Lt Gen Eugene Tighe Jr., USAF
September 1977 - August 1981

In 1978, DIA underwent a major reorganization to enhance the Agency's analysis and Intelligence Community standing. This reorganization was completed under the stewardship of Lt. Gen. Eugene Tighe in August 1979, which established a basic infrastructure that lasted nearly a decade. Following Executive Order 12036, which restructured the Intelligence Community and clarified DIA's national and departmental responsibilities, Tighe established five major directorates: production, operations, resources, external affairs and J-2 support.

However, the loss of intelligence resources throughout the 1970s limited the Intelligence Community's ability to collect and produce timely intelligence, and ultimately contributed to intelligence shortcomings in Iran, Afghanistan and other strategic areas.


"Tighe established five major directorates: production, operations, resources, external affairs and J-2 support."


Despite limited resources, the Agency's requirements for intelligence production increased. In 1978, analysts focused on Lebanon, China, South Africa, terrorism and Vietnam POW/MIA issues. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the overthrow of the Iranian monarchy, and the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis resulted in additional DIA task forces to provide intelligence concerning these crises. Furthermore, DIA dealt with an extraordinary amount of major world events during this time — the Vietnamese takeover in Phnom Penh, the China-Vietnam border war, the overthrow of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, the North-South Yemen dispute, the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, troubles in Pakistan, Libya-Egypt border clashes, the Sandinista takeover in Nicaragua, and the Soviet movement of combat troops to Cuba during the signing of the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty II.

DIA came of age in the 1980s by focusing on the intelligence needs of field commanders and national-level decision makers, and by 1981 had demonstrated its importance as an integral part of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Publication of the first Soviet Military Power was greeted with wide acclaim, and the long-awaited groundbreaking for the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center (DIAC) boosted the morale of DIA employees tremendously.