THE HEAD of military intelligence in Northern Ireland and his immediate staff were among those killed in the crash. in Thursday night's helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre.
Colonel Chris Biles, 41, from Weymouth, Dorset, an Assistant Chief of Staff at Headquarters Northern Ireland, was the staff officer in charge of intelligence. He was the most senior Army officer on the ill-fated flight.
Col Biles's sister Sue, also from Weymouth, said today: yesterday: 'The family is stunned by the tragedy, but we are very proud of him and his commitment to helping the situation in Northern Ireland.'
Col. Biles, formerly of the Devonshire and Dorset regiment, leaves a wife Sue and three children, daughter Briony, 15, and sons Maxwell, 14, and Leo, 12.
He was awarded the MBE in 1981 for gallantry in Northern Ireland, and made OBEin 1992.
Last night the MoD refused to name any of the dead servicemen the four RAF crew and the nine Army officers until next-of-kin had been informed. But Headquarters Northern Ireland admitted said a full colonel, three lieutenant-colonels and five majors had been killed.
Col. Biles' regimental association said 'We are devastated at the news. Chris Biles was an outstanding officer. Although only 41 when he died he was
already a full Colonel and destined for the highest echeleons of the army.'
He was described an Assistant Chief of Staff in HQ Northern Ireland at the time of his death.
Military sources said all the dead officers were 'G2' intelligence specialists. As Assistant Chief of Staff G2, Col Biles would have been in charge of military intelligence in Northern Ireland.