On My Mind
The Pathfinder promotes awareness and understanding of geospatial intelligence, and is published by National GeospatialIntelligence Agency’s (NGA) Office of Corporate Communications (OCC).
Education, learning part of everyday life at NGA The members of our workforce are
the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s greatest asset. They are dedicated professionals committed to providing the best GEOINT analysis, services and products possible. Without them, this agency would be unable to complete its missions and obligations to the nation. To ensure our professionals continue to grow and expand their abilities to answer the nation’s call, we must be in a constant state of learning and training. That commitment to learning and training is evident in all we do here at NGA. From classes and courses offered by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency College at our East campus and training opportunities with our government and industry partners to mentoring and personal interactions, our workforce is continually seeking new knowledge and expanding its ability to respond to crises and emerging threats. As important as classroom instruction, mentoring and other training opportunities are to our employee’s growth, few things teach as well as involvement with the real thing. Trial by fire is hard to simulate, and its lessons are often hard ones. But nothing teaches us how prepared we are for a crisis like a crisis. We sometimes find areas of our organizational operations that can be improved to be more effective. We usually find strengths in our agency and ourselves that we had overlooked or not yet discovered. We always learn something. That was the case with Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The lessons learned from our assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency following that storm allowed us to change the way we operate. In May, for the first time in our history, we offered unclassified online, on-demand support to FEMA and first responders during rescue and recovery efforts in Moore, Okla., after a tornado tore through the area. A team of our analysts and technicians deployed to Moore, with others working from our headquarters. All put to use the lessons learned to focus rescue efforts and eliminate redundant searches. Above all, we helped save lives. As we do following all our operations, we have already begun assessing our contributions to the Moore disaster
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The Pathfinder is an authorized Department of Defense publication for members of the DOD. Contents of this publication are not necessarily the official view of, or endorsed by, the U.S. government, DOD or NGA. Articles in the Pathfinder may be reproduced in whole or in part without permission, unless stated otherwise. If reproduced, credit the author and the “National GeospatialIntelligence Agency, the Pathfinder magazine.” Reproduction of graphics, photographs and imagery is subject to the original copyright. NGA Leadership Director: Letitia A. Long Deputy Director: Michael A. Rodrigue Chief Operating Officer: Ellen McCarthy OCC Leadership Director: William M. Caniano News & Information Chief: Christine Phillips Editor: Glenn Holloway Designer: Valorie Brinson
recovery to learn how to provide better support in the future. We will examine – and re-examine – the lessons. Where necessary, we will adapt our operating procedures, modify our approaches, and change our thinking based on those lessons. We will incorporate the best practices into our daily workflow and dispense with outdated or unnecessarily complicated practices. We will pass on those lessons to the college, where they join lessons learned by our overseas deployers and military experts. Those lessons enhance our curricula and ensure our analysts and technicians are among the best trained GEOINT professionals in the world. That’s what we do.
Contact us Telephone: 571-557-5400 DSN 547-5400 Approved for Public Release, 13-292
In this issue of Pathfinder, we look at NGA’s culture of learning and how the college takes measures to ensure a high quality education and training experience for our workforce, our leaders and our partners in the GEOINT business. We also explore how that training manifests itself into the products we provide our customers, like the folks at the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency who use NGA-made evasion charts and blood chits to help ensure isolated forces on the ground in foreign – or hostile – territories have a fighting chance of survival. To use the JPRA motto, we help ensure “that others may live ... to return with honor ...” I hope you enjoy this issue of
Letitia A. Long Director
Putting the power of GEOINT in users’ hands Find out more about NGA NatlGEOINTAgency @NGA_GEOINT [email protected]
Vol. 2, No. 2 | CONTENTS ‘To return with honor’
12 ‘Time and Navigation’
4 NGA partners with Smithsonian for
‘Time and Navigation’ exhibit
6 Hollywood hype Exaggerated technology on big screen and TV is sometimes an inspiration to NGA analysts
8 Exercise readies NGA for rapid response during hurricane season
10 NGA fitness centers promote healthy, productive workforce
12 ‘To return with honor’ NGA evasion charts, blood chits vital to recovery of isolated personnel
20 NGA College transforms to ‘Culture of learning’ ‘Culture of learning’
26 NGA inducts 4 members into Hall of Fame 27 NGA Salute: Sgt. Joshua Nieves
20 Pathfinder • Summer 2013
NGA partners with Smithsonian for ‘Time and Navigation’ exhibit By Tim Little, Office of Corporate Communications Photos by Kevin Clark, Office of Corporate Communications
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is a co-sponsor for a new exhibit that opened in April at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington. The 5,000-square foot exhibit, called “Time and Navigation: The untold story of getting from here to there,” features 144 objects drawn mostly from collections of participating museums and explores how revolutions in timekeeping over three centuries have influenced how people find their way.
“’Time and Navigation’ is an ambitious exhibit because it traces the development of very complicated technologies and makes us think about a subject we now take for granted,” said retired Marine Corps Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, director of the museum. “Today, the technology needed to accurately navigate is integrated into mobile computers and phones – hundreds of years of technological heritage tell your handheld device where you are in a seamless manner.” NGA provided funding and subject matter expertise over the nearly four years it took to bring the concept to fruition, said Stephen Malys, a senior scientist with NGA’s InnoVision directorate. "Time and Navigation" sign at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The exhibit explores how revolutions in timekeeping over the centuries have influenced how we find our way.
“Because this exhibit contains a significant amount of GEOINT related to national defense, it was appropriate and beneficial for NGA to be involved,” said Malys. NGA expects the long term benefits of their contribution will far outweigh the initial investment.
“I believe NGA can leverage the Smithsonian ‘Time and Navigation’ co-sponsorship opportunity to catapult (awareness of) NGA (to) the national and international levels,” said Lenora Gant, Ph.D., NGA’s senior STEM advisor with InnoVision. “As guests see and learn from this exhibit, they will gain an appreciation for the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields that they may not have had before and will associate it with NGA.” This is important to NGA because these fields will produce the agency’s future workforce, said Gant. The Smithsonian also launched a website dedicated to the exhibit that recognizes sponsors like NGA. “The museum gets about seven million visitors a year and their website gets about 11 million visitors per year,” said Malys. “Having the Smithsonian’s website link to ours represents an unprecedented opportunity to educate the public on the important role NGA plays in navigation and national security.” Highlights of the exhibition include the first seagoing marine chronometer made in the U.S.; the submarine navigation system for USS Alabama; a Transit navigation satellite; the “Winnie Mae,” the first plane to fly around the world, first by Wiley Post
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and Harold Gatty in 1931, and again in 1933 when Post made the first solo flight around the world; and Stanley, a self-driving robotic vehicle. NGA’s contributions to the display include a militaryissue evasion chart, a graphic showing the geoid and a graphic that demonstrates GEOINT, said Malys. “We hope NGA will become prominent with people interested in space, geography, and the world,” said Gant. “From a recruiting perspective, this presents a more focused pool of candidates.”
The exhibit includes a depiction of the integration of geospatial intelligence, which consists of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information. GEOINT is intelligence derived from the exploitation of imagery used to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth.
NGA’s small size and intelligence mission minimizes its public presence, according to a 2013 report from the National Research Council. Increasing awareness of the agency and using new approaches to find candidates with desired skills could increase the number of qualified applicants for NGA positions. Gant believes the approach of engaging the public through events like this will fit that need, she said. “If someone unfamiliar with NGA, with an interest in GEOINT, steps into the exhibit and walks away viewing us as a key public service contributor and potentially an employer of choice, then we have been successful,” said Gant. Perhaps the greatest aspect of NGA’s co-sponsorship of the exhibit is the longevity of exposure, said Malys. “This is a major exhibit,” said Malys. “It will be there for a minimum of 10 years and perhaps as long as 20. That means the opportunity for recruiting the next generation of NGA talent will literally last for decades.”
The military-issued evasion chart on the back wall of the display is an example of products NGA creates to help military and DOD personnel who become isolated from friendly forces. See more about evasion charts on p. 12 of this issue of .
Visit the “Time and Navigation” exhibit online.
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Exaggerated technology on big screen and TV is sometimes an inspiration to NGA analysts By Jason Moll, Office of Corporate Communications
As alluring as it may be to live vicariously through spies on the silver screen, the majority of the viewing public has virtually no chance of being a spy – nor would they want to, since it’s tedious work, and rarely as glamorous as portrayed. Yet, from hit television shows like “Homeland” and Hollywood super agents like Jason Bourne, the public can’t seem to get enough of spies and secret agents. Given that technical intelligence usually plays a supporting role, the public can be forgiven for thinking that most of the government’s intelligence effort involves derring-do and cloak-and-dagger methods. But that’s just not the case. While car chases and treachery make for good drama on television, the reality is that human intelligence, or HUMINT, constitutes a small part of a much larger program. GEOINT, or geospatial intelligence, however, plays a more close-to-home role than many may realize, said Melissa Dicker, an NGA GEOINT analyst. “Geospatial analysis has permeated popular culture,” said Dicker. “People are using geospatial tools for all sorts of things, like finding their favorite restaurant or creating infographics to argue a certain political position.” One of the more popular geospatial tools is GPS, which uses a constellation of more than 30 satellites to broadcast positioning information to users on the ground or in the air.
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“The GPS in my car is GEOINT in my hand,” said Greg Davis, NGA open source program manager. “I can push a button, and it will tell me the location of every gas station in the area and the price of gas, or it can tell me where all of the restaurants are.” Digital mapping and visualization software, such as Google Earth, are also popular geospatial tools. The technology lets users zoom in and view just about any part of the globe, whether through satellite imagery or a 3-D display. With GPS, Google Earth and a host of other powerful applications, everyday users can now do on a daily basis what many GEOINT analysts have done for decades – geo-locate positions, make maps and plot transportation routes, said Dicker. “You can build a digital map for a particular area and write what you want on it,” said Dicker. “You can do a screenshot and print it out. Or customize it by drawing your route, or other points of interest. And then you can choose whether you want plain background or terrain or have your buildings rendered in 3-D. The things you can do just go on and on.” As little as 10 years ago, people at home couldn’t do that, said Dicker. Many of these tools existed only in fantasy or science fiction. Circling back to the movies, William Nellist, a senior GEOINT analyst, said he sees a “feedback loop”
where those in the government and private industry see some of the outlandish technologies portrayed on screen and attempt to make them a reality. The news media is another industry on the forefront of geospatial innovation, said Dicker. “Whereas a lot of innovation in the past came from film and the arts, I think a lot of innovation nowadays is coming from the news media,” said Dicker. “In some areas they may be even more advanced in terms of technical capabilities. Sometimes we’ll be sitting in our enclave and we’ll see something on one of the news networks and say, ‘Well, darn. We need to be able to do that.’” As the pace of innovation increases, Christian Rasmussen sees a potential game-changing disruption in the GEOINT profession.
“Whenever any field opens up to a broad range of people, your discipline just changed,” said Rasmussen. “And you need to recognize that, which is something very difficult to see when you’re sitting inside of it.” Even with the ubiquity of open source geospatial tools and applications, NGA’s GEOINT analysts aren’t too worried about losing their niche, said Nellist. “The value we bring is not just ‘buttonology,’ but the skillset that will help guide us to find the right solution,” said Nellist. “And that’s what John Q. Public can’t do or know how to do – which is what it comes down to, in a sense – asking the right questions.”
About the Artist: Clare Walsh is an NGA imagery analyst and her Intelink blog made it to the '2013 Intelink Blog Madness' contest semifinals.
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Exercise readies NGA for rapid response during hurricane season By Michelle Hankins, Office of Corporate Communications
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency recently participated in Ardent Sentry 13, a joint disaster preparedness exercise hosted annually by U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The exercise, which ran May 16-23 and involved first responders from various local, state and federal agencies, demonstrated how the Department of Defense responds to a lead federal agency and civilian authorities during a natural or manmade disaster impacting the U.S. Ardent Sentry included scenarios based on data from previous real-world events depicting multi-state catastrophic events including weather events and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-type incidents. The weather aspects of the exercise occurred in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 4, covering the Southeast. The exercise depicted two simulated hurricanes – Hurricane Lay, which hit Florida before crossing over and impacting the Gulf Coast states, and Hurricane Kirk, which went up the East Coast.
Military and federal civilian personnel participate in the Ardent Sentry 13 disaster preparedness exercise at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, Fla. The exercise helped demonstrate how the Department of Defense responds to a lead federal agency and civilian authorities during a natural or manmade disaster impacting the United States.
Image depicting the projected path of Hurricane Lay, a fictional storm created for the Ardent Sentry 13 disaster preparedness exercise. This graphic was one of the 178 imagery and mapping products generated by NGA for the exercise.
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Image providing a damage assessment in the wake of fictional Hurricane Lay. NGA analysts used U.S. Geological Survey imagery to identify the extent of flooding and other damage on the Florida coastline.
NGA sent a two-person team to Tallahassee, Fla., to work out of the State Emergency Operations Center and one person supported the exercise from NGA’s Springfield, Va., campus. The agency created 178 imagery and mapping products during the exercise, including hurricane tracking graphics – pre- and post-strike – and damage assessments, such as flood inundation and power outage assessments. The agency also provided raw data valuable to federal agency partners during a disaster response. “NGA provides our customers with a detailed set of imagery, data and products to enable first responders, federal and defense senior officials to make sound decisions in the time of crisis,” said Alan Thompson, who served from Springfield as the lead exercise planner for NGA. Data from a previous hurricane was entered into a FEMA Hazus model to create the mock products for the exercise. Hazus is a nationally standardized methodology that uses geographic information systems to estimate potential losses from hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. The model provides damage assessment data by county, detailing information about the number of people or buildings impacted. The information helps first responders more quickly focus their efforts during real disasters. Exercises like Ardent Sentry help NGA employees better understand how geospatial information supports our nation’s first responders and leaders immediately before and after natural or manmade disasters. “This critical training allows us to hone our skills and examine our policies, procedures and technology that support this critical mission area,” said Thompson.
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NGA fitness centers promote healthy, productive workforce By Jacquelyn Karpovich, Office of Corporate Communications Photo by Kevin Clark, Office of Corporate Communications
Though maybe not what leadership at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency intended when they developed the workforce strategic objective, in their own way, the fitness centers at NGA’s East and West campuses are dedicated to providing solutions to achieve a lean, agile and responsive workforce. At the beginning of the year, the fitness centers introduced a number of events and initiatives at both sites to promote healthy lifestyles, including lectures, 5K races and weight-loss challenges. “We wanted to roll out something big at the beginning of the year, since November and December are traditionally slower months – with time off and big meals, fitness isn’t really on your mind,” said Brittany Murray, wellness lead at the NCE Fitness Center. “With these events, we figured, hopefully, one of them will relate to people.” With such a large workforce, the goal of the fitness center staff is to get people involved through a diverse offering of programs, classes and special events, said Devin Gist, fitness lead at the NCE Fitness Center. As an added incentive, the agency offers a unique benefit to its staff through the Advantage Fitness Program, a wellness initiative that allows NGA civilian government employees to exercise at their duty location up to three hours per week, with manager approval, as an excused absence from duty time and without utilizing personal leave. Employees can enroll in AFP through the “My Benefits” menu in PeopleSoft.
Hundreds of NGA employees participated in the first Polar Bear 5K Walk/Run at the NCE campus on Feb. 20. The event was one of a number of new health and wellness initiatives rolled out to begin the year by the NCE and NCW Fitness Centers.
There are tangible returns to implementing employee wellness programs, including lower attrition rates, reduction in safety incidents and increased workplace productivity, according to a Harvard Business Review study titled “What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?” published in 2010. More than 5,000 NGA employees globally are enrolled in AFP, said representatives from NGA’s Human Development directorate, which handles human resource and employee benefits issues for the agency. The biggest AFP enrollment period runs from the winter holidays through the beginning of the year.
“Outside of the Army, where (physical training) is mandatory, I have never worked in a place that provides you the facilities, (and) the ability, through AFP, to work out,” said Bryant Chambers, a staff officer in the Analysis directorate and a selfprofessed “fitness nut,” who takes advantage of the on-site facilities and the Advantage Fitness Program. “It shows the agency really cares about the fitness, health and wellness of their employees.” Fitness center programs are available to all members of the workforce, with priority going to government employees when classes are full. Gym usage at the NCE gym can vary between 200-300 customers a day, with peak hours between 5:30-8 a.m. and 2:30-5 p.m. For those looking for a less crowded workout, Gist recommends arriving between 8:30 a.m. and noon. “You’ve got the place to yourself,” said Gist. “You can hit every treadmill if you want.”
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The fitness centers also offer a fitness assessment program, which allows employees to sit down with a trainer to discuss health concerns and goals. “What makes the fitness assessment program actually better than personal training is that the first time you meet, you come and talk about your fitness goals and don’t even have to go into the gym,” said Murray. “It really personalizes wellness. People might be overweight or out of shape, not necessarily because they don’t know what to do, but because there is some other barrier there.” Being able to figure out what works best for an individual allows the fitness center staff to help develop a personalized plan, said Murray.
Squat your way fit “The average U.S. adult spends more than 50 percent of his or her time each day sedentary,” according to the 2012 National Institute of Health and AARP Diet and Health study. Study participants who spent more time sitting had a greater risk of serious health issues or even death. The research suggests that in addition to regular exercise, reducing sitting time may be a way to increase longevity. Collette Mason, a member of the NCE fitness center staff, uses a “mushroom” stool as a guide to demonstrate an easy exercise to beat the “sitting disease.”
Start by standing with feet shoulderwidth apart and arms extended outward at a ninety-degree angle from your body.
Keeping knees directly above ankles and back straight, squat until the thighs are almost parallel to the ground, as if sitting in a chair. Hold for 15 seconds.
Return to standing position. Repeat four to six times.
Photos by Kevin Clark, Office of Corporate Communications
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‘to retUrN WItH HoNor’ NGA evasion charts, ‘blood chits’ vital to recovery of isolated personnel By Kathi Ghannam, Office of Corporate Communications Photo by Airman 1st Class Jesse Shipps, U.S. Air Force Illustration by Valorie Brinson
Imagine a U.S. pilot on an aerial reconnaissance mission over hostile territory when the engines of his aircraft shut down. He ejects and lands safely in unfamiliar enemy terrain. Suddenly, he’s very grateful for the evasion chart and “blood chit” stowed in the pockets of his flight suit. The chart, known as an EVC, and chit are produced by the National GeospatialIntelligence Agency in partnership with the Department of Defense Joint Personnel Recovery Agency. The EVC helps the pilot survive and safely navigate to an area where friendly forces can reach him, and the blood chit contains messages written in multiple languages that call on local civilians to help him. Since the early 1980s, NGA and its predecessor agencies have worked with JPRA and its predecessor agencies to build functional and accurate products to help isolated personnel get back into friendly control, said John Fristoe, functional manager of the DOD evasion chart program and chief of JPRA’s Evasion Aids division. Because of the work the agencies do, today’s pilots carry EVCs and chits made of a highly versatile and durable material. They can be used to hold water, haul food, stay warm, block the sun and cover wounds. EVCs cover all sorts of terrain, like jungles, deserts, islands and mountains. Pilots carry those most suited to the areas over which they will be flying. On the chart, the pilots will find some fairly common features, like a map with a legend, time zone information, contour interval information, and instructions on orientation and navigating, day or night, without a compass. Continued on page 18
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ELIGIBILITY TEST 1. Place small portion of the food on outside of lip. Observe for burning, stinging, itching, foul taste. If food fails this or any other part of the test, stop and rinse mouth. 2. Place food on the inside of lip and look for same symptoms as above. 3. Hold teaspoon-sized amount of food inside mouth for ﬁve minutes, looking for same symptoms as above, along with nausea, headache or dizziness. If no symptoms, proceed. 4. Swallow food and check for all above symptoms plus vomiting, diarrhea or cramps. If none occur after eight hours, proceed. 5. Eat a handful of food, looking for above symptoms. If none occur after eight hours, consider the food safe.
7. Don't eat mushrooms or fungus; they have little food value and may be poisonous. 8. All grass seeds and most grains are edible. Boil the seeds until they are softened. Don't eat grain or seeds with black spurs. 9. Avoid plants with milky sap or extremely bitter taste, except dandelions and wild ﬁgs. 10. Test everything.
6. Any strange food will cause internal distress if you eat too much.
The history of the evasion chart goes back to charts printed on rayon during the 1940s, and to cloth “blood chits” printed in various languages that identiﬁed American airmen and offered rewards for safe passage during World War ll and the Korean and Vietnam conﬂicts.
Staff, to assist military personnel in survival, evasion, resistance and escape.
Produced by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the charts are 1:250,000 scale and cover different geographic areas of the world. The current product line was developed for the Air Force Intelligence Service in 1990, on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of
EVCs are produced on a strong, moisture resistant polyester material (spin-bonded oleﬁn). The material does not stretch or crack, and is not sensitive to temperature changes. It is displayed on camouﬂage pattern background.
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The EVC is derived from a standard NGA product, the Joint Operations Graphic, and contains details such as lakes and tributaries, which enable users to recognize features while on foot.
EVASION CHART (EVC) NOTICE: THE OPERATIONAL VERSION OF THIS ESCAPE CHART IS INTENDED FOR SURVIVAL SITUATIONS. REFER TO CURRENT EDITIONS OF APPROPRIATE AERONAUTICAL CHARTS FOR FLIGHT PLANNING OR OPERATIONS.
DESERT THORN Description: These shrubby, spiny plants may grow either like ground cover or erect; the leaves can be smooth edged or serrated like a steak knife. Preparation and Uses: All western species of this plant produce edible berries, but some are better tasting and juicier than others. The berries are slightly bitter. They may be eaten raw or cooked. They last well when dried and ground into a meal.
EVC FALLON/NELLIS TRAINING CHART The inclusion of edible and poisonous plant information is by special permission of Frank G. Heyl, author of "Edible and Poisonous Plants of the Eastern States," card decks, Plant Deck Inc., 15200 S.W. Twin Fir Road, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035 – all copyrighted.
Sample of an NGA Evasion Chart The chart includes a variety of survival information, including: navigation and travel information; celestial navigation aids; climate of the region; a list of edible and poisonous local plants and animals (complete with descriptions and/or photos); food preparation instructions; sources of water; ﬁrst aid procedures; and environmental hazards. Sized to ﬁt in an aircrew ﬂight suit pocket, the EVC can be used: • To catch rain for drinking water; • As a shade, wind and rain, shelter, cape and/or blanket;
• As a bag to haul and purify large quantities of water or food; • As a liner in a hole to serve as a wash basin; • As a ground cloth on moist ground, or as camouﬂage when sleeping; • To wrap clothing in when swimming or fording streams; • To wrap sleeping gear in during foul weather; or • To splint a broken bone.
Approved for Public Release, 13-292
Modified for use 15 in Pathfinder Pathfinder • Summer 2013
Blood Chit Although the idea of "blood chits" dates back to President George Washington’s day, the government formally established the blood chit program during World War I. The program allows the government to compensate people who help American service members or other Department of Defense personnel survive, evade, resist, or escape hostile territory and return to friendly control. Individuals trying to evade the enemy or escape a hostile environment use the chits after all attempts to independently evade and escape have failed and assistance becomes vital to survival. The individual carrying the chit furnishes those assisting him with the chit’s unique serial number. After they help the service member return to friendly control, the assistors present the blood chit’s number to U.S. authorities and the government validates the claim. The government then compensates those who helped.
NGA and JPRA also produce blood chits, which are notices carried by military members that contain native language messages offering rewards to foreign civilians for helping service members isolated from friendly forces.
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Continued from page 13
The charts also have many features not found on traditional maps, like advice for preventing hypothermia, dehydration and other exposure-related ailments, and instructions for placing a limb with a compound fracture in traction to set the bone. There is also a list of edible and nonedible plants and animals, and step-by-step instructions for testing foods to see if they are poisonous, a list of predatory animals and other dangerous species indigenous to the areas the charts cover, and instructions for treating snakebites. The charts are the results of tremendous teamwork, said Karl Knirr of NGA West’s EVC production team. NGA and JPRA routinely update the EVCs to help ensure those who use them have the best chances for survival. JPRA is in direct contact with users in the commands and in the field to glean the details of what they need. Then, JPRA informs NGA of any necessary changes. Knirr and other members of the NGA West EVC production team and JPRA began redeveloping and transforming the EVC into a digital product just before 9/11, he said. But since 9/11, the EVC production team and the chart have changed dramatically, said Knirr. Before digitization, EVCs took up to four months to create, were only available in 1:250,000 scale and had only one type of camouflage pattern. Back then, JPRA would send NGA mock-ups, or layouts, of how the charts should fit together and detailed lists of indigenous plants, animals and other marginal data to include on the chart. Now, the EVC team uses the latest digital information and imagery to best fit the user’s needs when making or updating a map, said Knirr. The NGA EVC production team has visited the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) School to learn the survival uses of their products to ensure a greater understanding of the user’s needs, said Meri Ford, former NGA liaison to JPRA. There is also ongoing interaction between instructors at the National GeospatialIntelligence Agency College and students at JPRA’s SERE school in Spokane, Wash., and the Personnel Recovery Education and Training Center in Fredericksburg, Va. JPRA personnel routinely attend basic GEOINT classes at NGA’s East campus in Springfield, Va., said Ford.
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NGA and JPRA have a crucial relationship, and NGA is involved in nearly every aspect of JPRA operations, said Len Kerney, JPRA deputy director for intelligence. The crews sent to rescue those in peril also use GEOINT provided by NGA to plan and execute their missions. GEOINT is also used in to determine the most reliable and accessible materials in each area of operations so people will know how to aid in their own rescue, if necessary, said Ford. Toward that end, NGA recently created the first comprehensive standardized manual of distress signals for use by isolated personnel and rescue forces. Ford also established a database of ground-to-air signals specific to various areas of responsibility to ensure operators can use indigenous materials to aid in their recovery, she said. For instance, laying out a tarp or space blanket or starting a fire will draw attention to an area that might go otherwise unnoticed. Each member of the team constantly looks for ways to improve the customer’s product and reduce costs, said Yates. For example, simply reducing the number of times the EVC is folded during production, from 32 to eight, saves thousands of dollars per product run. The material is pliable enough for users to fold so it fits in their uniforms. A team also manages the requirements and fulfillment process to ensure the right amount of stock is on hand or on order. This saves money by reducing excess inventory that must be destroyed when it becomes obsolete, said Monique Yates, NGA deputy National System for Geospatial-Intelligence operations executive. Together, the products NGA and JPRA produce aid U.S. efforts to recover and return isolated, missing, detained or captured personnel. And true to the JPRA motto, they help ensure “that others may live … to return with honor.” To learn more about the JPRA, visit their website: http://www.jpra.mil/index.htm
Visit JPRA online.
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NGA College transforms to
‘Culture of learning’ By Kris Mackey, Office of Corporate Communications Photos by Tony Boone, Office of Corporate Communications
The mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency College, or NGC, is “to lead the National System for Geospatial Intelligence in developing world-class professionals.”
COLLEGE TRANSF OR
It does this by focusing on the professional and technical skills needed to develop GEOINT professionals at NGA and around the world, said Barbara Salvatore, director of NGC. For the last five years the college has been transforming from a “teaching” place, heavy on PowerPoint and traditional classroom lectures, to a “learning” place, where students actively participate in their learning to experience GEOINT, said Salvatore. The college’s efforts mirror a growing academic trend among public universities, including Harvard and the University of Virginia, that is successfully replacing traditional, passive lecture-based courses with new “active-learning” models that challenge and engage students with a blend of team exercises, independent study, and Web-based activities.
the classroom instruction,” said Wade-Pate, an NGA aeronautical intelligence analyst. The balance of the instructors, who made themselves readily available every day, and the Web/home/ desktop learning ensured Wade-Pate left the course with perfect clarity about GEOINT and the key GEOINT work roles, he said. “Despite my having years of experience with GEOINT prior to working with NGA, this course gave me a greater understanding of the complexity that is GEOINT, and the younger students new to GEOINT leave understanding it better than any classroom lecture or PowerPoint could ever do alone,” said Wade-Pate. The agency’s new employee orientation, or NEOS, also introduces students to this new and more engaging approach to learning.
So far, NGC has revamped three of its courses using the new model -- Imagery Analysis Fundamentals, Fundamentals of Geospatial Analysis, and the Introduction to GEOINT (G3) courses. The labor-intensive, four-week G3 course, covers the three basics of GEOINT – analysts, products and sources. Clinton Wade-Pate said it doesn't resemble any course he has taken. “The multi-media approach of access to Web-based programs and education tools allowed us to follow up on things we may not have gotten clarified in
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“I think a company or agency’s biggest challenge with a new employee is to get us excited and, more importantly, to get real buy-in to the mission at hand,” said Joshua Jackson, a systems engineer who recently took the NEOS course. “NGA’s new employee seminar conceptualized GEOINT and the agency’s mission so clearly – from the perspective of an analyst to a staff officer to my job as a systems engineer – that we all genuinely felt we were a part of NGA’s mission by the week’s end.” “They kept things moving to keep things interesting, engaging us at all times, even using real intelligence issues to help us conceive the importance of the agency in national and world-wide security,” said Jackson. “They had us walk the building in scavenger hunt-like mode, looking for people or things to
familiarize ourselves with the campus as well as the mission and the people working there. I came out educated and prepared, not nervous or wishing I had that week of time back.” These new designs for engaging and interactive courses at the college will set a foundation for as many classes as possible to develop an educated and excited future generation of GEOINT professionals, said Salvatore. “My vision is to create a place (where) the GEOINT community and partners want to come and be part of this transformation -- in how we train and educate the GEOINT community in tradecraft, professional development and leadership,” said Salvatore. “Old ways of learning cannot keep up with the modern world. We are focused on adopting new methods to deliver training and enhance its value.” NGC has embarked on a campaign to promote a “culture of learning” at NGA, and ultimately, the NSG, said Salvatore, who aims to leverage the college’s talents, resources and partnerships within the IC, military and academia to enable this approach.
access their offerings and bridge gaps with classroom learning, said Salvatore. Yet, with all the new learning approaches and technologies, it is people who make them work, said Salvatore. There is always a need for subject matter experts to develop and evaluate the content that goes into all the instructional materials and courses. “Whether full-time or adjunct, we need subject matter experts across the NSG to work with our terrific instructors and course designers to develop the programs our enterprise needs,” says Salvatore. “We have begun the transformation from teaching to a culture of learning at NGA, moving beyond training and education where learning is not only valued, but expected, and the learners become part of the solution by working with us on continuous improvement,” said Salvatore. To learn more about the NSG-wide interactive courses and programs coming to the college, visit http://osis.nga.mil/nga-bin/td/dbman/ngc. cgi?db=ngc&uid=default
The college is applying innovative approaches to promote the culture of learning and bridge gaps within the classroom, said Salvatore. Efforts include technical upgrades, the introduction of gaming as a new twist on education, the use of the college’s mobile training teams to reach out to customers throughout the world, and outreach events, such as a College Fair planned for later this year. NGC also launched an ambitious plan to deploy a learning-management system that will enhance the way it develops, delivers and manages training, said Salvatore. NGA learners will use this system, which leverages the features of two tools – Blackboard and PeopleSoft – to gain access to NGC content and manage their learning experience. The result will be a one-stop teaching and learning portal that essentially becomes the desktop environment for students and instructors at the college. The pilot launch of this new system, yet to be named, is planned for 2013 with full roll out in 2014. In other areas, the college will promote greater use of its SkillSoft suite of online learning to supplement and expand partnerships with the IC and academia to Pathfinder • Summer 2013
B a r b a r a
Salvatore Director, NGA College
Interview by Kris Mackey, Office of Corporate Communications
Barbara Salvatore, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency College, serves as the executive agent for GEOINT training and education for NGA and the National System for Geospatial Intelligence, or NSG. She is responsible for the development and execution of GEOINT training, ensuring learning programs and services are aligned with the agency’s mission, vision and strategy.
Q. What do you enjoy most about serving as the executive in charge of the A.
NGA College, which includes so many pieces and parts?
Really two things – the great people I get to work with and the opportunity to have an impact on the current and future workforce of our agency and beyond. I am passionate about our business area, and helping to train and educate the workforce for our constantly evolving mission is both an honor and a privilege.
Q. What would you say is your biggest challenge in this role at this time? A. The biggest challenge is realizing the transformation underway in this challenging fiscal environment. It is cliché, but we have to find ways to work more efficiently in this pursuit. Partnering with the NSG and academia is even more of a business imperative in this environment than before. We need to find ways to share curricula, instructors, and best practices across the GEOINT community, learning from each other as we go. Particularly in the college, we need to find learning solutions that are available elsewhere so our faculty and course designers can focus on very specific and advanced programs of instruction. This involves working with others to establish training standards so there is no need for redundancy in developing and presenting training and education opportunities – no matter where you take a course, it is of a high quality that serves the entire GEOINT enterprise.
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Photo by Tony Boone, Office of Corporate Communications
What is your leadership style? I firmly believe that as a leader you make better decisions when you do so collaboratively. I greatly value the opinions of my team in the college and my peers across the (Allied and National Systems for Geospatial Intelligence.) I also believe that you should enjoy what you do for a living and the people you do it with. We spend too much time at work for that not to be the case, so I try to provide that type of environment. My leadership philosophy is, “take care of your workforce, and in exchange, they will take care of your mission.” I believe if you are happy in what you do you are more efficient and more effective.
care of your workforce, “take and in exchange, they will take care of your mission.” Q. a.
What is your learning style? I believe in lifelong learning. My goal in any job I have is to learn things I didn’t know and, as stated above, have fun doing it. When a job becomes routine, and I am no longer learning, it is time to start looking (for a new job). I have learned so much since I arrived in the college and have so much more to learn. When I look back over my formal education, the teachers and professors who had the greatest impact on me were those who went beyond the basic expectations of the job to challenge me to think and to analyze things and situations. Two in particular from college and graduate school really challenged me to defend what I said – so it was clearly more than memorization of someone else’s thoughts. They also taught me the value of diverse opinions and the exponential power of partnering and collaboration. These skills are critical for people in the business of intelligence.
Who is the leader you admire most, and why? I always find this to be a difficult question, because truthfully, there are several. The first is Colin Powell – probably because I just completed his most recent book (It Worked For Me). He grew up in a rough area, the son of Jamaican immigrants, to become a great leader for our nation. He has shown himself able to lead diverse individuals and organizations – even able to easily work with both sides of our politically-divided nation. This most recent book takes his 13 leadership rules, which I have long loved, and shows, with concrete examples from his life, how they came to him or played out in his life. He seems to have remained true to his values over the years and regardless of his power and authority has always remembered those who helped him get there. I also probably got some of my thoughts on leadership from this great servant leader. In particular, I love that he wrote that in work and in life, “It’s about how we touch and are touched by the people we meet. It’s all about the people.”
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NGA employees seize opportunity, attend military service schools By Tim Little, Office of Corporate Communications As a part of a Department of Defense combat support agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employees must collaborate effectively with military partners. NGA works with 10 military service schools to facilitate that collaboration by offering NGA employees the chance to attend a school to gain an advanced degree and promote deeper relationships with the agency’s military partners. “The program is designed to prepare students to assume future command and leadership responsibilities in campaign planning and execution and to enhance their understanding of American military power and national interest,” said May Dean, service schools program officer with NGA’s Human Development directorate. Nearly 70 NGA employees took advantage of the program between 2009 and 2012, said Dean. “Each school has a unique curriculum, offering options such as ground operations, aerial capabilities, naval operations, strategic planning or intelligence studies,” said Dean. “These opportunities are open to all NGA employees who meet the eligibility requirements established by the school.” The College of Naval Command and Staff, part of the U.S. Naval War College, is one of the schools in the program. It is available to NGA civilian employees in pay bands 3 and 4 who already possess a bachelor’s degree. The college, located in Newport, R.I., offers a 10-month multidisciplinary program focusing on strategy, policy and joint maritime planning. Attendance can also provide NGA employees with a broader perspective of their own agency. “I applied to obtain a higherlevel view of how NGA fits into the overall goals of our country, learn the DOD community in greater detail and meet future leaders who I could potentially work with my entire career,” said Michael Benson, a program graduate. NGA employees are not the only beneficiaries of their attendance, said Matthew Wilder, a special
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programs officer at NGA and graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College. The experience and expertise of NGA employees gives them a unique perspective that can be an invaluable asset in the joint planning environment. “I didn’t realize how rewarding the interactions (with) my fellow students would be,” said Wilder. “I (got) a chance to represent the agency to over 1,200 military officers, (and) I was able to offer them a resource to better understand the intelligence community.” While the student body at DOD military service schools remains predominately military, the demographic has been shifting, said Kurt Savoie, a faculty chair at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resources Strategy and an NGA employee. “In academic years 2013-14, the Eisenhower School is composed of 306 total students with 182 military officers, 54 DOD civilians, 40 non-DOD government civilians, 24 international fellows and four fellows from industry,” said Savoie. “The Eisenhower School recognizes that the military does not work in a vacuum and that the U.S. national security strategy demands an integration of talents.” Savoie has unique insight into the skills the agency’s employees bring to the program, he said.
“NGA students assume the role of the intelligence professional in student seminars and are commonly called upon to share their geospatial experience, (and) their broader knowledge of the intelligence community,” said Savoie. “NGA students, by virtue of their ability to interact with other military and civilian professionals, are able to promote NGA to the future leaders of DOD and civilian agencies.” Some of these schools, such as the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, offer a more focused curriculum. It prepares military and civilians for leadership and success in developing a national security strategy and managing resources in the execution of that strategy, said Savoie.
the program is designed to prepare students to assume future command and leadership responsibilities
- May Dean “I felt I could gain an opportunity to improve my professional skills and learn the intricacies of strategic resource planning in the domestic and international environments,” said Tristan Coyle, a program manager in NGA’s InnoVision Directorate and graduate of the Eisenhower School. “As I continue in my career path at NGA and InnoVision, I feel it is critical to continually develop strategic-level skills versus continuously managing day-to-day execution of operation-level activities.” Those NGA employees looking to attend military service schools should know they are intense and can be overwhelming with the amount of studying and professional work required, said Victoria Haskins, with NGA’s Source Crisis and Expeditionary Element and a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College. “You need to know yourself, how you learn, and habits that hinder or elevate you,” said Haskins. “Expect to be changed. Hopefully, you will return with a new sense of purpose for yourself, (and) for your KC, NGA and the greater IC.”
NGA partners with 10 military service schools Air Command and Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala Duration: 10 months U.S. Air Force Air War College Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala Duration: 10 months U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Duration: 10 months U.S. Army War College distance learning program Online Duration: 2 years (part-time)
Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. Duration: 10 months Joint Forces Staff College Norfolk, Va. Duration: 12 weeks
Marine Corps Command and Staff College Quantico, Va. Duration: 10 months National War College Fort McNair, Washington,D.C. Duration: 10 months
College of Naval Command and Staff Naval Station Newport, R.I. Duration: 10 months U.S. Naval War College Naval Station Newport, R.I. Duration: 10 months
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NGA inducts 4 members into Hall of Fame By Kris Mackey, Office of Corporate Communications Group photo by Kevin Clark, Office of Corporate Communications
NGA Director Letitia A. Long with O’Neill, Ward, Lee Ann Hennig, and Wagner at the agency’s Springfield, Va., campus. Ms. Hennig accepted the award on her late husband’s behalf.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency inducted four members to its hall of fame May 13 during a ceremony at the agency’s Springfield, Va., campus. The newest inductees to the NGA Hall of Fame are retired U.S. Army Col. Peter O’Neill, Melvin L. Wagner, Curtis B. Ward, and the late Thomas A. Hennig. “I am pleased to welcome these men to the NGA Hall of Fame,” said NGA Director Letitia A. Long during the ceremony. “Their leadership, innovation, and devotion to the agency have advanced the strengths of NGA and the security of our nation.” The families of the four new members joined NGA senior executives and guests to witness the induction and the presentation of plaques honoring their achievements. To be selected for the NGA Hall of Fame, individuals must have met one of the following criteria: a significant accomplishment at NGA or one of its heritage organizations; an accomplishment that transformed NGA operations; a legacy of leadership exemplifying NGA’s tradition and core values; significant accomplishment providing geospatial intelligence that enables the U.S. to resolve a national security crisis; technological or analytical innovation that improves geospatial intelligence throughout the U.S. government; significant sacrifice involving serious injury or death in the accomplishment of the NGA mission in support of national security; or significant support from an individual representing a private corporation, another U.S. government agency or foreign government that transforms the NGA mission. “The gentlemen’s contributions and selfless dedication to the mission have earned them honor and respect, as well as a distinguished place in the NGA Hall of Fame,” said Long. There are now 51 members in the NGA Hall of Fame, which was established in 2001. “These gentlemen exemplify NGA’s outstanding traditions of dedication to public service and leadership in GEOINT technical innovation,” said Kathleen M. Smith, president of the NGA Alumni Association East Chapter.
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NGA Hall of Fame Inductees Thomas A. Hennig | Alexandria, Va. The late Thomas A. Hennig was named for contributions that changed the business of GEOINT, particularly moving the tradecraft from analog to digital. He also led the effort to map 80 percent of the Earth’s surface in collaboration with NASA.
Peter O’Neill | Chantilly, Va.
Retired U.S. Army Col. Peter O’Neill served as director of several production centers, was instrumental in the implementation of the Defense Mapping Agency’s transition from hard to softcopy and was cited as being highly focused on his personnel and the warﬁghter.
Melvin L. Wagner | Dunkirk, Md.
Melvin L. Wagner was nominated for his tireless dedication to the GEOINT tradecraft. He is especially noted for his vision, leadership and contributions to the agency’s success during a 37-year career with NGA and its predecessor organizations and an additional 10 years as a contractor.
Curtis B. Ward | Grantham, N.H.
Curtis B. Ward was selected for his leadership role in two major agency reconstruction task forces and his services as civilian lead at the Dayton Peace Accord negotiations in 1995.
Photo by Tony Boone, Office of Corporate Communications
Salute: Sgt. J O S H U A N I E V E S By Kris Mackey, Office of Corporate Communications U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Nieves serves as an instructor at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency College. He teaches the Community GeospatialIntelligence Analysis Course, or CGAC. The course educates military geospatial-intelligence analysts from all branches of service, from ranks E-4 to E-6, in advanced imagery and geospatial analysis in preparation for a joint operational environment. Nieves passed his one-year anniversary with NGA in January, he said. The imagery analyst's first duty station was with the 532nd Military Intelligence Battalion at Camp Humphreys, South Korea. After serving a year overseas, he was assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served as the primary imagery analyst with the GEOINT section under their support battalion’s intelligence detachment, he said. My time spent in Korea taught me my skills as a first-phase imagery analyst, such as writing imagery reports and creating imagery products,said Nieves. “I worked alongside Army topographic engineers and fellow imagery analysts to provide the battalion's geospatial products ranging from target analysis, helicopter landing zones and drop zone products, to terrain analysis.” Teaching advanced GEOINT to his peers, and some students who are senior to him, is an honor and a position he takes very seriously, said Nieves, who had no prior formal instruction roles. His experience training soldiers at the various units to which he has been assigned helped. The NGA College’s Instructor Training Course, which also helped prepare him, qualifies instructors to meet NGC’s standards. “At first the prospect of teaching soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen (who) were my superiors was daunting, but in teaching this course I’ve realized that every service member comes from different backgrounds and is not exposed to the same skillsets as their fellows,” said Nieves. “My experiences and
assignments have provided me with a great deal of knowledge in geospatial intelligence that I can pass on to my students – either peer or superior. Likewise, their experiences add learning value to the class that both (the students and I) can learn from.” Nieves also is learning new things at home. He is a new father to a baby girl with the same birthday as his, he said. “She was quite the birthday surprise,” he said. Nieves’ daughter was born prematurely and, at 3 pounds, had to spend a month and half in the neonatal intensive care unit at Bethesda Medical Center, he said. She is in excellent health now, and Nieves couldn’t be prouder. When he is not caring for his daughter, he enjoys playing video games, reading books, playing a board game with his wife or friends, or working on creating a collection of miniature figures, he said. “Yes, I’ll admit I’m a geek and proud of it,” he said “If I find more free time and am on leave, I enjoy rollercoasters, visiting historical sites and just visiting new places.”
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Photo by Kevin Clark, Office of Corporate Communications
cience, technology, engineering and math (STEM) have always fascinated Stacey Dixon, Ph.D. As the head of the information integration office within the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s InnoVision directorate, she leads a diverse group of more than 200 scientists and engineers who develop and field cutting-edge, mission-critical GEOINT technologies. “In school, I liked the objectivity of science and math, so the question wasn’t whether I would major in science or engineering, but what kind I would choose,” said Dixon, who received her Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and her master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering and biomechanics from Georgia Institute of Technology. Dixon began her federal career in 2003 doing STEM work related to the development and testing of satellite system payloads. She has also served as the budget director for the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and as the committee’s NGA program monitor. Prior to her current assignment, she served as the chief of NGA’s Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs division. “NGA is at the forefront of an evolving and advancing GEOINT mission,” she said. “It’s exciting to be part of developing the GEOINT capabilities of the future.”
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