Defence is bringing together its intelligence capabilities under a new Defence Intelligence Group (DIG) to ensure the organisation is best positioned to support Australian Defence Force operations and take advantage of emerging capabilities.
FILE PHOTO: Arrayed antennaes at the Naval Communication Station Harold E Holt in Exmouth, North West Australia. Photo by Corporal Christopher Dickson.
The new DIG will include the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO), Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO), and critical intelligence components from across the ADF as well as the broader Defence Department.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the decision to establish the DIG was a key recommendation from an independent Review of the Defence Intelligence Enterprise.
“Rapid technological change and increasing investment in intelligence means it is more important than ever that our department and military intelligence functions are coordinated and aligned across the entire organisation,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Our defence intelligence capability is world-class and informs Australian government decisions on our defence and foreign policy, and military operations.
“The independent review found that stronger coordination was required to optimise the Defence intelligence capability and workforce for the future.
“The establishment of a new Chief of Defence Intelligence supported by a new Intelligence Group will centralise intelligence functions and continue the journey of intelligence reform.
“These reforms will reinforce the central role of the intelligence enterprise as a critical capability rather than a strategic enabler.”
The new structure will align Defence intelligence management with the National Intelligence Community following the changes made after the 2017 independent intelligence review.
“It also mirrors the defence intelligence architecture of other members of the Five Eyes intelligence partnership, which will enable Defence to engage more effectively with allies,” Minister Reynolds said.
The new group will be led by a three-star Chief of Defence Intelligence, with Major General Gavan Reynolds designated as the inaugural chief, on promotion to Lieutenant General from 1 July.
Chief of Defence Intelligence will assume a number of responsibilities including the training of the intelligence profession across the ADF and APS workforce, and the management of intelligence-capability projects.
These changes support broader Defence reforms by making best use of the intelligence capability and workforce, strengthening accountabilities, and ensuring intelligence is positioned to best support government decision-making and ADF operations into the future.
The Australian Signals Directorate (formerly the Defence Signals Directorate) was made a statutory body in its own right about two years ago.