“God’s Eye” View

What does the warfighter want out of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)? Not much really. “A perfect, God’s-eye view of the battlefield, … and right now,” says retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, NGA’s director. The focus of NGA (formerly the National Imagery and Mapping Agency) has changed since the initial phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said Clapper (former director of Air Force Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency). Traditional combat intelligence and mapping capabilities have been taken over by recovery and reconstruction efforts, Clapper told reporters Wednesday. NGA provides assistance to the Iraqis as well as to US forces on the ground. The biggest need in the battlefield right now is actually making the most recent images and maps available to ground commanders at the battalion level. Compressing images, transmitting them and enlarging them has become much smoother and quicker a process and is getting better all the time, says Clapper.