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DIA C4I Experts Discuss Future of Defense Intel at C4ISRNet Conference

By DIA Public Affairs


Defense Intelligence Agency’s former Chief of Analytic Enterprise Operations Geoffrey Strayer and Senior Defense Intelligence Expert for C4I Louis Werdebach discussed Enterprise Intelligence for Command and Control at the 16th Annual C4ISRNET conference May 3 in Crystal City, VA.

The expert panel described how the intelligence community and military are fusing data into common operating procedures (pictures?) to a greater degree than ever before to provide military commanders and policymakers with holistic intelligence analysis.

Strayer noted that about 10 years ago the agency began to see an “exquisite” level of detail in intelligence, providing intelligence that had not been available in the past and creating a scenario where detailed information was copious but the ability to process, display and disseminate that intelligence was lagging. In the last five years DIA has continued to look at new ways to close the intelligence requirements gap with a variety of technologies and methodologies, including crowd sourcing, data science as well as artificial intelligence and object-based production.

We’re in an era where we display intelligence on an IPad. “That is a pretty radical change for a lot of people in our community who tend to work in a much more structured way,” said Strayer who has attended meetings with senior policy makers where the traditional briefing has been replaced by back-and-forth discussions with analysts.  

Each member of the panel emphasized the need for continued collaboration within the intelligence community. Werdebach said one of the most important things with respect to the intelligence enterprise is to strengthen the partnership between policy makers, decision makers and our warfighters in the field by supplying them with defense intelligence that builds a common operational picture.

Strayer said DIA works with 21 organizations across the United States Government and allies. Each one has their own customer set, their own priorities, and their own format in which they provide information. Further, every single sensor and weapons program has its own way to describe information. The challenge is to getting everything to come together in one consistent focus.

“Defense Intelligence now has an opportunity to reimagine its support for the warfighter and policy makers,” said Werdebach.  He pointed out that with the recent advances in IT, cyber and innovation, “this is an opportunity that rarely comes along. We in the intelligence business need to examine ourselves, reimagine what we would like to be in the future, and start building towards that future.”