A native of San Antonio—nicknamed Military City, USA, and Cyber City, USA—Congressman Joaquin Castro applauded the GEOINT Community during his welcoming remarks at GEOINT 2017. The Congressman recognized the Intelligence Community’s professionalism and expertise and stressed the importance of intelligence in informing policymakers in Washington.
In his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Castro serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as well as the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He represents the 20th Congressional District, which includes San Antonio, but more specifically, Port San Antonio and Lackland Air Force Base, large producers and consumers of geospatial intelligence.
“We’re excited to have you back [in San Antonio],” Castro told the audience, noting the Symposium will return to his city once again 2019.
“Of all the places in the country where we think of the work going on intelligence, San Antonio is a very special place,” he said.
Not only is the city home to the nation’s largest joint base and one of largest federal populations in the country, but Joint Base San Antonio—and specifically the 25th Air Force—he said, play a crucial role in providing the multi-source ISR products and capabilities needed to conduct worldwide operations.
I’m often reminded that intelligence is a collaborative process. Intelligence, especially geospatial intelligence, requires collaboration between military, industry, academia, and other agencies.” —Congressman Joaquin Castro
Through his work on the House Intelligence Committee—which he noted was an early supporter of USGIF—Castro is constantly reminded of the importance of the Intelligence Community and the organizations within that community providing policymakers with critical insight.
“Your work sheds light on the unknown and illuminates the space in which policymakers make tough decisions,” he said. “I’m often reminded that intelligence is a collaborative process. Intelligence, especially geospatial intelligence, requires collaboration between military, industry, academia, and other agencies.”
He added that the Symposium highlights the importance of intelligence sharing to identify emerging threats—from Osama bin Laden to Ebola and climate change to natural disasters. Castro said while many of the technologies and techniques used in GEOINT were first pioneered for military applications, they
are increasingly universally applicable.
“Technologies developed here in the Intelligence Community, by academia, and by industry keep the United States of America competitive in a world economy that increasingly values innovation,” the Congressman concluded.