Back to the Future

When Bruce Carlson came to the NRO 14 months ago, it was spending three percent less than its historical average on research and development. “Within the FYDP,” or future years defense plan, Carlson said the R&D level will be back up to historical levels. The agency had been “eating its seed corn,” Carlson reported. In a similar vein, Carlson said he’s planning to get NRO its own workforce; previously, it has been “borrowed” from the Air Force and Navy. He plans to bring on 100 people by Fiscal 2012 and had to “give up something to get [them].” But the change will allow him, for example, to hang onto a program manager who might otherwise go back to his service at an ill-suited time.