The British Army is to form a hybrid warfare division known as Division 6 to focus on intelligence, surveillance, cyber-warfare and digital propaganda was created as part of a wider rebalancing of the British Army.
Head of the Field Army Lieutenant-General Ivan Jones announced the new division, saying: “The character of warfare continues to change as the boundaries between conventional and unconventional warfare become increasingly blurred.”
Division 6 will receive no new funding or staff. Instead, it will be staffed with personnel from the 1st Signal Brigade, 11th Signal Brigade, 1st Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade, 77th Brigade and the Specialist Infantry Group.
It will be the UK Army’s first designated information warfare grouping and will help the army keep pace with an ever-diversifying range of threats.
Jones added: “6th Division focuses on cyber, electronic warfare, intelligence, information operations and unconventional warfare through niche capabilities such as the specialised infantry battalions.”
Information warfare has been of increasing concern to the world’s militaries, not least due to an increase in attempted cyberattacks from Russia. Division 6 will be the UK’s newest line of defence against these kinds of threats.
Jones said: “We need to develop our asymmetric edge and bring focus to the orchestration of intelligence, information operations, cyber, electronic warfare and unconventional warfare.”
The formation of Division 6 is part of a wider rebalancing activity which the army says will allow it to “to meet the challenges of constant competition and maintain its high-end war-fighting capability.”To support this, the reformed 1st Division will pull troops from the 4th (Infantry) Brigade, 7th (Infantry) Brigade, 11th (Infantry) Brigade, 51st (Infantry) Brigade, 8th Engineer Brigade, 102nd Logistic Brigade, 104th Logistic Brigade, and 2nd Medical Brigade.
Jones said: “1st Division provides specialist soldiers and equipment to develop other nations’ armies, deal with disaster and humanitarian crises worldwide and enable our war-fighting division.”
The 3rd Division will maintain its status as the army’s main armoured formation made up of troops from the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade, 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade, 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade, 1st Artillery Brigade, 101st Logistic Brigade, 25th Engineer Group, and 7th Air Defence Group.
In a video announcing the formation of Division 6, the army says it will help address the ‘grey zone’ of actions by state and non-state adversaries which do not fit into the normal designations of combat.
Jones added: “The field army must be equally comfortable operating both above and below the threshold of conflict.”
The 6th Division will be based in Upavon, Wiltshire, and have a force of around 14,500 personnel.