The UK military’s 13th Signal Regiment, first assembled five years before WW2, has been reformed this week into a dedicated cyber regiment tasked with defending the UK’s defence networks at home and aboard.
The unit will help establish a new Army Cyber Information Security Operations Centre that will protect the Ministry of Defence’s cyber domain. In the tradition of joint forces the army’s 13th Signal Regiment will work with the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.
The new iteration of the military unit highlights the evolving battlefield in which modern armed forces are expected to conduct warfare. The weapons of war have undergone a vast digitalisation, while at the same time a new front in cyberspace has created the need for specialised units.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace commented that: “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.”
13 Signal Regiment has reformed as the Army’s first defensive cyber regiment, with a small parade at Blandford Camp. They will provide the Army’s cyber defence expertise & contribution to Defence’s federated cyber defence model.
The 13th Signal Regiment’s was first founded in 1934 as the 1st Special Wireless Group. During WW2 it was crucial in developing and pushing forward the UK army’s use of wireless technology and high frequency wireless radios.
In 1959 the unit was renamed the 13th Signal Regiment and was active during the cold war as it stationed operators in Berlin, it was subsequently disbanded in 1994 when its specialised skills were no longer required in a post-Berlin wall Germany.
The reformed 13th Signal Regiment is headquartered in Blandford, Dorset and will consist of a core staff of 250 specialist service women and men who hold an array of high-end technical skills.
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.
“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.”