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In the eyes of one superpower at least, the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation is both accurate and trustworthy.

THE Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation’s (AGO) reputation for accuracy has been officially endorsed by the United States.

The AGO, formerly the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation, received a unique US accreditation to produce highly accurate geographic coordinates for targeting precision weapons.

The occasion was marked by a ceremony in Canberra on May 6 which coincided with the visit to Australia by the Director of the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Letitia Long. Also attending were the US Ambassador, Jeffrey Bleich, CDF General David Hurley, Secretary Dennis Richardson and Deputy Secretary Intelligence and Security Steve Meekin.

The US Ambassador said in his address that trust was the basis of all great alliances and the awarding of Precise Point Mensuration (PPM) Accreditation was the ultimate expression of trust between the US and Australia.

During the ceremony Letitia presented the Director AGO, Maria Fernandez, with the official certificate of PPM Accreditation and said the occasion was a “truly magnificent milestone”.

PPM uses specialist tools and data drawn from global positioning and space-based systems to create very accurate geographic coordinates. Such coordinates are critical for the effective use of precision weapons.

PPM Accreditation is a major milestone for Australia and the culmination of many years of training and testing by the AGO’s PPM Program which is staffed largely by members of Air Force’s 460 Squadron.

The accreditation is formal recognition of AGO’s global expertise in geospatial-intelligence training, certification and proficiency in support of operational targeting needs.

Maria says the AGO’s PPM Accreditation is an important and timely capability enhancement given the introduction of a number of modern weapons systems which rely on extremely accurate targeting coordinates.

“AGO plays a pivotal and unique role in supporting ADF targeting operations and is the first, and currently the only, organisation outside of the US to achieve PPM Accreditation,” Maria says.

“As a result, the accreditation is a significant milestone for AGO and 460 Squadron and places Australia at the forefront of the Allied targeting community.”

General Hurley concluded the PPM Accreditation ceremony by presenting Group Captain David Millar and Captain John Gilbert (USAF) with CDF Commendations for their leadership, dedication and drive in developing the PPM Program and achieving US accreditation.