National Reconnaissance Office +Search for Videos

Government agency
National Reconnaissance Office

140px

X | Mute
X | Mute
300px
NRO headquarters at night
"Supra Et Ultra" (Above And Beyond)
1961
Chantilly, Virginia+
Approximately 3,000

Classified ($10.3 billion, as of 2013)
Betty J. Sapp+
Director (DNRO)
Frank Calvelli+
Principal Deputy Director (PDDNRO)
Brigadier General Anthony J. Cotton+ (USAF)
Deputy Director (DDNRO)
Department of Defense+



The '''National Reconnaissance Office''' ('''NRO''') is one of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies+ and considered, along with the Central Intelligence Agency+ (CIA), National Security Agency+ (NSA), Defense Intelligence Agency+ (DIA), and National Geospatial‐Intelligence Agency+ (NGA), to be one of the "big five" U.S. Intelligence agencies. The NRO is headquartered in unincorporated+ Fairfax County, Virginia+, 2 miles (3 km) south of Washington Dulles International Airport+.

It designs, builds, and operates the spy satellite+s of the United States government, and provides satellite intelligence to several government agencies, particularly signals intelligence+ (SIGINT) to the NSA, imagery intelligence+ (IMINT) to the NGA, and measurement and signature intelligence+ (MASINT) to the DIA.

The Director of the NRO reports to both the Director of National Intelligence+ and the Secretary of Defense and serves as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Intelligence Space Technology). The NRO's federal workforce consists primarily of Air Force+, CIA, NGA, NSA, and Navy+ personnel.
The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) develops and operates space reconnaissance systems and conducts intelligence-related activities for U.S. national security.

It also coordinates collection and analysis of information from airplane and satellite reconnaissance by the military services and the Central Intelligence Agency+. It is funded through the National Reconnaissance Program, which is part of the National Intelligence Program (formerly known as the National Foreign Intelligence Program). The agency is part of the Department of Defense+.

The NRO works closely with its intelligence and space partners, which include the National Security Agency+ (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency+ (NGA), the Central Intelligence Agency+ (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency+ (DIA), the United States Strategic Command+, Naval Research Laboratory+ and other agencies and organizations.

It has been proposed that the NRO share imagery of the United States itself with the National Applications Office+ for domestic law enforcement.
The NRO operates ground stations around the world that collect and distribute intelligence gathered from reconnaissance satellites.

According to ''Asia Times Online+'', one important mission of NRO satellites is the tracking of non-US submarines on patrol or on training missions in the world's oceans and seas.





The NRO was established on August 25, 1960, after management problems and insufficient progress with the USAF satellite reconnaissance program (see SAMOS+ and MIDAS+).

The NRO's first photo reconnaissance satellite program was the Corona program+,. The last Corona mission (the 145th), was launched May 25, 1972, and this mission's last images were taken May 31, 1972. From May 1962 to August 1964, the NRO conducted 12 mapping missions as part of the "Argon+" system. Only seven were successful.
In 1963, the NRO conducted a mapping mission using higher resolution imagery, as part of the "Lanyard+" program. The Lanyard program flew one successful mission.
NRO missions since 1972 are classified, and portions of many earlier programs remain unavailable to the public.

The first press reports on NRO started in 1971. The first official acknowledgement of NRO was a Senate committee report in October 1973, which inadvertently exposed the existence of the NRO.
In 1985, a ''New York Times+'' article revealed details on the operations of the NRO.
The existence of the NRO was declassified on September 18, 1992, by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, as recommended by the Director of Central Intelligence+.

A ''Washington Post+'' article in September 1995 reported that the NRO had quietly hoarded between $1 billion and $1.7 billion in unspent funds without informing the Central Intelligence Agency+, the Pentagon+, or Congress+. The CIA was in the midst of an inquiry into the NRO's funding because of complaints that the agency had spent $300 million of hoarded funds from its classified budget to build a new headquarters building in Chantilly, Virginia+, a year earlier.

In total, NRO had accumulated US$ 3.8 billion (inflation adjusted US$ ) in forward funding. As a consequence, NRO's three distinct accounting systems were merged.

The presence of the classified new headquarters was revealed by the Federation of American Scientists+ who obtained unclassified copies of the blueprint+s filed with the building permit application. After 9/11+ those blueprints were apparently classified. The reports of an NRO slush fund+ were true. According to former CIA general counsel+ Jeffrey Smith, who led the investigation: "Our inquiry revealed that the NRO had for years accumulated very substantial amounts as a 'rainy day fund.'"

In 1999 the NRO embarked on a $25 billion project with Boeing+ entitled Future Imagery Architecture+ to create a new generation of imaging satellites. In 2002 the project was far behind schedule and would most likely cost $2 billion to $3 billion more than planned, according to NRO records. The government pressed forward with efforts to complete the project, but after two more years, several more review panels and billions more in expenditures, the project was killed in what the Times report calls "perhaps the most spectacular and expensive failure in the 50-year history of American spy satellite projects."

In what the government described as a "bizarre coincidence", the NRO was planning an exercise on September 11, 2001, involving an accidental aircraft "crash" into one of its buildings. They planned to simulate the "crash" by closing off an area of doors and stairwells in the building to make employees find alternate routes out. This has been During the attacks most of the employees at NRO headquarters were evacuated, save for "essential" personnel. In charge of the exercise was CIA+ man John Fulton, head of the NRO's "Strategic War Gaming Division".John J. Lumpkin, Associated Press, , ''Boston Chronicle'', September 11, 2002. [See below+.]

In January 2008, the government announced that a reconnaissance satellite operated by the NRO would make an unplanned and uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere in the next several months. Satellite watching+ hobbyists said that it was likely the USA-193+, built by Lockheed Martin+ Corporation, which failed shortly after achieving orbit in December 2006.
On February 14, 2008, the Pentagon announced that rather than allowing the satellite to make an uncontrolled re-entry, it would instead be shot down by a missile fired from a Navy cruiser.
The intercept took place on February 21, 2008.

In July 2008, the NRO declassified the existence of its Synthetic Aperture Radar+ satellites, citing difficulty in discussing the creation of the Space-Based Radar+ with the United States Air Force+ and other entities.

In August 2009, The Black Vault+ FOIA+ archive obtained a copy of the NRO video, "Satellite Reconnaissance: Secret Eyes in Space." The 7 minute video chronicles the early days of the NRO and many of its early programs.

At the National Space Symposium in April 2010 NRO director, General Bruce Carlson+, USAF (Ret.) announced that till the end of 2011 NRO is embarking on "the most aggressive launch schedule that this organization has undertaken in the last twenty-five years. There are a number of very large and very critical reconnaissance satellites that will go into orbit in the next year to a year and a half."

In 2012, a McClatchy+ investigation found that the NRO was possibly breaching ethical and legal boundaries by encouraging its polygraph examiners to extract personal and private information from DoD personnel during polygraph tests that were purported to be limited to counterintelligence issues. Allegations of abusive polygraph practices were brought forward by former NRO polygraph examiners. In 2014, an inspector generals' report concluded that NRO failed to report felony admissions of child sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities. NRO obtained these criminal admissions during polygraph testing but never forwarded the information to police. NRO's failure to act in the public interest by reporting child sexual predators was first made public in 2012 by former NRO polygraph examiners.

The NRO is part of the Department of Defense+. The Director of the NRO is appointed by the Secretary of Defense+ with the consent of the Director of National Intelligence+, without confirmation from Congress. Traditionally, the position was given to either the Under Secretary of the Air Force+ or the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space, but with the appointment of Donald Kerr+ as Director of the NRO in July 2005 the position is now independent. The Agency has the following directorates:- SIGINT Systems; Communications Systems; IMINT systems; and Advanced Systems and Technology. (SIGINT+=signals intelligence; IMINT+=imagery intelligence.)

With the inception of the NRO, several legacy organizations were incorporated:
* Program A+: Secretary of the Air Force Office of Special Projects (SAFSP)
* Program B: CIA+ Office for Engineering and Development (OD&E)
* Program C: Naval Research Lab+ and elements of the Naval Security Group+
* Program D: National Reconnaissance Program (NRP) Aircraft Reconnaissance

A major restructuring occurred in 1993 with the dissolution of Programs A to C.



In 2007, the NRO described itself as "(..) a hybrid organization consisting of some 3000 personnel and jointly staffed by members of the armed services, the Central Intelligence Agency and DOD civilian personnel."



NRO derives its funding both from the US intelligence budget+ and the military budget+. In 1971, the annual budget was estimated to be around $1 billion (inflation adjusted US$ ). A 1975 report by Congress's+ Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy states that the NRO had "the largest budget of any intelligence agency". By 1994, the annual budget had risen to $6 billion (inflation adjusted US$ ),). This would correspond to 19% of the overall US intelligence budget of $80 billion for FY2010. For Fiscal Year 2012 the budget request for science and technology included an increase to almost 6% (about US$ 600 million) of the NRO budget after it had dropped to just about 3% of the overall budget in the years before.

Under the Freedom of Information Act+ the NRO declassified a list of their secret directives for internal use. The following is a list of the released directives, which are :

* NROD 10-2 – "National Reconnaissance Office External Management Policy"
* NROD 10-4 – "National Reconnaissance Office Sensitive Activities Management Group"
* NROD 10-5 – "Office of Corporate System Engineer Charter"
* NROD 22-1 – "Office of Inspector General"
* NROD 22-2 – "Employee Reports of Urgent Concerns to Congress"
* NROD 22-3 – "Obligations to report evidence of Possible Violations of Federal Criminal Law and Illegal Intelligence Activities"
* NROD 50-1 – "Executive Order 12333 – Intelligence Activities Affecting United States Persons"
* NROD 61-1 – "NRO Internet Policy, Information Technology"
* NROD 82-1a – "NRO Space Launch Management"
* NROD 110-2 – "National Reconnaissance Office Records and Information Management Program"
* NROD 120-1 – ''UNKNOWN, AWAITING FOIA RESPONSE''
* NROD 120-2 – "The NRO Awards and Recognition Programs"
* NROD 120-3 – "Executive Secretarial Panel"
* NROD 120-4 – "National Reconnaissance Pioneer Recognition Program"
* NROD 120-5 – "National Reconnaissance Office Utilization of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program"
* NROD 121-1 – "Training of NRO Personnel"
* NROI 150-4 – "Prohibited Items in NRO Headquarters Buildings/Property"

According to a pamphlet advertising a security conference in 2002, the NRO has a "Strategic Wargaming Division", then headed by John Fulton, who was "on staff for the CIA".


NRO's technology is likely more advanced than its civilian equivalents. In the 1980s the NRO had satellites and software that were capable of determining the exact dimensions of a tank gun+. In 2011 the agency donated two space telescopes+ to NASA+. Despite being stored unused, the instruments are superior to the Hubble Space Telescope+. One journalist observed, "If telescopes of this caliber are languishing on shelves, imagine what they're actually ''using''."


The NRO spacecraft include:

* ''Keyhole'' series — Imagery intelligence+:
** KH-1, KH-2, KH-3, KH-4, KH-4A, KH-4B+ ''Corona'' (1959–1972)
** KH-5+ — ''Argon'' (1961–1962)
** KH-6+— ''Lanyard'' (1963)
** KH-7+ — ''Gambit'' (1963–1967)
** KH-8+ — ''Gambit'' (1966–1984)
** KH-9+ — ''Hexagon'' and ''Big Bird'' (1971–1986)
** KH-10+ — ''Dorian'' (cancelled)
** KH-11+ — ''Kennan'' (or ''Kennen''), ''Crystal'', ''Improved Crystal'', ''Ikon'', and ''Evolved Enhanced CRYSTAL System'' (1976–2013)
* ''Samos''+ — photo imaging (1960–1962)
* ''Misty''+/Zirconic+ — stealth IMINT+
** Enhanced Imaging System+
* Next Generation Electo-Optical+ (NGEO), modular system, designed for incremental improvements (in development).

* ''Lacrosse''/''Onyx''+radar imaging+ (1988–)
* TOPAZ+ (1–5) and TOPAZ Block 2

* Samos-F+SIGINT+ (1962–1971)
* ''Poppy''+ELINT+ program (1962–1971) continuing Naval Research Laboratory+'s GRAB+ (1960–1961)
* ''Jumpseat''+ (1971–1983) and ''Trumpet''+ (1994–2008) SIGINT+
* ''Canyon''+ (1968–1977), ''Vortex/Chalet+'' (1978–1989) and ''Mercury+'' (1994–1998) — SIGINT+ including COMINT+
* ''Rhyolite/Aquacade+'' (1970–1978), ''Magnum/Orion''+ (1985–1990), and ''Mentor''+ (1995–2010) — SIGINT+
* NEMESIS (High Altitude)
* ORION (High Altitude)
* RAVEN (High Altitude)
* INTRUDER+ (Low Altitude)
* SIGINT High Altitude Replenishment Program (SHARP)

* ''Quasar''+, communications relay+

* NROL-1 through NROL-66 – various secret satellites. NROL stands for ''National Reconnaissance Office Launch''.

This list is likely to be incomplete, given the classified nature of many NRO spacecraft.


The '''NRO Management Information System''' (NMIS) is a computer network+ used to distribute NRO data classified as Top Secret. It is also known as the Government
Wide Area Network (GWAN).

In October 2008, NRO declassified five mission ground stations: three in the United States, near Washington, D.C.+; Aurora, Colorado+; and Las Cruces, New Mexico+, and a presence at RAF Menwith Hill+, UK, and at the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap+, Australia.

* NRO Headquarters coord |38.882|N|77.452|W|: – Chantilly, Virginia+
** National Reconnaissance Operations Center+ (NROC)
* Aerospace Data Facility, Colorado (ADF-C) coord |39.718|N|104.777|W|: , Buckley Air Force Base+, Aurora, Colorado+
* Aerospace Data Facility, East+ (ADF-E) coord |38.736|N|77.158|W|: , Fort Belvoir+, Virginia+
* Aerospace Data Facility, Southwest (ADF-SW) coord |32.502|N|106.611|W|: , White Sands+, New Mexico+









File:NRO We own the night.gif|NRO patch commemorating the launch of a classified payload with the words "We own the night"


*National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency+
*National Underwater Reconnaissance Office+
*National Technical Means+
*Reconnaissance satellite+



*
*
*
*
* from the Federation of American Scientists+
* U.S. News and World Report, 8/11/03; By Douglas Pasternak
* , from

Intelligence agencies of USA:
DOD agencies:
Public sector space agencies:



National Reconnaissance Office+ The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is one of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies and considered, along with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and National Geospatial‐Intelligence Agency (NGA), to be one of the "big five" U.S.