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About The National Reconnaissance Office

Mission: Innovative Overhead Intelligence systems for National Security

Vision: Supra Et Ultra

Core Values: Integrity and Accountability, Mission Excellence, Teamwork Built on Respect and Diversity

About NRO

We're a hybrid organization of 3,000 personnel from the Intelligence Community, members of the armed services and Department of Defense civilian personnel. Our workforce is a highly talented team of scientists, aerospace engineers, communications specialists, computer scientists and acquisitions managers who innovate, collaborate and understand our customer needs.

Why work for us?

Our mission depends on our people, who are our top priority. In addition to federal benefits, we offer:

  • A wide range of education and training to employees for career development.
  • Employee Resource Groups, fostering diversity and inclusion as part of who we are.
  • Programs to promote work-life balance including wellness programs, flexible work schedules and care for dependents.
Go Above And Beyond With The NRO

What does the NRO do?

As a member of both the Intelligence Community (IC) and Department of Defense (DoD), we design, build, launch and maintain America's intelligence satellites. Our systems collect and process signals and imagery to discover and follow activities for a wide range of intelligence, defense and civil applications. Our customers and mission partners depend on our unique capabilities to:

  • Maintain global situational awareness in great power competition.
  • Monitor the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Track international terrorists, drug traffickers and criminal organizations.
  • Develop highly accurate military targeting data and bomb damage assessments.
  • Support international peacekeeping, humanitarian relief operations and natural disaster response and mitigation.

Protect our nation

Our systems are critical to national security, U.S. policymakers and warfighters. Our work provides the foundation for global situational awareness and addresses our nation's toughest intelligence challenges. Our satellite systems can access critical areas of interest and use data from overhead sensors to provide unique information and perspectives not available from other sources.

Together with other Department of Defense satellites, our systems play a crucial role in providing:

  • Global communications.
  • Precision navigation.
  • Early warning of missile launches and potential military aggression.
  • Signals intelligence and near real-time imagery to U.S. forces to support the war on terrorism and other continuing operations.

Respond to disaster relief and support environmental research

Our satellites also support civil customers in response to disaster relief and environmental research. We can help depict and assess the impact of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and fires.

Scientists created a global environment database using NRO imagery to help:

  • Predict climate change.
  • Assess crop production.
  • Map habitats of endangered species.
  • Track oil spills and study wetlands.

Innovate everyday technology

Our systems and innovation inspire technology in everyday life with contributions to medical imaging, global communications, high-definition television, cellular phones, the global positioning system (GPS) and much more.

Who we work with

Our key customers and mission partners include:

  • Policymakers
  • The armed services
  • The Intelligence Community
  • The Departments of State, Justice and Treasury
  • Other civil agencies

With its vigilance from above, the NRO gives America's policymakers, intelligence analysts, warfighters and homeland security specialists the critical information they need to keep America safe, secure and free.


The NRO headquarters is in Chantilly, Virginia

Other locations include:

Ground stations
  • Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Fort Belvoir, Virginia
  • White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
  • The Joint Defense Facility Pine Gap, Australia
  • The Royal Air Force Base Men with Hill Station, United Kingdom
Spacecraft launch offices
  • Cape Canaveral AFB, Florida
  • Vandenberg AFB, California


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