The Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) is an element of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and is primarily responsible for providing intelligence assessments and advice to support military operations and to guide MOD decisions on defence policy and procurement. Although part of the MOD the DIS provides advice to a large number of other government departments such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Department of Trade and Industry. International partners include NATO and the European Union.
It is a key component of the intelligence machinery of the United Kingdom and although less well known than the main collection agencies (SIS and GCHQ), with whom it works closely, it is the only member of the intelligence community responsible for the assessment of all-source intelligence. It also possesses a diverse arrray of military collection assets in its own right.
Defence Intelligence is one of the four principal Intelligence organisations within the UK Government intelligence machinery, together with the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Security Service (MI5) and Government Communications Headquarters under the direction of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
Defence Intelligence is responsible for both collection of intelligence material and for the preparation of intelligence product, analysis of all source material to advise policy creation throughout government. Areas of interest include military capabilities and threats, counter terrorism, counter-proliferation and geo-political stability.
Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) is a serving three star officer in one of the armed forces. Traditionally the post is rotated between the branches of the armed forces. The CDI post was created in 1984 from the merger of the posts of Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Intelligence) (DCDS(I)) and Director-General Intelligence (DGI), both three star officers.
CDI is responsible for the DI Intelligence Collection Group, headed by Director General Intelligence Collection, the DI Assessment Staff, headed by Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence and a number of corporate directorates which provide resourcing, a customer interface and an Operations capability.
The DI Assessment Staff compiles intelligence product from all sources; classified intelligence material from DI ICG and other government organisations such as SIS, Security Service, and GCHQ as well as open source intelligence from other sources.
Headed by the Deputy CDI, the DIAS is made up of a mix of military and civilian personnel drawing on research, scientific, technical and linguistic skillsets. DIAS includes three main business units; DI Strategic Assessment, DI Scientific and Technical, and the Directorate of Targeting and Information Operations.
The DI ICG (Intelligence Collection Group) is the largest element of DI and is responsible for the collection of signals, geo-spatial, imagery and measurement and signature intelligence. Headed by Director General Intelligence Collection (DGIC) the ICG Headquarters is at Feltham, Middlesex. ICG comprises; Defence Geographic Centre, JARIC, The National Imagery Exploitation Centre, Joint Service Signals Organisation and Joint Aeronautical and Geospatial Organisation.
The Defence Intelligence and Security Centre, at Chicksands, Bedfordshire, provides training in intelligence collection and assessment skills including; research and analysis, linguistics, imagery analysis, photography and security in the School of Defence Intelligence. DISC is co-located with the headquarters of the British Army's Intelligence Corps.
The DIS is a joint organisation, employing over 4,500 staff which include members of all three Armed Forces and civilians. About 700 staff are located in the DIS Headquarters in Whitehall. The remaining staff work in other parts of the DIS in the UK and overseas. Serving members of the Armed Forces make up approximately 60 per cent of the manpower of the DIS. They provide the majority of staff engaged in intelligence collection.
The majority of posts in the production and analysis branches are filled by civilian 'Research Analysts', recruited directly by the DIS on the basis of academic qualifications, previous relevant experience or an Armed Forces background. Civilian experts in science or engineering disciplines provide additional specialist skills. These experts are generally drawn from a group of centrally recruited specialists working within the MOD and MOD research establishments.
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