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American Forces Press Service

Gates Picks Intelligence Official for New Post

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2010 – Letitia Long, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, will serve as the next director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced today.

Long will assume the NGA leadership later this year, replacing Navy Vice Adm. Robert Murrett who is serving his fourth year at the agency.

Gates cited Long’s unique qualifications for the new post, including more than 30 years of engineering and intelligence experience. She served as deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, deputy director of naval intelligence, and as coordinator of intelligence community activities for the director of central intelligence, he noted.

Long will become the first woman to lead a major intelligence agency, Gates noted.

Murrett will remain at the NGA helm for several months to ensure a smooth transition, particularly in light of the agency’s vital wartime mission and its planned move to Fort Belvoir, Va.

Gates praised Murrett’s outstanding performance, service and achievements at the agency, nothing that he had extended him to serve an additional year at NGA.

The secretary recognized his affinity for NGA, an agency he had a role in creating when he was director of central intelligence. Decisions he made led to the creation of the national Imagery and Mapping Agency in 1996, which later became the NGA.

The NGA structure combined CIA and Defense Department elements to provide “a more centralized focus on this critical intelligence discipline,” Gates said. NGA develops imagery and map-based intelligence solutions for U.S. national defense, homeland security and safety of navigation.

With headquarters in Bethesda, Md., NGA has major facilities in the Washington, Northern Virginia and St. Louis areas. It also provides global support to its intelligence community partners through NGA representatives stationed around the world.

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