Chief: Air Marshal
The DIS is an essential element of the national intelligence machinery, but differs in a number of important regards from the Agencies. It is not a stand-alone organisation but is a constituent part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It brings together expertise from all three Armed Forces as well as civilian staff. It is funded within the Defence budget.
The DIS conducts all-source intelligence analysis from both overt and covert sources. It provides intelligence assessments in support of policy-making, crisis management and the generation of military capability. These are used by the MOD, military commands and deployed forces, as well as other Government departments and to support the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
In addition to such assessments, the DIS collects intelligence in direct support of military operations, as well as in support of the operations of the Agencies. This intelligence collection is authorised in accordance with procedures laid down by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 [External website].
The DIS also provides a wide range of geospatial services, including mapping and charting, and a selection of intelligence-related training activities at the Defence College of Intelligence.
The DIS was created in 1964 by the amalgamation of all three Armed Services' intelligence staffs and the civilian Joint Intelligence Bureau. The current Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) is Air Marshal Christopher Nickols, who took up office in 2009. In addition to his role as head of the DIS, the CDI is responsible for the overall co-ordination of intelligence activities throughout the Armed Forces and single Service Commands.