Lt Gen Leonard Perroots, USAF
October 1985 - December 1988
Soon after Lt. Gen. Leonard Perroots arrived at the Agency, Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger presented DIA with its first Joint Meritorious Unit Award for intelligence support during high-profile operations in the 1980s. The award echoed the changing national security environment, which was pivoting to focus on the threats of terrorism, global volatility and low-intensity conflict.
With extensive DIA support needed throughout the 1980s, Perroots ordered the development of the Operational Intelligence Crisis Center, which greatly enhanced DIA's capability to respond to crisis situations.
"DIA provided significant intelligence support to Operation EARNEST WILL, and incidents such as the Iraqi rocket attack on the USS Stark, the destruction of Iranian oil platforms, and Iranian attacks on Kuwaiti oil tankers."
During this time, the Agency focused on the shifting national security environment and other key issues, including changes within the Soviet Union, counternarcotics, warfighting capabilities and sustainability, and low-intensity conflict. Steps were taken to improve automated databases, and to apply additional resources monitoring terrorist groups, illegal arms shipments and narcotics trafficking. Arms control monitoring also resulted in increased demand for intelligence support from DIA.
The National Military Intelligence Center was upgraded, renovated and co-located with the Joint Chiefs of Staff National Military Command Center to permit fusion of operations and intelligence during crises at the national level.
The Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 designated DIA a combat support agency. As a result, DIA quickly sought to increase cooperation with the combatant commands and develop a joint intelligence doctrine.
Intelligence support to U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf intensified as the Iran-Iraq War spilled into the Persian Gulf. DIA provided significant intelligence support to Operation EARNEST WILL, and incidents such as the Iraqi rocket attack on the USS Stark, the destruction of Iranian oil platforms, and Iranian attacks on Kuwaiti oil tankers. The Toyota War between Libya and Chad, and turmoil in Haiti added to the heavy production workload — as did unrest in Latin America, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burma, Pakistan and the Philippines.