Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates Visits CIA Headquarters
February 19, 2010
Today Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates visited CIA Headquarters, where he met with CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, addressed the Agency’s workforce, and received briefings on important national security matters.
Director Panetta and Secretary Gates discussed the vital cooperation between the CIA and the United States military—especially in the war zones—and ways to make that partnership even stronger.
“At every level—from strategic analysis to targeting support—CIA officers have never worked more closely with our DoD colleagues,” said Director Panetta. “Ever since our Jawbreaker team set foot in Afghanistan in September 2001, CIA has become a more agile and mobilized intelligence agency, with more of our officers serving alongside our partners in uniform.”
Secretary Gates told Agency employees that “there has never been a better fusion of military operations and intelligence in the history of warfare.”
Director Panetta noted the Secretary’s long and distinguished government career, which includes 27 years of outstanding service with the CIA. He started as an intelligence analyst and rose to a number of senior positions, culminating in his tenure as Director of Central Intelligence from 1991 to 1993.
“Bob Gates is not only a friend of this Agency,” said Director Panetta. “He’s part of our history and a member of our family. He remains as committed as ever to the course he set for himself when he joined the CIA back in 1966: dedicating his exceptional talent and skills to keeping America safe and its people secure.”
Director Panetta presented Secretary Gates the CIA Director’s Award, which recognizes superior contributions in the fields of intelligence and national security. The Secretary’s “consummate understanding of intelligence and its application to policy,” the citation reads, “has enhanced the effectiveness of U.S. forces, advanced our nation’s interests worldwide, and strengthened the bond between CIA officers and their military colleagues in conducting their shared and essential mission.”