A new UK Cyber Regiment has been launched to protect frontline operations from digital attack Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced today.
The 13th Signal Regiment, the UK Armed Forces’ first dedicated Cyber Regiment, was formally stood up on Monday, June 1 - effectively reestablishing the Berlin based 13th (Radio) Signal Regiment, disbanded in 1994 at the end of the Cold War - which itself replaced the pioneering WW2 1st Special Wireless Group.
The move is in recognition that 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 13th Signal Regiment will operate in the UK and overseas, where they will provide ‘digital armour’ around personnel operating overseas, giving commanders and their soldiers secure communications.
Wallace said:”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.
"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.
"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.
"13th Signal Regiment will also provide specialist technical support for a hub to test and implement next generation information capabilities."
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.
Several 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.
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.
Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith said: “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.
Brigadier John Collyer, Commander 1st (UK) Signal Brigade, said: ”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."