VADM Thomas R. Wilson, USN

July 1999 - July 2002


As Admiral Wilson came on board the summer of 1999, DIA supported Joint Tasks Forces deploying over 100 DIA augmentees and providing more than 600 personnel to intelligence task forces, to an Allied military intelligence battalion in Bosnia, and to National Intelligence Support Teams in Riyadh, Tuzla and Sarajevo.

Admiral Wilson set his sights on making the Defense Intelligence Community more efficient and effective primarily through "Four Thrusts." His Four Thrusts are: (1) attacking the data base problem, (2) creating an interoperable technical environment, (3) preparing for the asymmetrical threat and (4) revitalizing the workforce. An August 1999 Military Intelligence Board meeting led to a target list of goals and objectives. He later added a fifth thrust on the DIA workforce focusing on recruitment, career development and retention.

The Secretary of Defense stated that Y2K was his number one priority for 1999. Congress mandated a series of systems testing and contingency planning tasks for the Federal government, including the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. DIA certified its critical components as Y2K compliant and drew up Systems Contingency Plans and Interagency Contingency Plans. The transition from 1999 to 2000 went off flawlessly.

The Richard C. Shelby Center for Missile Intelligence was formally dedicated in December 1999 at the new Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC) complex on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. In January 2000, the Joint Intelligence Virtual Architecture (JIVA) program achieved operating capability. JIVA is an information technology program that identifies, acquires and provides automated tools to support the modernization of DI analytical and production centers.

The destroyer USS COLE was damaged by terrorists who steered an explosive laden boat along side the vessel during a refueling operation in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000. Seventeen American sailors were killed, and 39 more were injured. Once again, Islamic fundamentalists under the leadership of Osama bin Laden were suspected in the attack.

A new war threatened to erupt in the Balkans as Albanian extremist in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) attacked government police and military troops around Tetevo, just across the border from Kosovo, in March 2001. The Agency supported efforts to achieve a political settlement and avoid a widening of the conflict.

Vice President Richard B. Cheney made a historic visit to the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center (DIAC) on 14 March 2001, less than two months after assuming his new office. Admiral Wilson and other Agency members briefed the Vice President on the General Defense Intelligence Program and the consolidation and realignment that has taken place within the Program over the last ten years. Other highlights of the visit included a video-teleconference with senior intelligence officials in deployed forces overseas via the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System and an address to the DIA workforce in the DIAC Tighe Auditorium.

The contract for the design of the DIAC Completion was awarded in April 2001. Work began on 17 April and the design phase was slated to take 16 months. Construction is expected to begin in 2003.

On 11 September, 2001, terrorists hijacked 4 American airliners and crashed two into the World Trade Center in New York City, NY, one into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and one into the Pennsylvanian countryside. DIA experienced its own losses when 7 of its employees were killed as a result of the attack on the Pentagon.