Of his role as the new director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn told the American Forces Press Service: “If there’s a dream job for me, this is it.”
Flynn stepped into his “dream job” on July 24, at the same time becoming commander of the U.S. Strategic Command’s collocated joint functional component command for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
In his new role, Flynn aims to support combatant commanders and “operationalize the capabilities” his agency will bring to bear for the defense community. DIA must also provide intelligence support for U.S. war-fighting forces, Flynn said. Of the DIA personnel who are deployed in 139 countries across the globe, for example, 500 are in Afghanistan supporting combat forces.
“People don’t always know that some of the men and women who are out there are even from DIA,” Flynn said in the release. “They show up and they live and breathe with the units they’re [supporting], doing an intelligence analysis mission and helping commanders understand what’s happening in their environment.”
In an open letter to agency employees, the new director challenged DIA analysts to be “timely, responsive and relevant” in responding to the needs of their customers, whether in the private sector or the military.
“We must strengthen our human intelligence collection against strategic defense targets growing more difficult to penetrate, while fully incorporating counterintelligence,” he wrote, adding that DIA should continue to integrate science and technology to enhance its operations.
“The best technology to invest in is the technology between the ears,” Flynn wrote. “Regardless of what we have in terms of technology, we have to invest in the people … so we’re leading technology and technology is not pulling us along.”
Before coming to the DIA, Flynn was director of intelligence at both the U.S. Central Command and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He began his career at Fort Bragg, N.C., as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division.
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Francis Rose is the host of In Depth, which airs weekdays from 4-7 p.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC metro area and online everywhere. Francis has covered all three branches of the federal government as a broadcast journalist since 1998. He joined Federal News Radio in 2006, and launched In Depth in 2008 as a daily show focused on connecting federal executives to the information they need to do their jobs better.