[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 12 September, 2003, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Profile: Air Marshal Sir Joe French
Air Marshal Sir Joe French
Head of Defence Intelligence Staff until April 2003
Air Marshal Sir Joe French was head of the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) based in Whitehall's Old War Office in London at the time the September dossier was drafted.

He also had a seat on the Joint Intelligence Committee - made up of heads of the intelligence agencies - which considered which information should be included in the dossier.

The Hutton inquiry has heard that some officials within the DIS were unhappy with the way the dossier was drafted.

Sir Joe became chief of defence intelligence when he was promoted to Air Marshal in November 2000.

In April 2003 he was posted to RAF Innsworth in Gloucester as the South West's top air officer and head of personnel and training command (PTC), after taking over from retiring Air Marshal Sir Christopher Coville.


The command employs 17,000 people, including 4,000 civilians, at more than 30 locations.

Sir Joe joined the Royal Air Force in 1967. After completing flying training, tours with Chinook, Wessex and Puma helicopters took him to postings at Sharjar in the Middle East, Germany, Hong Kong, as well as the UK.

During his career he was Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of Defence Staff, Personal Staff Officer to the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Strike Command/ Commander-in-Chief United Kingdom Air Forces, on the staff of the Central Trials and Tactics Organisation and the high-profile Head of the RAF Presentation Team.


Sir Joe was appointed station commander at RAF Odiham, Hampshire, for two years from November 1989. It was a base where he had earlier commanded No 7 Squadron of Chinooks.

He has attended both the Royal Air Force Staff College at Bracknell and the Royal College of Defence Studies.

He also went on an extended tour to the Ministry of Defence, London, firstly as Director Air Force Staff Duties for three years, then for two years as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Policy), before his appointment as Director General Intelligence Collection.

Sir Joe became a Commander of the British Empire in 1991, and a Knight Commander Order of the Bath in January, 2003.

Among his hobbies he lists squash, hockey, tennis and ornithology.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific