A new Cyber Regiment has been launched to “protect frontline operations from digital attack”, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced.
The 13th Signal Regiment was formally stood up on Monday, June the 1st, at a ceremony at Blandford, home of the Royal Signals.
According to the Ministry of Defence in a news release:
“Secure communications are the foundation for any successful operation and 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.”
Defence Secretary Ben 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.”
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.”
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.
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 MoD say that this 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”.
The British Army also have 77 Brigade for somewhat similar although distinct purposes.
77 Brigade specialise in “non-lethal” forms of psychological warfare, using social media including Facebook and Twitter to fight with information in response to external factors, like Russian misinformation.
Their target is Russian propaganda, propaganda that is notably very active around NATO troops deployed to the Baltics alleging that the soldiers there are criminals and rapists. The point of units like 77th Brigade is to counter this kind of threat.