A new cyber unit, the 13th Signal Regiment, has been formally stood up by the UK Ministry of Defence to protect ‘the new cyber frontline’.
The regiment consists of 250 specialists, brought together from across a number of existing UK Armed Forces cyber functions, and will form the basis of the new Army Cyber Information Security Operations Centre. In addition to providing secure networks for military communications, it will also offer specialist technical support for a hub which will test and implement ‘next generation information capabilities’.
“This is a step-change in the modernisation of the UK Armed Forces for information warfare,” said Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. “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.”
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 harmBen Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom
Though the cyber regiment itself is new, it takes the name of a previously existing regiment which was founded in 1934 and played a similar role providing secure communications until it was disbanded in 1994 in response to the Options for Change reforms which followed the end of the Cold War. It helped establish the use of wireless technology and high-frequency wireless radios, and was deployed to both France and the Middle East during WW2, as well as operating in Germany during the Cold War.
“The reformation 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, Commander of the 1st (UK) Signal Brigade, under which the 13th Signal Regiment will operate.
“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.”