The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formally stood up a new dedicated Cyber Regiment to secure and safeguard the nation’s critical defence networks.

Named 13th Signal Regiment, the unit was launched at a ceremony at Blandford, Dorset, UK.

It will be established by combining a number of the current cyber functions from the British Army.

The regiment will be based in several locations around a headquarters in Blandford, UK. It will provide a digital armour to personnel at home and those on operations overseas and working in challenging conditions.

The 13th Signal Regiment will have nearly 250 servicemen and women with specialist technical skills. It will include a number of Cyber Protection Teams and technical staff.

As part of the initial openings for the unit, personnel from 15 different cap badges, including specialist Royal Navy and RAF personnel, are planned to be taken in by the unit.

UK 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 new regiment will operate within the British Army’s 1st UK Signal Brigade, under the command of 6th Division.

It will work with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to provide secure the entire military communications networks.

According to the UK MoD, the new unit will form the basis of the new Army Cyber Information Security Operations Centre.

UK 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.”