The first dedicated cyber regiment in the British Army has been launched as part of a modernisation of the armed forces to combat new digital dangers.
The 13th Signal Regiment will be responsible for providing defence networks at home and on operations overseas, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
It will be responsible for creating “digital armour” around armed forces personnel, allowing commanders and their soldiers to operate with confidence in the security of their communications.
Today, we are marking the formation of @BritishArmy's first cyber regiment.— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) June 4, 2020
The 13th Signals will protect vital defence networks for our personnel on exercise and operations, at home and overseas.
Read more here: https://t.co/S3mbynz8JG @R_Signals #TheVitalLink pic.twitter.com/MSBZsWHjX0
The specialist unit will have its headquarters in Blandford, Dorset having been officially stood up on June 1.
The MoD said the introduction of the regiment comes as a new front line opens up in cyberspace alongside the traditional areas of land, sea and air.
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.”
The 13th Signal Regiment previously existed during the Second World War as 1st Special Wireless Group, helping to pioneer the use of wireless technology and high-frequency radios.
It was renamed 13th (Radio) Signal Regiment in 1959 and had operators stationed in Berlin throughout the Cold War, before being disbanded in 1994 when its role there was no longer required.
Brigadier John Collyer, Commander 1st (UK) Signal Brigade said: “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.
“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.”