ST. LOUIS — The intelligence community needs an enterprise-level integration officer to help collaborate on complex challenges that cut across organizations, according to the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

In November 2021, the DIA — which analyzes and distributes information in support of combat-related missions and foreign intelligence — established a similar role within its agency, naming Greg Ryckman its deputy director for global integration.

According to Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, DIA’s director, that position has been invaluable. Speaking May 24 at the GEOINT Conference in St. Louis, Berrier compared the role to that of a U.S. Department of Defense “J3,” an operations officer with the authority to shift resources in response to emerging threats from adversaries like China and Russia.

“The DIA needed a J3 to be able to look across the enterprise and, with my authority, move things to where they needed to be,” he said. “I think that needs to happen in the IC as well.”

Berrier said in a 2021 statement announcing the office’s creation that the DIA’s goal in creating the position was to “go beyond” its observe and report mission and “illuminate opportunities to disrupt, degrade, deter and deny adversaries’ ability to and willingness to compete globally.”

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, who oversees the IC, said in a separate May 24 speech she’s happy with how the various agencies are collaborating to get after shared challenges. While she didn’t directly address the need for a high-level global integration director, she acknowledged there are opportunities for improvement.

“There’s still room to be had to grow, essentially, in the integration space,” Haines said. “I think it’s a constantly evolving process and one that we have to be disciplined in promoting.”

Courtney Albon is C4ISRNET’s space and emerging technology reporter. She has covered the U.S. military since 2012, with a focus on the Air Force and Space Force. She has reported on some of the Defense Department’s most significant acquisition, budget and policy challenges.

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