Week 6 Readings

About NGA. National Geospatial – Intelligence Agency

NGA delivers the strategic intelligence that allows the president and national policymakers to make crucial decisions on counterterrorism, weapons of mass destruction, global political crises and more.

  • NGA enables the warfighter to plan missions, gain battlefield superiority, precisely target the adversary and protect our military forces.
  • NGA provides timely warnings to the warfighter and national decisionmakers by monitoring, analyzing and reporting imminent threats. Often, NGA has the only “eyes” focused on global hot spots and can give unique insight into these critical areas.
  • NGA protects the homeland by supporting counterterrorism, counternarcotics, and border and transportation security. NGA supports security planning for special events, such as presidential inaugurations, state visits by foreign leaders, international conferences and major public events (Olympics, Super Bowls, satellite launchings, etc.).
  • NGA ensures safety of navigation in the air and on the seas by maintaining the most current information and highest quality services for U.S. military forces and global transport networks.
  • NGA defends the nation against cyber threats by supporting other intelligence agencies with in-depth analysis of cyber networks.
  • NGA creates and maintains the geospatial foundation data, knowledge and analysis that enable all other missions.
  • NGA assists humanitarian and disaster relief efforts by working directly with the lead federal agencies responding to fires, floods, earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes or other natural or manmade disasters.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does NGA do?

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is the nation’s primary source of geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT for the Department of Defense and the U.S. Intelligence Community. As a DOD combat support agency and a member of the IC, NGA provides GEOINT, in support of U.S. national security and defense, as well as disaster relief. GEOINT is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information that describes, assesses and visually depicts physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth.

How many people work for NGA and what is its budget?

NGA employs approximately 14,500 government civilians, military members and contractors, with approximately two-thirds of the workforce located at the NGA Headquarters at NGA Campus East, on Fort Belvoir North Area in Springfield, Va., and approximately one-third of the workforce located at NGA’s two St. Louis facilities.

NGA’s budget is classified.

Does NGA give public tours of its headquarters facility?

No. Entry to NGA facilities is limited to employees and those with direct business with the agency.

Does NGA release information to the public?

Yes. NGA releases items of general public interest on its public website, which includes information about NGA, unclassified current publications, speeches and congressional testimony, press releases and statements, career information, and basic references. Also available are GEOINT products and services, a data catalogue, and mobile and web applications.

Does NGA spy on Americans?

By statutory and presidential direction, NGA is limited in the collection of foreign intelligence concerning the domestic activities of US citizens. NGA’s mission is to provide timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security. Under Executive Order 12333, and in accordance with procedures approved by the Attorney General of the United States, however, NGA is restricted in the collection of intelligence information directed against US citizens. Collection is allowed only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in international terrorist or international narcotics activities. NGA also provides intelligence support to domestic disaster relief and special security events in the United States. All of NGA’s activities are to be conducted in a manner that protects fully the legal rights of all United States persons, including the freedoms, civil liberties, and privacy rights guaranteed by the Constitution and Federal law.

Do I need to have my documents reviewed after I leave NGA?

NGA employees still have obligations after they leave the agency. For a list, please review the attached pamphlet.




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HLS 476 Homeland Security Intelligence Copyright © by The American flag, DHS flag, and Border Patrol flag flying high in McAllen, Texas. Photo Credit: Barry Bahler/DHS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.