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Pentagon Intel Shift Focuses on Cyber, S&T

by Kris Osborn on January 7, 2014

Cyber Command officials define unit's scopeThe Pentagon’s intelligence arm is reorganizing resources to streamline and prioritize cyber warfare and science and technology efforts, senior officials said.

As part of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s initiative to reduce Pentagon headquarters manning by 20 percent over the next five years, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence has initiated an across-the-board realignment to become leaner and more agile, said Marcel Lettre, Principal Deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

While the realignment is focused across the scope of the Pentagon intelligence effort, the thrust of the reorganization involves the standing up of a new directorate to focus on integrating and consolidating cyber and S&T programs.

Due to Congressional direction to eliminate Deputy Under Secretary of Defense titles, offices within the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence have been re-designated as Directors for Defense Intelligence. The new Director for Defense Intelligence, or DDI, is called Technical Collection & Special Programs, Lettre explained.

“We added a fourth DDI for technical collection and special programs. The driver here is to look for ways to strengthen operational oversight of the science and technology programs and aspects of intelligence across NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency), NSA and DIA – and also to strengthen oversight over our cyber operations and capabilities,” Lettre said.

The streamlining of S&T and cyber expertise within the organization is expected to increase emphasis and effectiveness in these critical areas.
“We looked across our organization and found pockets of expertise that were focused on these issues, particularly in the cyber arena. We are moving toward pulling them all together into this new DDI which we think will provide a sharper focus and a bigger critical mass to both conduct oversight and drive the development of new capabilities and new responses to strategic situations,” he explained.

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence is now transitioning from 20 different offices down to under 12 to allow the organization to become more agile, flexible and nimble, Lettre explained.

As part of the re-organization, the Pentagon’s ISR Task Force is being merged into an ISR Operations Directorate, counterintelligence and security directorates have been merged together and HUMINT, sensitive activities and National Programs Directorates have been combined, Lettre said.

Also, part of OUSD(I)’s initiative is geared toward recruiting and retaining a capable cyber workforce, he added.

“We see value in aggregating our expertise. One of the main focal points for the last several years has been the recognition that we need to generate a cyber warfare workforce. The services need to bring young people into the military with the skills sets necessary to tackle this challenge,” he added.

The new DDI will also look more closely at S&T programs with a mind to what shows the most promise for the future.

“We want to think about where we want to be three, five, or ten years from now and help catalyze the development of technological capabilities. By having this fourth DDI in place with expertise, we’ll be able to better drive capability development for the future,” Lettre said.

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