Unit History: Defence Intelligence Service

Defence Intelligence Service
In 1927 the intelligence service was formalized by a legislative act, Royal Decree n. 70 of 6.2.1927. This decree established the structure of the Army General Staff and created a «Bureau», called «Military Information Service» (SIM), directed by the Army Chief of General Staff. SIM had two branches: offensive, for intelligence collection, and defensive, for counterespionage. Similar Services were set up in the Navy and in the Air Force. Except for a short period, during which the defensive section of SIM temporarily acted as an independent counterespionage Service, the structure of SIM remained unchanged until 8 September 1943.
After the war, the intelligence service was gradually re-established, still within the Army General Staff. When the Ministries of War, of the Navy and of the Air Force were unified within the Ministry of Defence, on 30 March 1949 the Intelligence Services of the three armed forces were finally reorganized and a single central Service established: the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces (SIFAR), directed by the Chief of the Defence General Staff.
Each armed force had its own “Intelligence and Current Status Section” (SIOS), headed by the relevant Chief of General Staff. The three SIOS, which had technical-military intelligence and military policing tasks, also cooperated and liaised with SIFAR.
Within the Defence General Staff, SIFAR gradually evolved, with Presidential decree n.1477 of 18 November 1965 on the peacetime structure of the Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force General Staffs. This act established the Defence intelligence Service (SID), directed by the Chief of the Defence General Staff.
SID was tasked to:
- collect information, protect military secrets and all other national security/defense related issues;
- prevent attacks to the national defensive system.
SID ceased to exist in 1977, when the Intelligence and Military Security Service (SISMI) was established.
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