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DDCI talks integration, global security and training at JMU

By DIA Public Affairs

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Harrisonburg, VA, March 2, 2016 — The Defense Intelligence Agency’s Deputy Director for Commonwealth Integration, British Air Vice Marshal Sean Corbett, addressed a cadre of university students, members of the U.S. intelligence community, and Five Eyes (FVEY) partners Feb. 29 at James Madison University’s 15th biannual FVEY analytic training workshop, co-hosted with DIA.

The workshop brings U.S. and Commonwealth defense-focused intelligence agencies together with academia and external training organizations to share best analytic practices, forge relationships and hear presentations on key national security topics.

Corbett began by explaining his position at DIA, which marks the first time a non-U.S. citizen has held a deputy director appointment at a U.S. intelligence agency. He highlighted his primary role as DIA Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart’s senior advisor on FVEY defense and intelligence issues.

As the first DDCI, a significant part of the job isn’t just answering “the what” and “the why,” but figuring out “the how.” While that involves everything from technology to policy, Corbett focused on education and training.

“We are looking at developing the next generation of intelligence professionals, so I’m honored to be here,” Corbett said, adding that academia may have a role in helping to develop a common view among FVEY partners on how intelligence professionals train.

The final question of the session came from a student who asked what skills students should develop to become good intelligence practitioners.

First and foremost, Corbett said, is know your subject, and know how to go into the second and third level of analysis. Next, know your audience; know how to present what you know in a way that succinctly answers the question.

Finally, “Have the moral courage to say when you don’t know or when you’re wrong,” Corbett said. “If we lose that, we’re absolutely nothing. That’s what we do in the IC.”