The National Imagery Transmission Foramt Standards is the standard for the formatting and exchange of digital imagery and imagery-related products between members of the Intelligence Community (IC). The IC is made up of the Department of Defence (DOD) and the other departments of agencies of the United States Government as defined by Executive Order 12333.
The DOD Directive 4630.5 states that for purposes of compatibily, interoperability, and integration all command, control, communicaton, and intelligince (C3I) systems developed for use by U.S. forces are considered to be for joint use.
The NITF provides a common basis for storage and digital interchange of images and associated data among existing and future systems. The NITF can be used to support interoperability by simultaneously providing a data format for shared access and associated data ( text, symbols, labels via digital communications. For historical reasons, the latter role as a transmissin format gives NITF it's name.
NITFS Technical Board Public Page