National Intelligence Support Team
Definition/Scope: (JP 1-02) A nationally sourced team composed of intelligence and communications experts from either Defense Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, or any combination of these agencies. (JP 2-01) The National Intelligence Support Team (NIST) mission is to provide national level, all-source intelligence support from throughout the IC to deployed commanders during crisis or contingency operations. NISTs are comprised of intelligence and communications experts from DIA, CIA, NGA, NSA, and other agencies as required to support the specific needs of the JFC. The Joint Staff J-2 is the NIST program's executive agent and has delegated the NIST mission to the Deputy Directorate for Crisis Operations (J-2O). J-2O manages daily operations and interagency coordination for all NISTs. Based on lessons learned from Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, all national-level agencies combined their separately deployed intelligence support teams into one NIST. The NIST concept was designed to create a dynamic flow of information and intelligence to and from the operational area. The intent of the NIST is to provide decision makers timely and tailored intelligence. The NSA element of the NIST brings a wide range of services, which include analytic support and secure voice and/or data connectivity to supported organizations via the NSOC. As a crisis matures into a sustained operation, the NIST is often dissolved and replaced by a combatant command's or Department's organic intelligence support apparatus to include a CSG. (CIA) A National Intelligence Support Team (NIST) is a nationally sourced team composed of intelligence and communications experts from Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), or any combination of these agencies. These teams of government and/or contract personnel employ deployable Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) production systems. NGA support team (NST) personnel have reachback to National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for data and products, fuse this information with tactical and theater sources, and work with users to produce products tailored to their needs. The NIST concept is designed to create a dynamic flow of intelligence to and from the JTF operational area. A NIST is able to provide unique intelligence support to a JTF commander in several ways. First, the NIST provides "reach-back" to national IC agencies and a thorough knowledge of each agency’s resources and capabilities that normally does not exist at the JTF level. Team members provide a direct agency liaison for the JTF, and they have an excellent understanding of where to go in their parent agency to obtain the best support for the commanders’ priority intelligence requirements. A second unique aspect of a NIST’s intelligence support is that it provides a threat warning capacity to the JTF and enhances the commander’s overall force protection capability. The NSA element of a NIST usually contains a few personnel from the National Security Operations Center’s Special Support Activity. They provide a small mobile SATCOM system that allows the JTF commander to receive threat warning broadcasts from NSA Headquarters that pertain to his operating area.
Narrower Terms:Central Intelligence Agency
Related Terms:Joint Task Force