Chris Nickols

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Chris Nickols
Born 23 July 1956
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1974 - 2012
Rank Air Marshal
Commands held No. 2 Squadron
RAF Lossiemouth
Air Warfare Centre
Battles/wars Kosovo War
Iraq War
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Air Marshal Christopher Mark Nickols CB CBE DL (born 23 July 1956) is a retired senior officer in the Royal Air Force, whose final appointment was Chief of Defence Intelligence. Prior to that he served as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations).

RAF career[edit]

Educated at St Edmund's School in Canterbury and having read Engineering at Downing College, Cambridge, Nickols joined the Royal Air Force in 1974.[1][2] He served as a pilot, flying Jaguars in Germany for 9 years before becoming Officer Commanding No. 2 Squadron in 1993. He was appointed Director of the UK Combined Air Operations Centre in 1997, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff at Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood during the Kosovo War and then Station Commander at RAF Lossiemouth in 2000.[1] He was also Air Commodore Offensive Operations at Headquarters No. 1 Group.[1] He was also Director of the Combined Air Operations Centre for four months in 2003 during the Iraq War.[1] He was made Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations) in 2005 and Chief of Defence Intelligence in 2009.[1]

He is Chairman of the RAF Polo Association,[3] and a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.[4]


Military offices
Preceded by
Nick Houghton
Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations)
October 2005 - September 2008
Succeeded by
A D Pulford
Preceded by
S W Peach
Chief of Defence Intelligence
January 2009 - January 2012
Succeeded by
A D Richards