According to the document:
“The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is a joint organization engaged in the research and development ( R&D), acquisition, launch, and operation of overhead reconnaissance systems necessary to meet the needs of the Intelligence Community (IC) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The NRO conducts other activities as directed by the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) and/ or the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).”
The NRO Reference Guide was mentioned in the Intellipedia entry for the NRO. In September of 2017, I requested the 2012 version. It was completely denied in December of the same year.
The Black Vault appealed, then waited more than three years for the NRO to partially grant that appeal, and release the records. The result was a prime example why you should always appeal, as it yielded 669 pages of material, which spanned throughout FIVE NRO Reference Guides.
Although a lot is still redacted and withheld, the release does give nuggets of history and an inside look at various aspects of the NRO.
All of them are below.
Internal National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Reference Guides, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 [669 Pages, 142MB] – Note: There are “bookmarks” embedded in this .pdf which show the different guides within it.