Remarks by the Director of National Intelligence
Ambassador John D. Negroponte

Welcoming of Vice Admiral Robert Murrett
Director, NGA

July 7, 2006

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It's a pleasure to be at NGA again and an honor to be present for this ceremony welcoming Vice Admiral Robert Murrett as NGA's director.

As everyone present knows quite well, the work done at the NGA is vital to our national security. NGA's geospatial-intelligence products and analytical judgments are used by our nation's leaders, on a daily basis, in making decisions affecting all Americans.

The Director of NGA is my principal advisor for GEOINT as well as the Intelligence Community's Functional Manager for the discipline. Carried with that title is a wide portfolio of authorities - all of which are critical to ensuring the necessary delivery of timely, accurate, and relevant GEOINT to our many customers.

And that customer base, of course, is growing. Notably, NGA has become a developer, broker, and integrator of GEOINT used to protect our homeland. I think a good bit of the skill with which NGA has taken on this role derives from its collaborative instincts. NGA's pioneering programs of cooperation with the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office are in perfect alignment with integration - the fundamental precept of intelligence reform.

The extent to which we integrate the foreign, domestic, and military dimensions of our national intelligence enterprise is the extent to which we will better protect our nation today and make it safer tomorrow. Intelligence reform is all about building a stronger IC right now, and the way you achieve greater strength is by aligning your assets and targeting them in concert against our top mission objectives:

Vice Admiral Murrett comes to NGA from one of the oldest intelligence agencies in the nation. At the helm of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), he transformed ONI to meet the challenging and diverse missions of its maritime customers, taking on intelligence issues from weapons proliferation and counter-narcotics to environmental and oceanic resource preservation.

The NGA is still a relatively young agency in comparison to ONI, but it is full of potential synergy as it blends map making and imagery intelligence specialists into a single hard-hitting agency. Admiral Murrett's experience in leading ONI through a deliberate, systematic transformation process, and his commitment to "due diligence" will serve us well in his new leadership position.

As a front-line intelligence officer, often serving afloat or standing watch, he knows the sacrifices required to preserve and protect our nation. And as a staff officer, and later Commander, he took on the duties of leadership, and often, the challenges of transformation mandated by the dangerous post-9/11 intelligence environment in which we now live. These experiences, whether transitioning the Atlantic Intelligence Command into Joint Forces Command or serving as J-2 on the USS Wasp during operations in the Caribbean, make Admiral Murrett well suited to assume his new responsibilities at NGA.

There's no doubt that Admiral Murrett will continue to judiciously refine NGA in light of our ever-changing intelligence environment. He brings a real passion for intelligence wherever he serves. He is certain to use his vast experience wisely in helping NGA meet the challenges facing the Intelligence Community today and in the future.

Admiral Murrett, I look forward to working with you and your talented, dedicated colleagues in transforming and integrating our GEOINT capabilities to stay ahead of the evolving threats against our Nation.

Congratulations, Admiral Murrett, thank you very much.