The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, following in the footsteps of the Defense Department, soon will unveil a California office dedicated to spurring technological innovation.
NGA Outpost Valley is expected to launch sometime this summer, creating an intelligence community presence in Silicon Valley, "the geographic heart of American innovation," NGA Director Robert Cardillo said May 16 at the GEOINT Symposium in Orlando, Florida.
The news comes just after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced shakeups to DoD's Silicon Valley organization, the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental or DIUx. Carter announced new leadership at DIUx, which launched last April, as well as a new Boston office.
The NGA version isn't directly affiliated with DIUx, but it won't operate in a silo, either.
"The NGA Outpost Valley that I described today will not be a physical part of DIUx. We will be tied in, connected to, communicating with DIUx," Cardillo told reporters. "We still have to figure out, quite frankly, how best we can use DIUx, but this will be separate from it. As for who else is coming with us — trust me, I get lots of attention from [under secretary of Defense for intelligence Marcel] Lettre and [Director of National Intelligence James Clapper] and Capitol Hill [saying], 'don't go out there by yourself. You have a community, Cardillo, don't be going off and doing your own thing.'"
To that end, Cardillo said NGA officials would be tapping other intelligence community organizations in the Outpost Valley mission, but emphasized it's still in the early phases of development. He also said that the reach of the outpost, despite its name and location, wouldn't be limited to just Silicon Valley.
The outpost "will leverage the organic capabilities and energy of the Valley's open, vibrant, geospatial community. It's a beachhead that will have the authority to reach out to all innovation centers," Cardillo said. "For example, we're jumping in with both feet into the Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis — a growing new hub of tech development. We'll go wherever necessary to create the service the world demands, and our customers deserve."
BONUS: Capt Jason Rider, Deputy Program Manager, Program Executive Office Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, U.S. Navy, will speak on a panel about the military's increased use of unmanned systems and sensors for intelligence purposes at the C4ISR & Networks Conference on May 26th. For more information, click here.