American Forces Press Service
July 3, 2008 - Leaders from across the U.S. intelligence community dedicated the National Center for Medical Intelligence yesterday at Fort Detrick, Md. Established by the secretary of defense as the premier producer and coordinator of medical intelligence, NCMI produces medical intelligence for global force protection and homeland health protection to safeguard U.S. interests worldwide, officials said.
"The National Center for Medical Intelligence is the critical link between Department of Defense force protection and broader homeland health protection," said Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. "It demonstrates the vital contribution that medical intelligence makes to public health security."
Medical intelligence is the assessment of potential health risks and health care capabilities that allows planning for medical countermeasures, health care support and medical personnel support. NCMI, formerly known as the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center, was established in 1982.
NCMI's designation as a national center reflects the growth in its roles and responsibilities which has been under way for several years, officials said. This growth has included expanded relationships beyond the Defense Department and the intelligence community, and now includes the Department of Homeland Security, the White House, the State Department, coalition and foreign partners, and other domestic, non-Defense Department customers.
The growing integration between homeland health protection and medical intelligence allows NCMI to focus on a broader range of foreign medical threats to U.S. military and civilian personnel, allies, and other critical national interests, officials explained -- pandemic flu, avian flu or other animal diseases that potentially could threaten the United States, for example.
The national center includes a growing network for enhanced situational awareness and early warning, officials added, which will strengthen the integrated picture of health threats to U.S. citizens at home and abroad.
NCMI officials expect to break ground in December on a 15,000-square-foot addition to the existing facility.
(From a Defense Intelligence Agency news release.)