More power for National Reconnaissance Office
Changes are in the works for one of the most secretive spy agencies in the U.S. government: the National Reconnaissance Office.
The agency's director, Bruce Carlson, a retired Air Force general who took on his new role last year, gave an update on his office's plans and laid out some details this week at the annual Air and Space Conference, just outside Washington. The NRO builds and operates the country's classified spy satellites and is one of the bigger players in Top Secret America.
According to articles in Space News and Defense News, Carlson's plans include:
Carlson said it is necessary for him as the director of NRO to have this authority because he has to know that satellite systems are ready "when I hit that button" to launch them, he said Monday at the conference, according to Defense News.
"I'm not just going to start a program where the requirements aren't matched to the resources," he said.
Carlson pointed out that as a three-star general on the Joint Staff, he often pushed for taking money from NRO programs that were late and over budget. He touted that nine of 10 NRO hardware programs are expected to be within their expected budget and on time.
Other plans call for launching five national security satellites, starting in late September, to replaces ones that have far outlived their design life, Space News said.
Carlson called it "the most aggressive launch campaign we've had in 20 years."
Posted by: coiaorguk | September 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse