Intelligence Community Flattens Networks

March 5, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Leadership from the intelligence and special operations communities discussed flattening networks to better conduct operations today during an unclassified intelligence panel this morning. Moderator Konrad Trautman, director of intelligence (J2), U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), opened the discussion by emphasizing the importance of collaboration and reachback capabilities not only within the military intelligence community, but with partner organizations as well.

Maj. Gen. John DeFreitas III, USA, deputy director for analysis and production, SIGINT Directorate, National Security Agency (NSA), gave an overview of how NSA has evolved over time. He spoke of better understanding the agency's customers' needs and then providing the capabilities to meet those requirements. He also said that NSA is moving from a site-centric environment to a network-centric environment. The agency is continuing to develop a network-centric capability  as well as building an enterprise and working to improve data storage. To reach its goals, NSA and its partners have barriers to overcome such as acquisitions and funding. The general would like to see a more unified effort in the area among the organizations involved.

Maj. Gen. Brian Keller, USA, military executive at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency also spoke about data storage and the problems with data retrieval. At the beginning of his remarks he said his comments were directed at industry and academia and their ability to help solve the problems the intelligence community has with trying to obtain information in a timely manner from the overwhelming amount of data available. According to Gen. Keller, the military and its partners has to solve in the near-term how to store and retrieve data effectively and efficiently. This area will continue to grow in importance as imagery intelligence collection continues to grow. The final speaker on the panel, Maj. Gen. David Scott, the deputy director of the Center for Special Operations, SOCOM, echoed Gen. Keller by commenting that data mining tools are critical for today's operations.

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