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Defense Intelligence Agency facts for kids

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Defense Intelligence Agency
Seal of the DIA
Agency overview
Formed 1 October 1961
Motto Committed to Excellence in Defense of the Nation
Employees Approx. 12,000 (30% military, and 70% civilian)
Annual budget Classified
Agency executive
  • LTG Robert P. Ashley Jr., Director

The Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA, is the central producer and manager of foreign military intelligence for the United States. As one of the principal members of the U.S. Intelligence Community, the agency works to answer national-level defense objectives for the President, the Secretary of Defense, and senior U.S. policymakers.

Although the DIA is designated a Department of Defense combat support agency, the majority of its 16,500 employees (65%) are civilian and its intelligence operations in support of U.S. national strategic planning extend far beyond the zones of combat. The agency has its own Clandestine Service, which conducts espionage activities around the world, particularly in countries where the military has better access or more specialized military experts than the Central Intelligence Agency. Further, DIA leads the Intelligence Community in collection and production of measurement and signature intelligence.

The agency was established in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. The Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency - who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate - chairs the Military Intelligence Board, which coordinates activities of the entire defense intelligence community.

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