James Clapper, nominated to become the United States’ top intelligence official, reaffirmed his commitment to the use of commercial imaging systems to supplement national satellite capabilities in advance of his July 20 Senate confirmation hearing.

Clapper, who currently serves as the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for intelligence, was nominated June 5 by U.S. President Barack Obama to become director of national intelligence (DNI). He is a retired Air Force lieutenant general and served from 2001 to 2006 as director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

“As [undersecretary of defense for intelligence] I have continued to ensure that our [geospatial intelligence] requirements are met, not only for the current wartime engagements we see today, but also for the future,” Clapper wrote in response to questions in advance of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing.

“I have funded and will continue to support funding for the commercial augmentation of our satellite reconnaissance program. This will ensure that our nation remains the leader in space-based [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and will position our intelligence apparatus for the increased requirements we expect in the future.”

The full Senate has yet to vote to confirm Clapper.