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. DIS 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 3 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 Marshall Chris Nickols is the current CDI.

Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence (DCDI)Edit

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))Edit

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)Edit

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, Geo-spatial, Imagery and Measurement and Signature Intelligence and comprises: - The Defence Geographic Centre - The Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC, The National Imagery Exploitation Centre) - Joint Aeronautic and Geospatial Organisation (JAGO) - Joint Services Signals Organisation (JSSO)

Defence Intelligence and Security Centre (DISC)Edit

The DISC, at Chicksands, Bedfordshire, 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.

Director-General Intelligence (1964-1984)Edit

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.

Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Intelligence) (1964-1984)Edit

Chiefs of Defence Intelligence (1985-)Edit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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