A Guide to the National Reconnaissance Office

A Guide to the National Reconnaissance Office

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A Guide to the National Reconnaissance OfficeWhat is the National Reconnaissance Office?

The National Reconnaissance Office is one of the sixteen intelligence agencies of the United States Federal Government. The primary responsibility of the National Reconnaissance Office is to design, build and operate the spy satellites of the United States Federal Government.

National Reconnaissance Office Quick Facts:


The following details outline the administration of the National Reconnaissance Office:

The National Reconnaissance Office was formed in 1961

The headquarters of the National Reconnaissance Office are located in Chantilly, Virginia

The annual operating budget for the National Reconnaissance Office is classified

The National Reconnaissance Office operates with approximately 3,000 employees

The National Reconnaissance Office is responsible for the jurisdiction over the United States Federal Government

The head of the National Reconnaissance Office is General Bruce Carlson; the Principal Deputy of the National Reconnaissance Office is Betty Sapp; the Major General of the National Reconnaissance Office is Susan Mashiko.

The parent agency to the National Reconnaissance Office is the United states Department of Defense.

Mission of the National Reconnaissance Office:

The National Reconnaissance Office develops and subsequently operates space reconnaissance systems to conduct intelligence-related activities for the United States National Security Systems. Additionally, the National Reconnaissance Office coordinates collection and the analysis of information delivered from airplane and satellite reconnaissance by the military service of the Federal Government as well as the Central Intelligence Agency.

The National Reconnaissance Office is funded through the National Reconnaissance Program, which is an integral part of the National Foreign Intelligence Program—the agency is grouped within the Department of Defense.

The National Reconnaissance Office works with its intelligence and space partners, including the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the United States Strategic Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the United States Strategic Command, the Naval Research laboratory and various other organizations and governmental agencies.

How is the National Reconnaissance Office Organized?


The National Reconnaissance Office is part of the United States Department of Defense. The Director or head of the office is appointed by the Secretary of Defense with the implicit consent of the Director of National Intelligence; subsequent confirmation from Congress is not needed.

With the inception of the National Reconnaissance Office, several organizations were incorporated into the model including:

Program A: Secretary of the Air Force Space Systems

Program B: CIA Office for Engineering & Development

Program C: Naval Research Lab and elements of the Naval Security Group

Program D: National Reconnaissance Program Aircraft Reconnaissance

Government Agency of the Executive Branch:

Government agencies are defined as organizations, councils, and offices operating under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government of the United States of America; each federal agency retains specific administrative jurisdiction over specific facets latent within the operations of the United States Government.
The National Reconnaissance Office functions as a government agency under the Executive Branch of the United States government, which is comprised of 3 total branches; in addition to the Executive branch – which is responsible for the regulation and enforcement of operational legislation existing within the United States of America – there also exists the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

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