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Life @ NRO

In a culture focused on innovation and the well-being of our employees, NRO employees provide the Nation eyes and ears in critical places.


Mission, Vision, & Values

Mission: Innovative Overhead Intelligence systems for National Security

Vision: Supra Et Ultra

Core Values: Integrity and Accountability, Mission Excellence, Teamwork Built on Respect and Diversity


People & Culture

NRO's culture aligns with our core values: Integrity and Accountability, Mission Excellence, Teamwork Built on Respect and Diversity.

The NRO recognizes that our Mission Excellence is dependent on its highly skilled workforce, so prioritizing its people is a top priority. We provide a wide range of education and training to our Cadre to ensure constant career development. Employees have access to participate in Employee Resource Groups, fostering diversity and inclusion as part of who we are. We also recognize the importance of caring for our employees outside of the workplace; providing wellness programs, flexible work schedules, and care for dependents. For more information, see our Benefits page.


Innovation & Collaboration

The NRO has been intertwined with innovation since its inception. Formed in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik, the NRO was secretly created on September 6, 1961 with the purpose of overseeing “all satellite and overflight reconnaissance projects whether overt or covert.” The existence of the organization is no longer classified today, but we’re still pressing to perform the functions necessary to keep American citizens safe. As the NRO mission states, we are relentlessly working to foster “Innovative Overhead Intelligence Systems for National Security.”

The NRO is responsible for developing, launching, and operating America’s signals, imagery, and communications satellites. Using NRO data, the National Security Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and other NRO mission partners produce intelligence products for the President, Congress, national policymakers, warfighters, and civil users.

The NRO provides global communications, indications and warnings, and near real-time imagery and signals intelligence support to warfighter operations around the world.

NROs overhead systems are also used to assess and predict climate change, assess crop production, map habitats of endangered species, track oil spills, study wetlands, and assess devastation from hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. The development of high-definition television, wide-bandwidth communications, high-resolution pixel arrays, and highspeed data switching flourished from emerging NRO technologies.



Most NRO Cadre employees work at our headquarters in Chantilly, Virginia.

The NRO also maintains ground stations at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, as well as a presence at the Joint Defense Facility Pine Gap, Australia, and the Royal Air Force Base Menwith Hill Station, United Kingdom. NRO spacecraft launch offices reside at Cape Canaveral AFB, Florida and Vandenberg AFB, California.