Members’ Lecture – Supporting Military Operations: The Role of the Defence Intelligence Staff

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Air Marshal Chris Nickols CBE MA RAFA lecture by Air Marshal Chris Nickols, Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), UK Ministry of Defence.

Contemporary military operations have become increasingly complex and are being conducted under intense media scrutiny.  The importance of good intelligence to support such operations has never been greater and the Defence Intelligence Staff plays a crucial role, both at the national strategic level and in ‘reach-back’ support of frontline operations.  CDI will look at the intelligence requirements of current operations and the opportunities presented by improved sensors, communications and networks to help our commanders in the field conduct more effective operations, both now and in the future.

Air Marshal Chris Nickols CBE MA RAF was educated at St Edmund's School, Canterbury and Downing College, Cambridge, where he read Engineering. His military education has included Staff College in Canada and the UK Higher Command and Staff Course.

He spent the first 9 years of his flying career in Germany flying Jaguars in both the strike / attack and tactical reconnaissance roles, culminating in a short period conducting early night trials work on that aircraft at Boscombe Down.  The remainder of his frontline service has been on the Tornado GR, including command of No II (AC) Squadron and RAF Lossiemouth.

His staff tours have included the Air Force Department in the Ministry of Defence, Director of the newly formed UK Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in 1997-1998, DACOS J5 at PJHQ during the Kosovo campaign, Air Commodore Offensive Operations at HQ 1 Group and, most recently, Commandant Air Warfare Centre / Director Defence Electronic Warfare Centre. His operational tours have included flying on Operation NORTHERN WATCH, a short period as UK Liaison Officer to CENTCOM Fwd in 1998, UK Air Contingent Commander (UKACC) in the Middle East in 2002, Senior British Air Adviser (SBAA) at CENTAF in late 2002 and CAOC Director during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from February to May 2003.  He was Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations) from September 2005 to October 2008.

An optional £10 sandwich lunch shall be available from 1200.

This event is open to RUSI members only. To become a member, please click here.

To register for this event, please e-mail Sabrina Downey, Events Director:

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