The Office of Naval IntelligenceType: Military Intelligence
Role: Acquisition of intelligence relevant to United Nations military interests
Leader: Undersecretary of Intelligence
Command Structure: Classified
Located At: Naval Intelligence Headquarters, Luna Naval Base, Lovell, Luna
Affiliation: United Nations
The Office of Naval Intelligence is the organisation with sole jurisdiction over military intelligence operations of the United Nations armed forces. It is one of the last bastions of cloak-and-dagger business in the transparency-obsessed culture of modern politics. Alone in the entire United Nations apparatus, it does not disclose its employees, assets, or budget.
The Undersecretary of Naval Intelligence is appointed to overall command of the Office by the Executive Branch of the United Nations. This is, however, mostly for show as a concession to oversight. In reality, an elaborate and deliberately opaque power structure encompasses a number of subordinate groups responsible for roles including (but not limited to) signals intelligence, counter-intelligence, field-work, and liason. While the Undersecretary is supposed to oversee and control ONI, their real role is as liason to the Secretary-General. Many theorise (correctly) that the power within the Office lies elsewhere.
Appropriate for its mission, ONI has cultivated a fearsome legend for itself. Field agents of the Office are imbued with almost unquestionable authority when conducting operations, which are usually abstract in purpose and often have undisclosed aims. Such encounters are rare, as ONI is much smaller than most would assume, but such notions are rarely disabused.
Consistent with its style, the Naval Intelligence Headquarters on Luna are situated some way away from the other buildings at Luna Naval Base. Briefings and meetings on intelligence matters are always conducted on home turf where possible, and so the number of United Nations personnel who have been inside ONI HQ are relatively large. They are kept strictly to the conference rooms, however, and never go further into the building where it is presumed that operations are run and analyses generated. The facility is large, however, encompassing a small shipyard for refit and development purposes and an automated hangar for storing a large number of the Black Kite-variant Goshawk transport spacecraft that are used for shuttling Naval Intelligence personnel on and off ships.
ONI began as a small-scale operation, its remit purely limited to intelligence matters directly related to fleet engagements and simulations of future warfare doctrine. Needless to say, it was a very small organisation - at the time, truly deserving the title of "Office". It was very much more of a think tank than a general department, publishing occasional papers and writing briefs for the Committee for Naval Acquisition.
This changed in the after Earth Lagrange-1 (EL1) Troubles, a period of unrest within the middle and upper classes that escalated to the point of near-mutiny. Though it was resolved without significant bloodshed (one or two notable fleet actions notwithstanding), a later thorough scrutiny of the intelligence community was sharply critical of its fractured nature.
This was ONI's moment. As a rare benefactor of the slowly shrinking black budget, it had no need to declare the particulars and peculiarities of its spending. So then was a plot hatched, by Admirals who wrote themselves out of the history books using their newfound power, to gather all the previous disparate intelligence agencies into one.
With a great deal of backroom manuevering thus was passed the massive, sweeping, and somehow escaping all revision, the Wartime Military Intelligence Act. Granting ONI the ability, carte blanche, to take action against current and future threats, its application has been wide-ranging and forms much of pseudo-political power of the Office of Naval Intelligence.