Defence Intelligence

Defence Intelligence

Defence Intelligence is a key member of the United Kingdom Intelligence Community but differs from the agencies (SIS, GCHQ, and the Security Service) in that it is not a stand-alone organisation but is a constituent part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The organisation employs a mixture of civilian and military staff and is funded within the Defence budget. Like the rest of the MOD Defence Intelligence was subject to the 2008 'Streamlining' initiative in which 20-25 percent of Central London staff were cut. The organisation was formerly known as the Defence Intelligence Staff or DIS but changed its name in early 2010.

Defence Intelligence is a collector of intelligence through its Intelligence Collection Group (ICG) however this function is carried out mainly to support its primary role which is the conduct of 'all-source' intelligence analysis and assessment. This draws from a variety of overt and covert sources to provide written products and advice in support of military operations, contingency planning, and to inform defence policy and procurement decisions. The maintenance of the ability to give timely strategic warning of politico-military and scientific and technical developments with the potential to affect UK interests is a vital part of the process. DI's assessments are also used outside the MOD to support the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and assist the work of other Government Departments (OGDs) and International partners (such as NATO and the European Union).

It is this 'all-source' analysis function which distinguishes Defence Intelligence from other organisations which focus predominantly on 'single-source' intelligence.



Defence Intelligence is headed by the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) who is a serving three-star military officer and who, as the MOD's 'intelligence process owner', is also responsible for the overall co-ordination of intelligence activities throughout the Armed Forces and single Service Commands. He is supported by two deputies - one civilian and one military. The civilian Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence (DCDI) is responsible for Defence Intelligence analysis and production, the military Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff - Intelligence Capabilities (ACDS(IC) ) is responsible for intelligence collection, mapping and training. Air Marshal Chris Nickols is the current CDI.

Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence (DCDI)

DCDI manages the analysis and production directorates of Defence Intelligence (known as the Defence Intelligence Analytical Staff or DIAS). These include directorates for: - Strategic Assessments - Capability (weapons systems and platforms) Assessments - Counter Proliferation - Operations - Development and Support DCDI is currently Mr John Colston.

Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff - Intelligence Capabilities (ACDS (IC))

ACDS (IC) is responsible for the provision of specialised intelligence, imagery and geographic support services, and for the intelligence and security training of the Armed Forces. ACDS (IC) is currently Maj Gen Jerry Thomas. In addition to a Head Office policy staff he is responsible for two major groupings within Defence Intelligence:

The Intelligence Collection Group (ICG)

The ICG Headquarters is at Feltham, Middlesex and the whole organisation makes up the largest sub-element of Defence Intelligence. It is responsible for the collection of Signals, Geospatial, Imagery and Measurement and Signature Intelligence and comprises: - The Defence Geographic Centre (DGC) - The Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC, The National Imagery Exploitation Centre) - Joint Aeronautic and Geospatial Organisation (JAGO) - Joint Services Signals Organisation (JSSO) - Defence HUMINT Organisation (DHO)

In particular the Defence HUMINT Organisation (DHO) is a Tri-Service organisation that provides specialist support to military operations. The DHO manages strategic aspects of defence human intelligence and is under the command of a Colonel. It is based at the Feltham ICG Headquarters and consists of 350 staff who are drawn from across the three services.

The Joint Services Signals Organisation (JSSO) conducts research into new communications systems and techniques in order to provide operational support to static and deployed units. The JSSO is located at RAF Digby in Lincolnshire under the command of a Group Captain with some 1,600 staff drawn from all three services.

JAGO provides force elements from 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) as geographic sub-units and individuals operating specialist equipments to augment organic deployed headquarters capabilities, both in the UK and overseas.

The tri-service HQ JAGO is located at Hermitage, near Newbury in Berkshire and is commanded by an Army Colonel and is composed of three elements: HQ JAGO commands and controls the organisation's current and future activities. It focuses on the development of GEOINT, geospatial and aeronautical in-service capabilities, exploiting synergies wherever possible. It provides career and technical management support to relevant service staffs across Defence. The HQ comprises 12 military and 12 civilian staff. 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) maintains sub-units and individuals at readiness for deployment and to support exercises. All support is provided by 3 regular Royal Engineer Geographic Squadrons and a Territorial Army Geographic Squadron. It further provides routine Station support functions to HQ JAGO and the Defence College of Intelligence Royal School of Military Survey (DCI RSMS). The Regiment comprises 390 military personnel and soldiers and 75 civilian staff. No.1 Aeronautical Information and Documentation Unit (No1 AIDU) produces standard and non-standard products and services from 4 Flights; 2 Editorial Flights, a Production and Finishing Flight and a Support Flight. No1 AIDU comprises 108 RAF Officers and Air Cartographer and 35 civilians.

Defence Intelligence and Security Centre (DISC)

The DISC, at Chicksands, Bedfordshire, was created 1 October 1996 and provides a single defence focal point for intelligence, security, languages and photography training in the UK. The organisation consists of a headquarters, the Defence College of Intelligence and a specialist operational intelligence capability. DISC is co-located with the headquarters of the British Army's Intelligence Corps. In 1998/99, it employed 484 staff and its net operating cost was £27 million.

Director-General Intelligence (1964-1984)

In 1964 with the consolidation of the Ministry of Defence a centralised defence intelligence organisation was formed, incorporating the former Naval Intelligence Division and the other services' pre-existing intelligence staffs.

  • Major-General Sir Kenneth Strong, 1964–1966
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Alfred Earle, rtd 1966-1968
  • Air Marshal Sir Harold Maguire, rtd 1968-1972
  • Vice-Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly rtd 1972-1975
  • Lieutenant-General Sir David Willison, rtd 1975-1978
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir John Aiken, rtd 1978-1981
  • Vice-Admiral Sir Roy Halliday, rtd 1981-1984

Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Intelligence) (1964-1986)

  • Vice-Admiral Sir Norman Denning 1964-1965
  • Air Marshal Sir Harold Maguire 1965-1968
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Fyffe 1968-1971
  • Vice-Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly 1971-1972
  • Lieutenant-General Sir David Willison 1972-1975
  • Air Marshal Sir Richard Wakeford 1975-1978
  • Vice-Admiral Sir Roy Halliday 1978-1981
  • Lieutenant-General Sir James Glover 1981-1983
  • Air Marshal Sir Michael Armitage 1983-1984

Chiefs of Defence Intelligence (1985-)

See also

External links

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