NRO Organization
The NRO employs people from the military services, Intelligence Community, Department of Defense (DoD) and private industry. The Air Force comprises the majority of the military population, the Central Intelligence Agency the majority of the civilian population, while contractors are the largest segment of the workforce. The NRO is a separate Department of Defense agency and one of the 16 Intelligence Community agencies.

The Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (DNRO) leads the workforce. The DNRO is appointed by the Secretary of Defense with concurrence of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The Director reports to the Secretary of Defense who, working with the DNI, has ultimate management and operational responsibility for the NRO. The DNI establishes the collection requirements and priorities for satellite-gathered intelligence. The DNRO provides management direction to the NRO in response to these requirements.

The Principal Deputy Director of the NRO (PDDNRO) reports to and coordinates with the DNRO on all NRO activities and handles the daily management of the NRO with decision responsibility as delegated by the DNRO. In the absence of the Director, the PDDNRO acts on behalf of the DNRO.

The Deputy Director of the NRO (DDNRO), an Air Force general officer, assists both the DNRO and PDDNRO in the daily direction of the NRO and serves as the senior Air Force Officer for the civilian and uniformed Air Force people assigned to the NRO. The DDNRO also coordinates the activities of the Air Force and the NRO.

These are the leaders, but what about the rest of the NRO? The NRO is comprised of directorates and offices that do the work that makes the NRO the unique place that it is. These directorates and offices are:

The Corporate Staff: The Corporate Staff includes functions encompassing such areas as legal, diversity, human resources, and security necessary for the day-to-day operation of the NRO and in support of the DNRO, PDNRO, and DDNRO.

Deputy Director for Business Plans and Operations (BPO): BPO is responsible for all financial and, budgetary aspects of NRO programs and operations. BPO also coordinates legislative, international, and public affairs communications.

Mission Support Directorate (MSD): MSD engages with users of NRO systems to understand their operational and intelligence problems and provide solutions in collaboration with NRO’s mission partners.

Imagery Intelligence Systems Acquisition Directorate (IMINT): IMINT is responsible for acquiring NRO’s technologically advanced imagery collection systems, which provide geospatial intelligence data to the Intelligence Community and the military.

Signals Intelligence Systems Acquisition Directorate (SIGINT): The SIGINT Directorate builds and deploys NRO’s signals intelligence satellite systems that collect communication, electronic, and foreign instrumentation signals intelligence.

Communications Systems Acquisition Directorate (COMM): COMM supports the NRO by providing communications services through physical and virtual connectivity, enabling the sharing of mission critical information with mission partners and customers.

Advanced Systems and Technology Directorate (AS&T): AS&T invents and delivers advanced technologies, develops new sources and methods and enables multi-intelligence solutions.

Office of Space Launch (OSL): OSL is NRO’s “gateway to space,” launching satellites into orbit. In this capacity, OSL is NRO’s launch representative with industry, the Air Force, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. OSL is the focal point for all aspects of a launch, such as launch vehicle hardware, launch services integration, mission assurance, operations, transportation, and mission safety.

Ground Enterprise Directorate (GED): The Ground Enterprise Directorate provides an integrated NRO ground system that sends timely information to users worldwide.

Systems Engineering Directorate (SED): SED provides beginning to end systems engineering for all of NRO’s systems.

Mission Operations Directorate (MOD): MOD operates, maintains and reports the status of NRO satellites and their associated ground systems. MOD also manages the 24-hour NRO Operations Center (NROC) which, working with U.S Strategic Command, provides defensive space control and space protection, monitors satellite flight safety, and provides space situational awareness.

Management Services and Operations (MS&O): MS&O provides services such as facilities support, transportation and warehousing, logistics, and other business support, which the NRO needs to operate on a daily basis.