UK launches new Cyber Regiment

UK launches new Cyber Regiment
A generic world planet with iluminated city lights and a glowing data circuit network surrounded by orbiting light trails on a dark space background

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formally launched a new Cyber Regiment to protect frontline operations from digital attack and secure the nation’s critical defence networks.

The 13th Signal Regiment will be tasked to protect vital defence networks at home and on operations overseas.

The regiment will be established by combining a number of the current cyber functions from the British Army.

As the character of warfare evolves, and the weapons used to fight those wars shift from the industrial to the information age, digital and cyber capabilities are increasingly relied upon to ensure the nation’s security and the safety of our personnel overseas.

“Our adversaries and hostile actors are operating in cyberspace right now, creating a new cyber frontline – alongside the traditional domains of Land, Sea and Air – without physical borders but also needing to be defended,” the MoD said.

Secure communications are considered the foundation for any successful operation.

The 13th Signal Regiment will provide ‘digital armour’ around personnel operating overseas, giving commanders and their soldiers the ability to operate with confidence in their communications systems, often while working in challenging conditions.

The 13th Signal Regiment is a regiment of the British Army within 1st (UK) Signal Brigade, under the command of 6th (UK) Division, responsible for conducting information manoeuvre and unconventional warfare, in support of the whole Armed Forces.

This is a step-change in the modernisation of the UK Armed Forces for information warfare. Cyber-attacks are every bit as deadly as those faced on the physical battlefield, so we must prepare to defend ourselves from all those who would do us harm and 13th Signal Regiment is a vital addition to that defence.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said.

The specialist unit will provide the basis of the new Army Cyber Information Security Operations Centre, focusing on the protection of Defence’s cyber domain, and it will work with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to provide secure networks for all military communications.

Based at multiple key locations around a Headquarters in Blandford, Dorset, 13th Signal Regiment will be built around a core of 250 specialist servicemen and women who possess relevant high-end technical skills.

A number of existing cyber functions are being brought together from across the Army to establish the regiment, with personnel from 15 different cap badges represented in the first intake, plus specialist Royal Navy and RAF personnel.

13th Signal Regiment is the British Army’s brand new cyber regiment – matching cutting edge technology with cyber-fit soldiers to compete and win in the Information Age.

Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith said

The regiment will consist of several Cyber Protection Teams as well as technical staff who will secure the cyber domain for troops deployed on military operations.

13th Signal Regiment previously existed during WW2 as 1st Special Wireless Group, and helped to pioneer the use of wireless technology and high frequency wireless radios.

Renamed 13th (Radio) Signal Regiment in 1959, it had operators stationed in Berlin throughout the Cold War. The unit was disbanded in 1994, when its role in Germany was no longer required.

The new Cyber Regiment will take on the 13th Signal Regiment name and build on its predecessor’s proud legacy of innovation and operational excellence.

The re-formation of 13th Signal Regiment is an exciting step forward as the Royal Signals, Army and wider Defence rapidly drives up their potency and resilience in the information environment and cyber domain. The stakes are high and our success is increasingly and critically reliant on focusing our brightest men and women onto the opportunities and risks that underpin our operations – both home and away.

Brigadier John Collyer, Commander 1st (UK) Signal Brigade, said

George Costa

George Costa is a reporter specialized in defence and security systems. He covers international defence and security issues, such as international conflicts, WMD proliferation, and cybersecurity, as well as news reporting on developments in the global defence community.
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