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Office of Naval Intelligence Celebrates 130th Anniversary

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120323-14
3/23/2012

From Office of Naval Intelligence Public Affairs

SUITLAND, Md. (NNS) -- The men and women of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) celebrated the 130th anniversary of the establishment of the command in a ceremony today at ONI's headquarters in Suitland, Md.

Leaders and members of the command joined distinguished guests from the Navy and national Intelligence Community to mark the achievements of America's longest-serving intelligence agency and honoring some of ONI's most accomplished military and civilian professionals.

"Lt. Theodorus B.M. Mason planted the seed of this organization with three assisting officers in 1882," said Capt. Robert Rupp, ONI commander. "Lt. Mason's vision became America's premier naval and maritime intelligence agency, playing decisive roles in every major conflict our country has been involved in, and providing the knowledge that has secured our homeland, ensured victories overseas, saved countless lives, and enabled our Navy to maintain a technological and strategic advantage over our adversaries."

ONI provides collections and analysis on foreign naval forces, capabilities, systems and tactics, as well as the civil maritime environment to ensure the U.S. Navy maintains the technological and operational advantage over potential adversaries on, above and below the sea and on land. ONI supports the design and development of the future fleet through intelligence support to acquisition. Critical communications and information assurance support to the fleet and shore-based commands are key components of ONI's broad mission set, as is deploying technicians and intelligence personnel forward to directly support war fighters worldwide.

ONI was established March 23, 1882 by Navy General Order Number 292 as the U.S. Navy began modernizing to compete with established European and rising Asian naval powers. ONI focused on advanced foreign technology and the evolving art of naval warfare just as the Navy was transforming from wooden hull sailing ships to steel and steam. Just as the U.S. Navy was evolving, ONI created the blueprint for intelligence tradecraft.

"ONI provided the foundation for the growth of the naval intelligence profession as we know it today," said retired Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, former director of Naval Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency. "Our ability to adapt to rapidly changing geopolitical contexts has been a constant attribute over 130 years. Throughout that time, our basic mission hasn't changed but the way ONI is structured to meet those requirements has."

Today ONI is an integral element of the Navy's Information Dominance Corps (IDC). ONI professionals work closely with Information Warfare, Oceanography/Meteorology, Information Professional and Space Cadre partners to achieve battlespace awareness and enable decision superiority for Navy commanders.

"As our Armed Forces transition from fighting prolonged land campaigns in the Middle East and our strategic priorities are rebalanced toward the Asia Pacific region, the maritime domain becomes increasingly important, placing greater demands on the U.S. Navy and Naval Intelligence in the future," Jacoby said.

To meet those demands, ONI created four Centers of Excellence to deliver penetrating knowledge of adversaries to the fleet, Navy commanders and national decision makers. These centers provide intelligence on strategic, operational and tactical naval warfare and civil maritime operations; scientific and technical analysis of foreign naval capabilities; information technology to enable the rapid delivery of intelligence to ONI's customers, and analytical support to Naval Special Warfare and Navy Expeditionary Combat Command operators.

"Even with all of the systems and implements we enjoy today, ONI is still first and foremost a people business," Rupp said. "Every success this organization achieves is owed to the talent, creativity and hard work of the individuals within it."



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