Home About Us What's On Photos News Extra Contact Us Links

Cyber Defence

THE British Army has created a new military cyber unit based at Blandford Camp to protect forces in the modern era.

The 13th Signal Regiment was formally launched on Monday June 1 and will be based at Blandford but operate where needed around the world.

It was described by a defence source as a "restructuring of existing capabilities", bringing together various individuals who currently work across many units into one dedicated regiment.

"This is a step-change in the modernisation of the UK Armed Forces for information warfare," defence secretary Ben Wallace said.

"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. 13th Signal Regiment is a vital addition to that defence."

Although the regiment will formally come under Army command, it will work with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to secure communications networks on the battlefield overseas and at home.

13th Signal Regiment brings together personnel from all three armed services and will be built around a core of 250 specialist servicemen and women.

It will work alongside other UK cyber agencies, GCHQ and the NCSC, although only in a defensive capacity, described as a "digital armour around personnel" - 13th Signal Regiment will not carry out offensive attacks on enemies.

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 World War Two 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 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," said Brigadier John Collyer, the Commander 1st Signal Brigade.

"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."