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News | June 26, 2017

DIA Leaders Discuss Innovation, leadership at Senior Military Intelligence Conferences

By DIA Public Affairs

The Defense Intelligence Agency hosted a series of senior military intelligence conferences June 21-23 at DIA Headquarters on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C.

The annual conferences gathered senior civilian, military officer and enlisted leaders throughout the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. The theme of this year’s conference was “Intelligence support in an era of persistent threats.”

The purpose of the conference was to look beyond DIA’s current no-fail mission areas (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and extremist organizations) to other possible threats and conflict areas. More than a dozen topics from around the defense intelligence enterprise were addressed during the conference. However, a central challenge throughout the majority of conversations was the growing amount of data the intelligence community is faced with and how to handle it.

“We are collecting more data than we can effectively process,” said Lt. Gen Vincent Stewart, DIA Director. “What we process, we struggle to make sense of, and what we understand, we can’t effectively disseminate across a global enterprise to ensure it helps drive critical decision making.”

To address the issues of data processing of which Lt. Gen. Stewart spoke, DIA’s Innovation office will hold Industry Days in August where private companies can pitch their ideas on artificial intelligence, augmented reality and Virtual reality to DIA leaders.  

DIA’s Command Senior Enlisted Leader Master Gunnery Sgt. Scott Stalker hosted fellow senior enlisted leaders and advisors from all military services and the U.S. Coast Guard during the Senior Enlisted portion of the intelligence conferences. Stalker addressed the full range of current and “over-the-horizon” threats that will continue to challenge the Intelligence Community and its leaders. 

In addition to discussing emerging threats, the conference also addressed the key role senior enlisted service members play within the intelligence community.

 “…you have a critically important role to play in preparing your organizations to deal with this world,” said Stewart. “You must have moral courage. Moral courage to tell your boss when he or she is wrong.”

DIA's mission is to provide intelligence on foreign militaries and operating environments that delivers decision advantage to prevent and decisively win wars. Nearly 50% of DIA's 16,500 employees are stationed outside Washington, DC at national intelligence centers, combatant commands, combat zones, and defense attaché offices worldwide in more than 140 countries.