an increase in the scale and scope of reporting on malicious cyber activity that can be measured by the amount of corporate data stolen or deleted, personally identifiable information compromised, or remediation costs incurred by US victims. For example:

  • Earlier this year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) discovered that a number of its systems were compromised. These systems included those that contain information related to the background investigations of current, former and prospective federal government employees, as well as other individuals for whom a federal background investigation was conducted. OPM announced the compromise resulted in 21.5 million personal records being stolen.
  • After the 2012-13 distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks on the U.S. financial sector, JPMorgan Chase (JPMorgan) announced plans for annual cybersecurity expenditures of $250 million by the end of 2014. After the company suffered a hacking intrusion in 2014, JPMorgan's CEO said he would probably double JPMorgan's annual computer security budget within the next five years.
  • The 2014 data breach at Home Depot exposed information from 56 million credit/debit cards and 53 million customer email addresses. Home Depot estimated the cost of the breach to be $62 million.
  • In August 2014, the U.S. company Community Health Systems informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it believed hackers "originating from China" had stolen personally identifiable information on 4.5 million individuals.

Attribution. Although cyber operators can infiltrate or disrupt targeted ICT networks, most can no longer assume that their activities will remain undetected indefinitely. Nor can they assume that if detected, they will be able to conceal their identities. Governmental and private sector security professionals have made significant advances in detecting and attributing cyber intrusions.

  • In May 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted five officers from China's Peoples' Liberation Army on charges of hacking U.S. companies.
  • In December 2014, computer security experts reported that members of an Iranian organization were responsible for computer operations targeting U.S. military, transportation, public utility, and other critical infrastructure networks.

Furthermore, the IC is regularly gaining and losing sources of intelligence; that is the nature of the business. Of late, unauthorized disclosures and foreign defensive improvements have cost us some technical accesses, but we are also deriving valuable new insight from cyber security investigations of incidents caused by foreign actors and new means of aggregating and processing big data. Those avenues will help offset some more traditional collection modes that are obsolescent.

Deterrence. Numerous actors remain undeterred from conducting economic cyber espionage or perpetrating cyber attacks. The absence of universally accepted and enforceable norms of behavior in cyberspace has contributed to this situation. The motivation to conduct cyber attacks and cyber espionage will probably remain strong because of the relative ease of these operations and the gains they bring to the perpetrators. The result is a cyber environment in which multiple actors continue to test their adversaries' technical capabilities, political resolve and thresholds. The muted response by most victims to cyber attacks has created a permissive environment in which low-level attacks can be used as a coercive tool short of war, with relatively low risk of retaliation. Additionally, even when a cyber attack can be attributed to a specific actor, the forensic attribution often requires a significant amount of time to complete. Long delays between the cyber attack and determination of attribution likewise reinforce a permissive environment.

Politically motivated cyber attacks are now a growing reality, and foreign actors are reconnoitering and developing access to U.S. critical infrastructure systems, which might be quickly exploited for disruption if an adversary's intent became hostile. In addition, those conducting cyber espionage are targeting U.S. government, military and commercial networks on a daily basis. These threats come from a range of actors, including: (1) nation states with highly sophisticated cyber programs (such as Russia or China), (2) nations with lesser technical capabilities but possibly more disruptive intent (such as Iran or North Korea), (3) profit-motivated criminals, and (4) ideologically motivated hackers or extremists. Distinguishing between state and non-state actors within the same country is often difficult-especially when those varied actors actively collaborate, tacitly cooperate, condone criminal activity that only harms foreign victims, or utilize similar cyber tools.

Russia. Russia's Ministry of Defense is establishing its own cyber command, which-according to senior Russian military officials-will be responsible for conducting offensive cyber activities, including propaganda operations and inserting malware into enemy command and control systems. Russia's armed forces are also establishing a specialized branch for computer network operations.

  • Computer security studies assert that Russian cyber actors are developing means to remotely access industrial control systems (ICS) used to manage critical infrastructures. Unknown Russian actors successfully compromised the product supply chains of at least three ICS vendors so that customers downloaded malicious software ("malware") designed to facilitate exploitation directly from the vendors' websites along with legitimate software updates, according to private sector cyber security experts.

China. Chinese cyber espionage continues to target a broad spectrum of U.S. interests, ranging from national security information to sensitive economic data and U.S. intellectual property. Although China is an advanced cyber actor in terms of capabilities, Chinese hackers are often able to gain access to their targets without having to resort to using advanced capabilities. Improved U.S. cybersecurity would complicate Chinese cyber espionage activities by addressing the less sophisticated threats, and raising the cost and risk if China persists.

Iran. Iranian actors have been implicated in the 2012-13 DDOS attacks against U.S. financial institutions and in the February 2014 cyber attack on the Las Vegas Sands casino company. Iran very likely views its cyber program as one of many tools for carrying out asymmetric but proportional retaliation against political foes, as well as a sophisticated means of collecting intelligence.

North Korea. North Korea is another state actor that uses its cyber capabilities for political objectives. The North Korean Government was responsible for the November 2014 cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), which stole corporate information and introduced hard drive erasing malware into the company's network infrastructure, according to the FBI. The attack coincided with the planned release of a SPE feature film satire that depicted the fictional assassination of the North Korean president.

Profit-motivated criminals. Profit-motivated cyber criminals rely on loosely networked online marketplaces, often referred to as the cyber underground, that provide a forum for the merchandising of illicit tools, services, infrastructure, stolen personal identifying information and financial data. As media reports have documented, cyber criminals continue to successfully compromise the networks of retail businesses and financial institutions in order to collect financial information, biographical data, home addresses, email addresses and medical records that serve as the building blocks to criminal operations that facilitate identity theft and healthcare fraud. The most significant financial cyber criminal threats to U.S. entities and our international partners can be attributed to a relatively small subset of actors, facilitators, infrastructure and criminal forums.

However, our federal law enforcement colleagues continue to have successes capturing key cyber criminals by cooperating with international partners. For example, in late June, the Department of Justice and the United States Secret Service worked with their German counterparts to extradite Ercan Findikoglu, a Turkish national, responsible for multiple cyber crime campaigns that targeted the U.S. financial sector, stealing $55 million between 2011 and 2013. Findikoglu was apprehended by the German Federal Police after U.S. Secret Service agents confirmed he was traveling through Germany in December 2013. Additionally, last month an FBI-led coalition of international partners from 20 countries dismantled an online criminal forum known as Darkode. According to the Department of Justice, this forum represented one of the gravest threats to the integrity of data stored on computers in the United States and elsewhere.

Terrorists. Terrorist groups will continue to experiment with hacking, which could serve as the foundation for developing more advanced capabilities. Terrorist sympathizers will probably conduct low-level cyber attacks on behalf of terrorist groups and attract attention of the media, which might exaggerate the capabilities and threat posed by these actors. With respect to ISIL, since last summer, the group began executing a highly strategic social media campaign using a diverse array of platforms and thousands of online supporters around the globe. The group quickly builds expertise in the platforms it uses and often leverages multiple tools within each platform. ISIL and its adherents' adept use of social media allows the group to maximize the spread of its propaganda and reach out to potential recruits.

Most of the public discussion regarding cyber threats has focused on the confidentiality and availability of information; cyber espionage undermines confidentiality, whereas denial-of-service operations and data- deletion attacks undermine availability. In the future, however, we might also see more cyber operations that will change or manipulate electronic information in order to compromise its integrity (i.e., accuracy and reliability) instead of deleting it or disrupting access to it. Decision making by senior government officials (civilian and military), corporate executives, investors or others will be impaired if they cannot trust the information they are receiving. Successful cyber operations targeting the integrity of information would need to overcome any institutionalized checks and balances designed to prevent the manipulation of data, for example, market monitoring and clearing functions in the financial sector.

Internet users are disclosing more information about themselves through social media platforms, online transactions and search engine queries. New business models for online services often require disclosure of personal information or consent to allow corporate monitoring of one's online activities. Governments and third parties digitize public records and share them on the Internet for accessibility, making online records an unavoidable byproduct of living in a digitized society. Counterintelligence risks are inherent when foreign intelligence agencies obtain access to an individual's personally identifiable information or virtual identity information. Foreign intelligence agencies could target the individual, family members, coworkers and neighbors using a variety of physical and electronic methods. The methods foreign intelligence agencies use to exploit targets require a comprehensive mitigation effort that involves CI awareness not only from the individual, but also from family members and coworkers that might have their data compromised as part of the individual's investigation.

In summary, the breadth of cyber threats posed to U.S. national and economic security has become increasing diverse, sophisticated, and impactful. Cyber Intelligence - collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence on the intentions, capabilities, and operational activities of foreign cyber actors - is one of the core objectives in National Intelligence Strategy we produced last year to guide the activities of the Intelligence Community. Ensuring the integration of such activities in support of our policy makers and national security is a core mission for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and was one reason the president directed me to form a Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC). I look forward to working with this Committee to enable the Intelligence Community in general and CTIIC in particular to support our nation in this vital area. Thank you.

NGA Provides Unclassified Geospatial Intelligence for the Arctic

September 2, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Va. - The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency launched a public website Sept. 2 to provide unclassified information about the Arctic. The public website supports efforts to strengthen international cooperation, better understand and manage resources responsibly, enhance quality of life in the Arctic and maintain valuable and vulnerable ecosystems.

The public site, accessible through www.nga.mil and located at nga.maps.arcgis.com, includes Digital Elevation Models (DEM) that provide 3-D representations of the Arctic's surface. The models, derived from NGA-sponsored DigitalGlobe commercial imagery sources, support land management, sustainable development, safe recreation, scientific studies, and domain-specific challenges inherent to aviation, transportation and defense. The DEM is the standard against which landscape changes such as erosion will be measured.

NGA's Arctic website also includes NGA nautical charts, sailing directions, shape files and infographics. A large, downloadable Pan-Arctic map includes multiple layers that allow users to focus on specific issues and information. Layers include search and rescue zones, ice extents, economic exclusion zones, bathymetric data, navigational and meteorological warnings and potential energy sources.

NGA is working with the National Science Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to support the Arctic initiative by producing and contributing publicly-available products and data layers as they become available. NGA's work also supports the Department of Defense Arctic Strategy and the safety of navigation in the air and on the seas.

NGA's Arctic website shares the publicly-available online platform with its Nepal and Ebola relief sites, using Esri ArcGIS platform, hosted by Amazon Web Services.

For further information and media inquiries, contact Don Kerr, NGA chief media relations; Donald.B.Kerr@nga.mil, 703-600-9248 (mobile).

New NGA Global Map Advances R&D in Geophysics and Nonproliferation

September 1, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Va. - A team of researchers led by scientists at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency published a new map Sept. 1 that characterizes the Earth's radioactivity and offers new and potential future applications for basic science research and nonproliferation efforts.

The Antineutrino Global Map 2015, or AGM2015, is an unprecedented experimentally-informed model of the Earth's natural and man-made antineutrino flux.

The map uses open-source geophysical data sets and publicly available international antineutrino detection observational data to depict varying levels of radioactivity on Earth.

"The open access availability of these antineutrino maps represents the next generation of cartography and gives important insights into the basic understanding about the interior of our planet," said Shawn Usman, NGA R&D scientist and lead author of the study.

The neutrino and its antimatter cousin, the antineutrino, are subatomic particles produced by stars of all types, including the sun, as well as Earth's atmosphere, supernovae, nuclear reactors and radioactive materials.

The research team is comprised of neutrino physicists and geophysicists from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the University of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University, the University of Maryland and Virginia-based Ultralytics, LLC.

Antineutrinos were first detected as emissions from nuclear reactors in the mid-1950s two decades after their existence was proposed. More than 99 percent of all terrestrial antineutrinos come from within the Earth, with the remainder coming from nuclear reactors. The detection of antineutrinos from nuclear reactors continues to provide insights into their oscillatory behavior and potential future applications for nuclear nonproliferation.

Naturally occurring radioisotopes in the Earth produce geophysical antineutrinos, or geo-neutrinos, and reveal information about the planet's interior. The study of geo-neutrinos, needed to support nuclear reactor detection, is a gateway to meaningful geologic research into the Earth's heat sources and geodynamics.

"Geo-neutrino measurements are essential in characterizing the Earth's radiogenic power across geologic time and in improving our understanding of planetary formation processes in the early solar nebula." Usman said. "Our vision at NGA is to 'Know the Earth…Show the Way…Understand the World.' This map enhances our fundamental understanding of the planet by mapping out Earth's natural and anthropogenic radioactivity."

The authors expect to release periodic updates to the original AGM2015 as future oscillation measurements, crust/mantle model advancements and ongoing construction and decommissioning of nuclear reactors will eventually change the map. In addition to antineutrino mapping NGA is also investigating the development of global neutron/gamma maps to further characterize the Earth's natural radioactivity.

AGM2015 is a product of NGA's antineutrino research program. NGA scientists previously published proposed methods to exploit the flavor oscillation phenomena in a process called NeUtrino Direction and Ranging, or NUDAR. NGA has also developed a small prototype antineutrino detector being tested at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md.

The map and accompanying research paper are published in Nature's Scientific Reports.

NSA Announces Winner of Annual Cybersecurity Research Paper Competition

August 21, 2015

A research paper about a technique that measures the vulnerability of computer systems by the amount of information they mistakenly spill is the winner of the National Security Agency's third annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition.

The authors showed that a specific application of advanced mathematics in this area - known as "quantitative information flow" - can play a critical role in sizing up weaknesses in security defenses. Their international team hails from Brazil, France, Australia and the United States.

"Their work is a stellar example of scholarship, and it provides fascinating insights into security defenses from an information-flow perspective," said Dr. Deborah Frincke, who leads NSA's Research Directorate. "Our competition aims to mature the discipline of cybersecurity by highlighting exemplary papers that use science to underpin advances in cyber defense, with the intent of improving our understanding of how to better protect critical U.S. networks and the information on those networks."

The winning paper was written by professor Mario S. Alvim, Dr. Konstantinos Chatzikokolakis, professors Annabelle McIver and Carroll Morgan, Dr. Catuscia Palamidessi, and professor Geoffrey Smith. NSA will recognize them, as well as authors of papers that received honorable mentions, at a special in-house ceremony.

Titled "Additive and Multiplicative Notions of Leakage and Their Capacities," the winning submission was one of 50 this year. The news was also shared on Aug. 13 at the USENIX Security Symposium in Washington, D.C. The paper was originally presented last year at the IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium.

Entries, which may cover theoretical or empirical research, were judged on methodology, impact and communication style.

Two papers received honorable mentions. One, "Increasing Security Sensitivity with Social Proof: A Large-Scale Experimental Confirmation," was written by Sauvik Das, Dr. Adam D.I. Kramer, and professors Laura Dabbish and Jason I. Hong. The authors' work clearly reflects scientific rigor in an examination of ways to motivate people to adopt security features by sharing information about their friends' use of such tools. This paper was originally presented at the 2014 ACM Computer and Communications Security Conference.

In the other paper, "Quantitative Evaluation of Dynamic Platform Techniques as a Defensive Mechanism," Drs. Hamed Okhravi, James Riordan and Kevin Carter explored an approach that measures systems' resistance to compromise. This paper was originally presented at the 17th Annual International Symposium on Research in Attacks, Intrusions and Defenses.

Eight distinguished experts were among the reviewers:

  • Dr. Whitfield Diffie, cybersecurity advisor
  • Dr. Dan Geer, In-Q-Tel
  • Dr. John McLean, Naval Research Laboratory
  • Professor Angela Sasse, University College London
  • Professor Fred Schneider, Cornell University
  • Phil Venables, Goldman Sachs
  • Professor David Wagner, University of California-Berkeley
  • Dr. Jeannette Wing, Microsoft Research

After evaluating the papers in an open nomination process, these experts, along with researchers from NSA's Trusted Systems Research Group and Information Assurance Directorate, provided individual recommendations to Dr. Frincke, who read all of the finalists' submissions before making the final decision and personally notifying the winners.

"Our Science of Security (SoS) Initiative works by engaging researchers around the globe, promoting rigorous scientific principles, and growing the SoS community itself," she said. "It is a pleasure to recognize high achievement and scientific results that advance our capacity to work toward a safer and more secure cyberspace."

The Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition will begin soliciting papers in February for next year's contest.

NGA Deputy Director to Focus on Intelligence Integration in San Antonio

August 21, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Va. - National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Deputy Director Sue Gordon will highlight the importance of intelligence integration at the annual DoD Intelligence Information Systems (DoDIIS) Worldwide Conference in San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 24.

Gordon will discuss the value of improved intelligence integration, highlighting current accomplishments in information technology, including the implementation of the Intelligence Community common operating environment, managing big data and utilizing cloud technology during a keynote address at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center at 10:45 a.m. The DoDIIS Worldwide Conference, hosted by the Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Information Office Aug. 23-26, is an annual conference dedicated to unifying the defense intelligence infrastructure and information sharing initiatives through innovation, collaborative partnerships and technologies.

For more about the DoDIIS Worldwide Conference, visit the website. For further information and specific media inquiries, contact Don Kerr, NGA chief of media relations; donald.b.kerr@nga.mil, 703-600-9248 (mobile).

NGA to Release Draft Environmental Impact Statement in Mid-October

August 13, 2015

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - A draft Environmental Impact Statement - part of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's required review of four sites under consideration for a new facility in the region - will be released to the public in mid-October. Originally scheduled for release at the end of August, the delay is required to ensure the study results are adequately reflected in the draft publication. The later release is not expected to impact the agency's timeline to announce a site selection in spring 2016.

Public meetings will also be held near the end of October to allow for comments on the draft. Details, including times and locations, will be announced in the near future.

NGA and Georgetown University to Host Joint Conference on National Security

August 13, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The relationship between intelligence and technology will be the focus when the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Georgetown University co-host the second annual George T. Kalaris Intelligence Conference, "Succeeding in the Open," Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall (3rd floor of Healy Hall, 37th and O Street, Washington).

Keynote speakers include James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence; Robert Cardillo, NGA director; Marcel Lettre, acting undersecretary of defense for intelligence; and prominent panelists in the intelligence community and private sector.

"Georgetown University's Security Studies Program is truly honored to have NGA as a partner in this year's annual conference on emerging intelligence challenges," said CSS Director Bruce Hoffman. "The distinguished collection of government officials, leading figures in the private sector and accomplished scholars that will gather on campus in September for this event will bring diverse and informed perspectives to the range of critical issues facing the United States."

Experts in their respective fields will discuss a range of national security issues in an effort to connect government, academe, media and the private sector, through an intellectually rich and stimulating lineup of policy-relevant events. Engagements will entail current and future perspectives relevant to the U.S., the intelligence community and the security of the nation. "The Georgetown University Center for Security Studies and NGA are ideal collaborators for such an event," said NGA Director Robert Cardillo. "The lineup of topics and panels will provide an informative public forum to examine some important national security challenges."

Panel topics include the following:

  1. The Advent of Non-Traditional Data
  2. Achieving Transparency: The Evolution of Intelligence
  3. The Future for Intelligence Analysis, Collection and Activities

The conference is open to the media and may be recorded. The conference will also be webcast live on UStream and Georgetown.edu. Media wishing to attend must RSVP to McKenzie Stough of the Georgetown Office of Communications, mmes235@georgetown.edu. NGA and Georgetown will tweet the conference using the hashtag #NGAatGU.

Comments from conference speakers, panelists and moderators are all considered on-the-record with direct attribution. The conference Q & A sessions will be for the Georgetown students and registered conference attendees, and are not intended for members of the media to ask questions. Media members with specific questions for speakers, panelists or moderators are encouraged to contact the Georgetown or NGA media representatives, who will attempt to facilitate such interaction.

We Remember: Staff Sergeant Kenneth R. Hobson II

August 7, 2015

The Defense Intelligence Agency remembers U.S. Defense Attaché Office (USDAO) Administrative Specialist Staff Sgt. Kenneth R. Hobson II, who was murdered in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 7, 1998. Today marks the 17th anniversary of his death.

Hobson was killed in the terrorist bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. At 10:36 a.m. local time, terrorists driving a truck detonated a large bomb in the rear parking area outside the embassy. Minutes later at 10:39 a.m., another bomb exploded 450 miles away outside the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The near simultaneous blasts, which killed roughly 300 people and injured more than 4,000, were the most significant acts of anti-U.S. terrorism since the Khobar Towers bombing two years earlier. The force of the two blasts rendered both embassies unusable and damaged or destroyed adjacent buildings.

Hobson was born in Placerville, Calif., and grew up in western Missouri. He joined the U.S. Army in 1989 and served tours in the U.S., Germany and the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. Hobson was a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Arabic. He was a career Army intelligence specialist and had been assigned to the USDAO in Kenya since December 1997, his first assignment in the Defense Attaché Service. Twenty-seven-year-old Hobson was a loving husband and father of one daughter. His second daughter was born eight months after he was killed.

Today DIA's Patriot Memorial honors DIA personnel who died in service to the U.S. It commemorates the profound individual sacrifices made on behalf of the country by DIA personnel and acts as a reminder of the selflessness, dedication and courage required to confront national challenges in the past, present and future.

Defense attachés are an integral part of the DIA team. Appointed by the Secretary of Defense, they are responsible for all Department of Defense (DOD) activities and personnel assigned to the embassy of the country in which they serve. Defense attachés are the primary military advisor to the ambassador and country team on military issues and developments. Additionally, they represent the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and greater DOD elements. Defense attachés plan and coordinate U.S. military activities with that nation's armed forces, observe and report on military developments, oversee U.S. military training programs and support DOD and other high level visits.

DIA provides all-source intelligence on foreign militaries and operating environments that delivers decision advantage to prevent and decisively win wars. The agency collects and analyzes key data using a variety of tools, and deploys its personnel globally, alongside war fighters and interagency partners, to defend America's national security interests.

President Nominates Marcel Lettre to Be the Next Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence

August 7, 2015

The following are comments made by James R. Clapper, director of National Intelligence. I strongly endorse President Obama's nomination of Marcel Lettre to be the next Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. This is a position I know well, and I believe Marcel is exceptionally qualified to serve in this important post.

Marcel is a consummate public servant whose extensive experience leading and managing intelligence and defense endeavors in the legislative and executive branches, respectively, will be invaluable to the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and our nation. He is a superb team player and teammate, and is strongly committed to integration.

I congratulate Marcel and his family on his nomination. Following Senate consideration, I look forward to continuing to work together to keep our nation secure.

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

National Security Agency Announces New Education Partnership with Dakota State University

August 5, 2015

The National Security Agency (NSA) has a new partnership between its National Cryptologic School (NCS) and Dakota State University - an initiative that allows agency employees to apply on-the-job training toward a bachelor's degree in the university's online cyber operations program.

Under the new agreement, military and civilian employees at NSA may transfer up to 56 NCS course credits to the university's bachelor's program. Interested agency employees may begin to register with the university for the fall 2015 semester.

"We are honored to support NSA employees, particularly the enlisted men and women who are already fully engaged in our cybersecurity workforce," said Dr. Josh Pauli, associate professor of cybersecurity at Dakota State.

The partnership marks the first time NCS has entered into such an agreement with a public academic institution. However, it's just the latest example of a federal effort to encourage more people to pursue higher education in cyber operations, including cybersecurity. Cyber threats are only growing in this digital era.

The program's online status makes it especially convenient for military personnel at the agency, emphasized Steve LaFountain, dean of NSA's College of Cyber.

"Our military employees already go through extensive training to qualify for their roles here," he said. "This partnership provides them with a huge head start toward obtaining a degree in a valuable field of study."

NSA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have designated Dakota State as a "center of academic excellence" (CAE) in information-assurance education. Additionally, the university was one of the first institutions in 2012 to be recognized as an NSA CAE in Cyber Operations.

More information about CAEs is available online: www.nsa.gov/academia.

DNI Clapper Names New IARPA Director

August 3, 2015

WASHINGTON - Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper announced today that he has selected Dr. Jason Matheny to be the next director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), effective immediately.

"Jason brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position, and I'm confident that he will continue to maintain the high bar for technical excellence and relevance to our Intelligence Community mission," said Clapper. "I look forward to him continuing to work closely with partners throughout the national security community to bring to bear our future capabilities."

Jason has been serving as director of IARPA's new office for Anticipating Surprise overseeing research efforts to develop new capabilities to deliver timely and accurate forecasts for a range of events relevant to national security. He served concurrently as the program manager for the Open Source Indicators (OSI) program, the Foresight and Understanding from Scientific Exposition program and the Forecasting Science and Technology program.

Jason joined the ODNI in 2009 as a program manager in IARPA's office of Incisive Analysis where he conceptualized, developed, managed and successfully transitioned technologies to the IC from the Aggregative Contingent Estimation (ACE) and OSI programs. Under Jason's leadership, the ACE program grew impressively as the world's largest forecasting tournament, and increased the accuracy of geopolitical forecasts by more than 50 percent. OSI has also achieved impressive results: record lead-time on forecasts of societal events, from political instability to disease outbreaks.

Before joining IARPA, Jason worked at Oxford University, Princeton University, the World Bank, the Center for Biosecurity, and the Applied Physics Laboratory, and is the co-founder of two biotechnology companies. His research has been published in widely-known publications, such as Nature, and his work has been profiled in The New York Times' Ideas of the Year, Discover Magazine's Top Science Stories of the Year as well as in NOVA, Scientific American and The Economist.

Jason holds a doctorate in applied economics and a master's in public health from Johns Hopkins University, a master's in business administration from Duke University and a bachelor's from the University of Chicago. He is also the recipient of the IC award for Individual Achievement in Science and Technology.

IARPA invests in high-risk, high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over our future adversaries. Additional information on IARPA and its research may be found on www.iarpa.gov.

NSA Announces Glenn S. Gerstell as New General Counsel

August 3, 2015

Glenn S. Gerstell was sworn in today as the general counsel of the National Security Agency (NSA) in a ceremony at the agency's Fort Meade headquarters.

Gerstell is a leading legal expert in technology and cybersecurity matters. He practiced for nearly 40 years at the international law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, where he served for 18 years as the managing partner of Milbank's Washington, D.C., office. He previously led the firm's Singapore and Hong Kong offices.

Gerstell has a strong background in homeland security issues and a record of public service. He recently served on the D.C. Homeland Security Commission, was appointed by President Obama as a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was an elected member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. Additionally, he served as an adjunct law professor at the Georgetown University School of Law and New York Law School.

"Glenn is a gifted lawyer," said Adm. Michael S. Rogers, director, NSA/chief, Central Security Service. "His extensive background in managing a global law firm and the breadth of his international experience will provide a fresh perspective that will serve to benefit our mission."

Gerstell said he was extremely grateful for the opportunity. "Given my lifelong interest in homeland security and international matters, it is an honor to be able to assist NSA in a mission that is now more vital than ever."

DIA Awards Enhanced Solutions for the IT Enterprise Contract

July 17, 2015

The Defense Intelligence Agency awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ), multiple-award contract to 25 large businesses and 25 small businesses to support information technology requirements across the defense intelligence enterprise and the greater intelligence community.

The Enhanced Solutions for the Information Technology Enterprise (E-SITE) contract vehicle has the potential to reach a combined ceiling of up to $6 billion. The E-SITE contract is the second in a series of DIA IT enterprise IDIQ vehicles, and is a follow-on and expansion of the Solutions for Information Technology Enterprise IDIQ contract that expired in May. Work will be performed worldwide with an expected completion date of July 16, 2020.

The E-SITE contract is designed to enable streamlined execution, simplify purchase requests, standardize acquisition documentation, improve enterprise program management for customers, provide better reporting capability, improve contracting performance and data integrity and make the agency's overall IT acquisition processes more efficient. DIA named Phyllis Wright as the E-SITE program manager and Esther Woods as the E-SITE contracting officer.

DIA released a draft solicitation May 13, 2013, followed by an Industry Day held Oct. 30, 2013. The final solicitation was released March 18, 2014. The E-SITE contract vehicle was solicited on the basis of full and open competition with a number of awards to be reserved for small business, and 77 proposals were received. After conducting a thorough evaluation based on the request for proposal criteria, contracts were awarded to the following large and small businesses.

Large Businesses

  • American Systems of Chantilly, Va.
  • BAE Systems of McLean, Va.
  • Blue Canopy of Reston, Va.
  • The Boeing Company of Annapolis Junction, Md.
  • Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean, Va.
  • CACI of Chantilly, Va.
  • CGI Federal of Fairfax, Va.
  • Computer Sciences Corporation of Falls Church, Va.
  • D&S Consultants Inc. of Eatontown, N.J.
  • EIS of Vienna, Va.
  • General Dynamics Information Technology of Herndon, Va.
  • HP Enterprise Services of Herndon, Va.
  • IBM of Reston, Va.
  • Intelligent Decisions of Ashburn, Va.
  • K Force Government Solutions of Fairfax, Va.
  • L3 National Security Solutions of Reston, Va.
  • Leidos of Reston, Va.
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation of Gaithersburg, Md.
  • ManTech/WINS of Fairfax, Va.
  • Northrop Grumman of Chantilly, Va.
  • Pragmatics of Reston, Va.
  • Raytheon IIS Group of Dulles, Va.
  • Scientific Research Corporation of Atlanta, Ga.
  • Sotera of Herndon, Va.
  • SRA International of Fairfax, Va.

Small Businesses

  • 22nd Century Technologies of McLean, Va.
  • AEEC LLC of Reston, Va.
  • American Technology Solutions International of Fredericksburg, Va.
  • Berico Technologies of Reston, Va.
  • The Buffalo Group of Reston, Va.
  • Convergent Solutions Inc. of Alexandria, Va.
  • Criterion Systems Inc. of Vienna, Va.
  • Cyberspace Solutions of Reston, Va.
  • DAn Solutions Inc. of McLean, Va.
  • DKW Communications of Washington, D.C.
  • E-Volve Technology Systems of National Harbor, Md.
  • Federated IT of Washington, D.C.
  • Intrepid Solutions & Services Inc. of Reston, Va.
  • The Kenjya Group of Columbia, Md.
  • New River Systems of Sterling, Va.
  • OCCAM Solutions of McLean, Va.
  • QVine Corporation of Reston, Va.
  • Red Arch Solutions of Columbia, Md.
  • Riite of Chantilly, Va.
  • Soft Tech Consulting of Chantilly, Va.
  • Trusted Mission Solutions of McLean, Va.
  • Varen Technologies of Columbia, Md.
  • Vykin Corporation of Tampa, Fla.
  • Xcelerate Solutions of McLean, Va.
  • Zolon Tech Inc. of Herndon, Va.

Each company was awarded a $500 minimum guarantee. Additional funding will be obligated on individual task orders with the initial follow-on task order competitions scheduled later this year.

SECDEF Chief of Staff: Live Honestly, Openly

July 2, 2015

Chief of Staff for the Secretary of Defense Eric Fanning spoke to Defense Intelligence Agency employees June 24 about the immense changes he's seen in the LGBT environment at the Department of Defense over the past 20 years.

Visiting as a part of DIA's Pride Month observance, Fanning focused on the evolution and current environment in the Department of Defense today, and on the importance of being "out" at work and the impact that has on culture.

While acknowledging there are challenges, "there is a much larger community out there that is looking for opportunities to show its support of us - that's certainly been my experience as I've come out in my professional network, and it's picking up steam," Fanning said. "It's gone from tolerance to acceptance to embrace."

When Fanning came out in 1993 while working for the secretary of defense at the Pentagon, he said he felt like the only one in the 25,000-person building. He knew there were others, but if you were in uniform, you couldn't expose yourself as gay because you'd be discharged, and there were no other openly gay political appointees.

"Today, there is a caucus there, and now there is support for all of us," he said. "We have this community of support whenever we try to do anything or put ourselves forward."

Fanning also noted how Pride Month celebrations within DoD have evolved as well.

"To walk through your lobby here and to see the displays you've put up and to see how it's being embraced and celebrated is truly a remarkable experience for me to see," Fanning said.

NGA and DigitalGlobe Open Source Toolkit to Harness the Power of Collaborative Mapping

June 22, 2015

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and DigitalGlobe have partnered to release an open source software toolkit designed to harness the power of crowdsourced mapping for geospatial big data analytics. The open source project Hootenanny provides a scalable processing engine and interactive editing interface to enable rapid conflation of map features generated from satellite imagery, UAVs, and mobile devices.

In less than a decade crowdsourced mapping communities like OpenStreetMap™ have attracted more than 2.5 million volunteers who have digitized more than 130 million buildings and 1.3 million miles of roads. Countless other organizations and individuals are using satellite imagery and other methods to capture the geometry and metadata of roads, buildings and points of interest. To create high quality maps and enable analytic functions like routing, suitability analysis, or predictive modeling, it is important to unify multiple sources to create the best available database.

"The commercialization of GEOINT is leading to exponential growth of publicly available geospatial information," said Chris Rasmussen, NGA's public software development lead. "Hootenanny as an open source project will enable new levels of data sharing across the community that will increase our nation's ability to quickly respond to emerging threats. This is a pro-active move that steers into the collaborative mapping environment to derive more value from unclassified sources."

Hootenanny leverages the open architecture of OpenStreetMap™ to facilitate integration of diverse geospatial datasets into a common key value data structure. An open library of conflation algorithms applies various techniques to unify the geometry and metadata of topographic features. Conflicts can be visualized and resolved through an interactive application built on the iD Editor, an open source map editing tool developed by Mapbox. Conflated datasets can be exported in a variety of GIS formats including ESRI Shapefile, File Geodatabase, Web Feature Service, and native OpenStreetMap™ formats. Hootenanny also enables Geospatial Extract Transform Load (ETL) capabilities supporting various schemas such as Topographic Data Store (TDS), and Multi-National Geospatial Co-Production Program (MGCP).

Hootenanny is available at: https://github.com/ngageoint/hootenanny. The software use, modification and distribution rights are stipulated within the General Public License (GPL). DigitalGlobe and NGA will be hosting a Hootennany MeetUp at the Washington D.C. Convention Center on Wednesday, June 24, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room 143A.

NGA Director to Address 2015 USGIF GEOINT Symposium

June 19, 2015

The director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is scheduled to address the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation GEOINT 2015 Symposium at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington on June 23 from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.

Robert Cardillo, who has led the intelligence agency's unprecedented foray into the unclassified operation environment, will discuss the importance of agency transparency and continued collaboration with open sources in keeping with the symposium's theme, "Opening the Aperture: Charting New Paths."

The June 22-25 event will mark the first time the symposium has been held in the nation's capital, according to the USGIF.

An afternoon news conference is planned for 1:30, in which Cardillo will be available to answer questions from members of the media in attendance.

To schedule interviews or for additional inquiries, please contact NGA chief of media relations, Don Kerr, 703-600-9248 or donald.b.kerr@nga.mil.

Visit the USGIF GEOINT 2015 Symposium website for more information about the event.

Academic Institutions Selected for Centers of Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences Program

June 8, 2015

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, announced today 17 new academic institutions selected for the Centers for Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences program.

The program is a new endeavor designed to cultivate centers of academic excellence in geospatial sciences, content processing, tradecraft methodologies, and research and development technologies. NGA and USGS recognize the inherent value of investing in the future geospatial workforce, and the CAE Geospatial Sciences program supports that goal.

"The CAE Geospatial Sciences Program is a new way of cultivating relationships and partnerships across America's universities,? said Lenora Peters Gant, Ph.D., NGA senior executive for academic outreach & STEM. "This program is one of the best strategic and systemic approaches to shape the geospatial intelligence workforce of the future."

The institutions selected are:
- United States Air Force Academy
- Alabama A&M University
- Arizona State University
- Delta State University
- Fayetteville State University
- George Mason University
- Mississippi State University
- Northeastern University
- The Ohio State University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Roane State Community College
- United States Military Academy
- University of Alabama
- University of Maine
- University of South Florida
- University of Texas - Dallas
- University of Utah

The CAE Geospatial Sciences Program provides NGA and USGS the ability to assess universities geospatial science curricula, research and development, and related capabilities that align with the agencies' mission needs. With these partnerships, the agencies can attract a broader array of geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT, expertise, research and development, and talent sources for current and emerging critical mission challenges.

The selected institutions will be acknowledged in a ceremony at the 2015 USGIF GEOINT Symposium on June 22, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

NIU Announces Judge William Webster as 2015 Commencement Speaker

June 1, 2015

National Intelligence University President Dr. David Ellison announced this week that Judge William H. Webster will deliver the commencement address to NIU graduates on Friday, July 31.

Judge Webster is an iconic figure in the U.S. intelligence and national security communities. A World War II Navy veteran who went on to a long and distinguished legal career, Judge Webster has the distinction of being the only American to serve as both FBI director from 1978-1987, and CIA director from 1987-1991. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Security Medal and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. Judge Webster currently serves as chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

Dr. Ellison expects to present diplomas to approximately 250 graduating students from around the intelligence and national security communities as they cross the stage to receive one of the university's three degrees: Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence, Master of Science and Technology Intelligence or Bachelor of Science in Intelligence.

NIU is an accredited degree-granting institution whose main campus is located in Washington, D.C. Its faculty consists of subject matter experts from around the Intelligence Community who bring a wealth of knowledge and practical experience, as well as academic qualifications, to the classroom. In addition to the three degree programs, NIU offers graduate certificates in intelligence on specialized topics. Its alumni include many notable intelligence and national security leaders.

NGA Inducts Three Members into Geospatial Intelligence Hall of Fame

May 27, 2015

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency inducted three members into the Geospatial Intelligence Hall of Fame in a ceremony this afternoon at the agency's headquarters in Springfield, Va.

Constance Babington Smith, Robert Ballew and Geoffrey Langsam join a group of trailblazers in the United States' highly technical, complex and analytical world of geospatial intelligence.

Babington Smith was a pioneer in the field of aircraft-based photographic interpretation and is the first Commonwealth partner to be inducted into the Geospatial Intelligence Hall of Fame. Following the outbreak of World War II, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in support of the Royal Air Force as a photographic interpreter. She was later assigned to the Central Interpretation Unit at RAF Medmenham, where she commanded the Aircraft and Aircraft Industry section. Following victory in Europe, Constance Babington Smith transferred to the United States and contributed to the Allied effort in the war against Japan. Her expertise and methodology significantly influenced American interpretative processes.

Ballew played an integral part in the development of the Department of Defense's World Geodetic System 1960 and 1966. He was the technical leader at the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center for geodetic and geophysical support for the U.S. Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missiles. Ballew's pioneering efforts helped to enable the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and its predecessors to provide highly accurate, image-based geospatial products.

Langsam led initiatives that linked imagery intelligence with operational defense missions, enabling target development, precision strike targeting, threat analysis and mission planning. He also developed strategies to target networks and infrastructure, as well as strategies to detect and characterize foreign weapons systems and emerging asymmetric threats. He advocated for creation of and was assigned to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Directorate for Collection and Imagery Activities in 1988. His role expanded in 1992, making him the DoD functional manager of technical collection requirements and operations. Langsam later became the first ever civilian appointed Special Assistant to Joint Staff Director of Intelligence (J2) in the Pentagon.

"Today is a time to reflect and celebrate as we pay tribute to our heritage, and three remarkable people," said NGA Director Robert Cardillo.

Previously known as the NGA Hall of Fame, the Geospatial Intelligence Hall of Fame allows NGA to recognize those who have profoundly affected the geospatial intelligence tradecrafts regardless of whether they were directly associated with NGA or one of its heritage organizations. Hall of Fame inductees have clearly enhanced the direction, scope and value of GEOINT for decision makers, military commanders or other customers and partners. Criteria for Hall of Fame induction include a legacy of leadership that exemplifies the NGA tradition and core values; provision of geospatial intelligence that enabled the U.S. to resolve a national security crisis; being responsible for a technological or analytic innovation that now provides greater geospatial understanding throughout the U.S. government; or other support or sacrifices made that personified or enhanced the NGA mission.

NSA/CSS Adds Two Heroes to Its Cryptologic Memorial Wall

May 26, 2015

Today, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service, paid special tribute to fallen soldiers Spc. Christopher A. Landis and Spc. John A. Pelham at a memorial ceremony held at the agency. These service members gave their lives, "serving in silence," in the line of duty. The service was attended by family, friends, and distinguished guests.

Spc. Landis, from the city of Independence in northern Kentucky, was assigned to the U.S. Army, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). In late 2013, he deployed with his group to Afghanistan, where he consistently worked to collect and analyze enemy communications. On Feb. 10, 2014, Spc. Landis was operating on the harsh battlefields of Kapisa Province when his unit came under heavy fire. During the attack, Spc. Landis was hit and severely injured by a rocket propelled grenade. He survived the assault, but ultimately succumbed to his wounds later that day at Bagram Airbase.

Spc. Pelham, born into a military family, was assigned to the U.S. Army, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). In pursuit of fulfilling the U.S. Special Forces motto "Free the Oppressed," Spc. Pelham and his unit were deployed to Afghanistan, where he worked as a signals intelligence analyst. On Feb. 12, 2014, while on patrol in Kapisa Province, Spc. Pelham's squad came under fire from gunmen wearing Afghan Security Force uniforms. During the firefight, all four assailants were killed, however, Spc. Pelham and a fellow soldier fell to enemy fire.

The ceremony included a traditional wreath laying and the unveiling of both names on the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Memorial Wall. The wall, dedicated in 1996, now lists the names of 176 Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and civilian cryptologists who have made the ultimate sacrifice, serving in silence, in the performance of their duties since 1950.

Additional information on the memorial wall and a special historical monograph highlighting Landis' and Pelham's lives, service and sacrifice can be viewed on the NSA/CSS website at https://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/memorial_wall/index.shtml.

This Day in History: Committee Recommends Revision to Defense Attaché Service

May 15, 2015

In 1970, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Donald V. Bennett convened the Defense Attaché System Review Committee to assess all aspects of the Defense Attaché System (DAS). On May 15, 1970, the committee concluded that the DAS mission, organization, status and administrative policies required revision. The committee's final report identified 25 areas for improvement, including emphasizing the representational role of military attachés, reversing the negative trend in the number of qualified attaché nominees and reworking DIA's management and control procedures over the attachés.

Lt. Gen. Bennett accepted the recommendations and, as part of a larger agency reorganization, established a new Directorate for Attaché Affairs, led by a general officer who reported directly to the DIA command element. The new directorate provided a single focal point within the agency and the Department of Defense (DOD) for the overall coordination and direction of the policies, plans and programs for the DAS.

The name was changed to the Defense Attaché Service in 2014 to acknowledge the DAS as a service provider for customers including the secretary of defense, the director of national intelligence, the secretaries of the military departments, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chiefs of the military services, the combatant commanders and the integrated intelligence centers.

Defense attachés are appointed by the secretary of defense and serve as senior defense officials/defense attachés (SDOs/DATTS) responsible for all DoD activities and personnel assigned to the embassy of the country in which they serve. SDOs/DATTs are the primary military adviser to the ambassador and country team on military issues and developments who plan and coordinate U.S. military activities with that nation's armed forces; observe and report on military developments; oversee U.S. military training programs; and support DOD and other VIP visits.

Defense attachés are an integral part of the DIA team. The agency provides intelligence on foreign militaries and operating environments that delivers decision advantage to prevent and decisively win wars. DIA collects and analyzes key data using a variety of tools, and deploys its personnel globally, alongside warfighters and interagency partners, to defend America's national security interests.

Celebrate Armed Forces Day at the National Cryptologic Museum, May 16

May 11, 2015

Media may attend Armed Forces Day at the National Cryptologic Museum on May 16, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., in celebration of the men and women serving in our nation's Armed Forces. This year's event will focus on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and promises to be a day of fun and education for the whole family. Activities include:

  • The U.S. Air Force Band, "Airmen of Note," premier jazz ensemble from 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • The Maryland Army National Guard equipment displays.
  • Ham radio demonstrations where you can talk to other ham radio users at other locations.
  • NSA Police K-9 Unit demonstrations.
  • The U.S. Naval Sea Cadets will have crafts for all ages.
  • The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore is coming with giant Jenga puzzles for fun and friendly competition.
  • Museum tours throughout the day.
  • Scavenger hunts for children to earn free ice cream (while supplies last).
  • Presentations on key historical events by the National Cryptologic Museum's curator.

Updates about the National Cryptologic Museum's Armed Forces Day celebration are available at www.Facebook.com/NationalCryptologicMuseum.

The National Cryptologic Museum is located on Colony Seven Road off Rt. 32, exit 10A, adjacent to Fort George G. Meade, Md. For more information, visit www.nsa.gov or call (443) 634-9700.

NSA's Cyber Camps Make Summer School Fun

May 11, 2015

"GenCyber" is a new partnership between the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation to help young people learn about cybersecurity and how skills in that area can pay off for them in the future.

To that end, a series of GenCyber summer camps will be held on 29 university campuses in 18 states this year — exposing largely middle and high-school students to subject matter and cyber problem-solving that would help prepare them for related coursework in college. The camps, some of which are overnight, are free for participants because of funding from the federal partnership. California, South Dakota, Alaska, New York, Hawaii, and Mississippi are among the sites. The goal is to expand the program from the current 43 camps to 200 by 2020.

Educating the next generation of cybersecurity experts is a priority for leaders in both the public and private sectors. Cyber threats are only growing, and improving defenses to better protect the nation is a must in this digital era.

"It is important to seize the imagination of young people who have an interest in this field, showing them the challenges and opportunities that await them," said Steve LaFountain, dean of NSA's College of Cyber. "GenCyber camps help interested young people — from every corner of the United States and from diverse backgrounds — gain some incredible experience in this ever-changing field."

"High standards and the issue of compliance are equally important," said LaFountain, whose office reviews and approves each camp's cyber curriculum.

"In addition to preparing young people to excel in tomorrow's workforce, we are teaching students the ethics of security so they learn how to be better citizens in cyberspace," he said.

While the program, launched in 2014, focuses on raising awareness among students, camps for teachers are also available to help educators build curricula for their own schools.

Because strengthening U.S. cybersecurity is a team sport, the academic community also plays a key role in the GenCyber effort. Most of the universities that host the camps are Centers of Academic Excellence — a separate initiative that NSA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security oversee for more than 190 U.S. institutions of higher learning.

More information about GenCyber, including links to universities' camp websites, is available online at www.gen-cyber.info.

New NGA Program Pairs Developers with Data to Create Innovative Apps

May 11, 2015

A new program of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) pairs developers of commercial applications with unclassified geospatial data to create innovative applications that meet mission needs of government and commercial organizations.

The Innovative GEOINT Application Provider Program, or IGAPP, is intended to help harness the creativity of commercial app developers and bridge the gap between traditional government contracting procedures and non-traditional businesses. IGAPP will feed applications into the GEOINT App Store, NGA's online storefront that provides downloadable applications for mobile, web and desktop devices.

"IGAPP is a win-win for government, industry and the American public," says Joedy Saffel, NGA's IGAPP program lead. "NGA is committed to opening its content, creatively partnering with industry and delivering applications that are valued by our customers."

IGAPP will function as a trusted broker between commercial vendors and the government. IGAPP will provide registered and approved app vendors with the infrastructure and support to build, test and launch creative, innovative mapping apps using geospatial data from NGA and other organizations that are then available through NGA's GEOINT App Store.

NGA awarded a four-year, $25 million contract to TASC, an Engility Company, to manage and operate IGAPP.

IGAPP will be exhibited May 12-13 at the Apps World Conference in San Francisco and June 22-25 at the GEOINT Symposium in Washington D.C..

For more information on IGAPP, email igapp@tasc.com.

NGA Opens Public Website to Support Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts

April 27, 2015

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency opened a public website April 26 to host unclassified geospatial intelligence data, products and services in support of U.S. and international relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Nepal April 25.

The site, located at http://nga.maps.arcgis.com, initially contains search and rescue atlases covering Kathmandu and six other areas of Nepal, with maps, imagery and data overlaid to assist rescuers and relief planners. Other products and data layers will be added to the site as they become available.

NGA's Nepal site shares a platform with its Ebola site, opened in October 2014. The sites use Esri's ArcGIS online platform hosted by Amazon Web Services, both publicly available services.

NGA is also providing support directly to its mission partners and to the disaster relief and humanitarian assistance community through the All Partners Access Network.

DIA Built Modern Facility to Support its Expanding Role, Mission

April 21, 2015

On Apr. 21, 1981, the Defense Intelligence Agency held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new home.

From 1961 to 1981, a series of DIA directors had engaged in a persistent effort to acquire a new building that would allow the agency to move from the crowded and outdated buildings at Arlington Hall Station, and consolidate agency elements scattered in a variety of locations throughout the Washington, D.C., area. In 1981, DIA finally broke ground on the site of the new Defense Intelligence Analysis Center (DIAC) located on Bolling Air Force Base, and the facility officially opened in May 1984. The DIAC was redesignated as DIA headquarters in 2012.

Today DIA headquarters is a valuable facility even as most agency personnel are based outside of the National Capital Region. DIA uses all-source defense intelligence to prevent strategic surprise and deliver a decision advantage to war fighters, defense planners and policymakers. The agency collects and analyzes key data using a variety of tools, and deploys its personnel globally, alongside war fighters and interagency partners, to defend America's national security interests.

Air Attaché in Berlin Honors B-17 Crash Victims

April 15, 2015

Col. David Pedersen, the air attaché to Germany, represented the U.S. Air Force and the American Embassy in Berlin March 22 on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Peace Memorial Monument, which commemorates the crash of a B-17 in the German town of Großräschen.

"While this may only be one of thousands of similar events during the war, this peace memorial stands to remind us of all the victims of this unforgettable period in our history," Pedersen said. "We will not only remember it today, we will always remember the countless events like this that brought us together in a deep and lasting relationship."

Seventy years ago on March 22, 1945, an American B-17 was shot down by a German ME-262 over Großräschen. The plane crashed into a large house where several German civilians were taking refuge, and exploded about 20 minutes after impact. Nine of the ten crewmembers died in the crash. The surviving crewmember, SSG John Henry Bryner, managed to jump from the stricken plane.

In the house, 13 Germans perished. At the scene was a German teenager, Wolfgang Lehmann, who barely escaped the explosion of the B-17. Little is known of the event, nor could it be researched since the town is located in the former East Germany. However, 60 years later in 2005, these two survivors would meet each other in Großräschen, along with the pilot of the ME-262 who shot down the B-17, to establish "The Peace Memorial Monument" in commemoration of the event and to honor the victims of WWII with a message of peace and reconciliation.

We Remember: Five DIA Employees Killed in Operation Babylift

April 4, 2015

On Apr. 4, 1975, five Defense Intelligence Agency employees — Celeste Brown, Vivienne Clark, Dorothy Curtiss, Joan Pray and Doris Watkins — lost their lives trying to save the lives of Vietnamese infants and children fleeing Saigon in Operation Babylift.

As the government of South Vietnam collapsed in the face of a massive North Vietnamese offensive, President Gerald Ford ordered the evacuation of Vietnamese orphans from Saigon. The Air Force Military Airlift Command (MAC) was responsible for the flights and, Army Major General Homer Smith, the U.S. defense attaché in Saigon, provided escorts and coordinated requirements of the withdrawal airlifts. Operation Babylift would process 400 war orphans and their escorts for evacuation each day from Tan Son Nhut airbase, adjacent to the defense attaché office complex.

The first available plane was a C-5A Galaxy transport that arrived in Saigon the morning of April 4. Ground crews and an Air Force medical crew loaded the babies and small children aboard the plane. Also onboard were members of the defense attaché office staff, including the five DIA employees.

Just after 5 p.m. local time, the last of the 314 passengers were on board, and the transport took off. Twelve minutes later, the locks on the rear cargo door of the C-5A failed, and the aft pressure door, part of the loading ramp, and the cargo door, blew off, severely damaging the flight controls in the tail. The pilots attempted an emergency landing at Tan Son Nhut airbase, but the plane crashed in a marsh two miles short of the runway. The impact crushed the cargo deck where many of the orphans had been placed. In all, 138 people died in the crash including Brown, Clark, Curtiss, Pray and Watkins. It was the single largest loss of life in DIA history until the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Operation Babylift continued through Apr. 26, 1975, ultimately bringing more than 3,300 infants and children to the United States.

Today the DIA Patriots Memorial honors our personnel who died in service of the United States. It commemorates the profound individual sacrifices made by DIA members, and acts as a reminder of the selflessness, dedication and courage required to confront national challenges in the past, present and future.

Defense attachés are an integral part of the DIA team. Appointed by the Secretary of Defense, they are responsible for all Department of Defense activities and personnel assigned to the embassy of the country in which they serve. Defense attachés are the primary military advisor to the ambassador and country team on military issues and developments. Additionally, they represent the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and greater DoD elements. Defense attachés plan and coordinate U.S. military activities with that nation's armed forces, observe and report on military developments, oversee U.S. military training programs and support DoD and other high level visits.

DIA uses all-source defense intelligence to prevent strategic surprise and deliver a decision advantage to war fighters, defense planners and policymakers. The agency collects and analyzes key data using a variety of tools, and deploys its personnel globally, alongside war fighters and interagency partners, to defend America's national security interests.

DIA's Crucial Role in Operation Iraqi Freedom

March 18, 2015

On March 19, 2003, U.S. forces launched Operation Iraqi Freedom with a series of cruise missile and air attacks on Iraqi air defense systems, surface-to-surface missile sites and artillery emplacements. Attacks also took place against command and control targets, including an attempted "decapitation strike" against a compound used by Saddam Hussein and other senior members of the Iraqi regime. Special Operations Forces secured gas and oil platforms and other key objectives, and tied down Iraqi forces in the northern part of the country. The ground war began March 21, and ground forces of the U.S.-led coalition reached Baghdad less than a month later.

During the major combat operations phase, the Defense Intelligence Agency provided a wide range of intelligence support. Specialists from DIA's Missile and Space Intelligence Center based in the U.S. and forward-deployed, conducted daily analyses of Iraqi surface-to-air missile firing incidents and the overall disposition of Iraqi air defenses. Medical intelligence from DIA's National Center for Medical Intelligence enabled deployed military medical units to care for military personnel in the field, and to take proper medical countermeasures against potential health threats. DIA analysts in the Iraq Intelligence Task Force and other analytic units prepared large numbers of reports on the conflict, including morning intelligence updates for the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and contributions to daily intelligence summaries for the secretary of defense and the president. Transportation planning documents and operational support studies prepared by DIA supported the northward march of the First Marine Expeditionary Force, one of two U.S. corps-sized formations leading the assault. DIA personnel used information gained from debriefings and interrogations to track down several high-value targets, including Saddam Hussein.

These and other contributions during major combat operations were only the beginning of DIA's support to Operation Iraqi Freedom. In subsequent months and years, DIA confronted new and evolving intelligence requirements that were fundamentally different from those it faced during the initial period of major combat operations. In the course of the long conflict the agency adapted and evolved. As a result, the DIA that emerged in 2011 differed in substantial ways from the DIA of 2003.

Today DIA uses all-source defense intelligence to prevent strategic surprise and deliver a decision advantage to war fighters, defense planners and policymakers. The agency collects and analyzes key data using a variety of tools, and deploys its personnel globally, alongside war fighters and interagency partners, to defend America's national security interests.