Among the USGIF staff, we often talk about the ubiquity of GEOINT. Our love of the discipline helps us see how geospatial information and geotemporal insights improve our lives in myriad ways. For example, GEOINT helps me determine what time I need to leave to make it to my appointment on time and what’s the best route to take to get there. GEOINT has helped me better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has been evolving in my proximity and in Florida, where my family lives. GEOINT helped members of my family in Florida prove that a tree felled on their property in a hurricane was, in fact, upright prior to the storm for an insurance claim. But among the Foundation’s team, we also know that for many U.S. service members, the connection of GEOINT to their lives and their mission success may not be as transparent as it is to us.
In 2021, USGIF is aiming to bring focus to that nexus.
This year, we are kicking off a series of one-day virtual events focused on the GEOINT equities of the U.S. military forces. These events will include keynotes and panel discussions to inform participants from the armed forces how GEOINT matters to them. It also offers the opportunity for leaders from the military services to share their insights regarding programs with the GEOINT community, as we collectively work to ensure they have the insights and information needed for mission success.
Part of the intent behind this series is to help our community better understand our service customers and their needs. The success of the “Moonshot” that NGA Director VADM Robert Sharp has set for the NGA workforce puts the GEOINT needs of the armed forces clearly at the center of the challenge. His Director’s Intent, published in 2020, notes: “We will measure our success by the value we provide to others: the speed, accuracy, and precision with which we deliver actionable information to decision-makers and warfighters at every level.” At USGIF, we also want to provide value to the whole-of-nation effort to achieve this Moonshot and saw an opportunity to bring the community together for related dialogue.
GEOINT Service Days will include discussions of how GEOINT enables the services’ operations and look into service acquisition programs with GEOINT equities. The latter portion of each day will examine the promise and disruption represented by technological innovation in each warfighting domain. The Service Days series will kick off with a day of virtual programming dedicated to the U.S. Air Force and the newest member of the Intelligence Community, the U.S. Space Force, on Wednesday, April 28. On June 9, USGIF turns its attention to the maritime services, with a day dedicated to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Army GEOINT day rounds out the series on August 11.