14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare)

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The 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare) is a part of the British Army's Royal Corps of Signals. The Regiment's website states "14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare) is to provide a robust and sustainable Electronic Warfare (EW) capability in support of deployed Land Commanders, in order to enable operations in electronic battlespace".[1] It is the only British Army Regiment capable of conducting sustainable electronic warfare in support of national operations world-wide.[2]

14th Signals is currently based at Cawdor Barracks, on the site of the former RAF Brawdy, near Haverfordwest, in south Wales. Under plans announced in early 2013, Cawdor Barracks will be closed in 2018 and 14 Signals will relocate to MOD St Athan, near Cardiff. The site will then be sold for development. The reasons cited for the closure are cost savings and the operational benefits from being based with other Army units.[3]

History[edit]

14th Signal Regiment was originally formed in 1959 in England to provide world-wide communications on behalf of the British Army, superseding the United Kingdom Commonwealth Communications Army Network Signal Regiment, but was subsequently disbanded. It reformed as 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare) at Tofrek Barracks, Hildesheim on 1 July 1977 with a headquarters and three squadrons to provide electronic warfare support to the Commander of 1st British Corps. In April 1978, the Regimental headquarters was resited to Ironside Barracks, in Scheuen, north of Celle. Despite physical difficulties, such as lack of equipment, dilapidated barracks and the Regiment's personnel dispersed throughout the Corps front, the Regiment made an important contribution to 1st Corps. Its first Commanding Officer was Lt Col. (later Major General OBE) I.O.J Sprackling.[2][4]

14 Signal Regiment were stationed at Norton Barracks, Worcester until amalgamating with 30 Signal Regiment in Blandford Forum, Dorset in 1976. They operated D11, E21, & TSC 502[clarification needed] and posted personnel worldwide, on various assignments.

New barracks were occupied in 1985. These were Taunton Barracks, Celle; a 19th-century neo-Gothic complex which is now Celle Town Hall, previously used by 94 Locating Regiment RA.[4]

In 1992, 14 Signal's mission was changed to provide electronic warfare support to NATO and to the British elements under its command, this as a result of the formation of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. Changes in the organisation of the British Army caused the Regiment to move its Headquarters and two of its three field squadrons (226 and 245 Signal Squadrons) to Osnabruck, in April 1993. The third field squadron, 237 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare) moved to Hullavington, England at the same time. In December 1995, the German based elements moved again, to Cawdor Barracks near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and 237 Signal Squadron joined them six months later after a tour in Bosnia.[2][5]

224 Signal Squadron was formed on 21 June 2004 as a joint services unit, comprising 90 Army and RAF personnel. Most of these are equally from the Royal Signals, Intelligence Corps and the RAF, with small numbers of key personnel from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Logistics Corps and the Adjutant General's Corps. The Squadron is based at RAF Digby in Lincolnshire.[6]

Deployment[edit]

14 Signals joined military operations in the Falklands and the Persian Gulf (Operation Desert Storm). They supported NATO and United Nations peacekeeping operations in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia and Kosovo. They assisted the British rapid deployment to Kuwait and Sierra Leone.[2] In general, 14 Signals units are assigned to deployed operational units to provide local electronic warfare support by surveilling enemy targets and jamming enemy communications.[5]

Recent casualties[edit]

In its role in Afghanistan, the Regiment has suffered casualties. Cpl (promoted to Sgt posthumously) Peter Thorpe[7] and LCpl Jabron Hashmi[8] were killed by a suspected 107mm rocket after it hit the platoon house in Sangin on 1 July 2006. Both were part of 226 Signal Squadron supporting 3rd Bttn. Pete Thorpe was a member of the airborne LEWT troop. LCpl Hashmi was a Pashtu Linguist from the Intelligence Corps.

Lance Corporal Jonathan Hetherington (aged 22) was shot during an assault on his platoon house in Musa Qala, in Helmand, on 27 August 2006.[9]

Sergeant Barry Keen was killed by a mortar attack on 27 July 2007 in Mirmandab, northeast of Gereshk. Keen was serving as a communications specialist with 245 Signal Squadron, attached to Battle Group (South), which was deployed on Operation Chakush. The goal of the operation was to defeat the Taliban in the Upper Gereshk Valley, which is located in the Helmand province.[10]

Lance Corporal James Brynin [11] was killed by enemy fire while on patrol in Helmand Province on 15 October 2013.[12] Brynin was a member of the Intelligence Corps, on attachment to 14th Signals as an analyst.[13]

Honours[edit]

The Regiment has the Freedom of Entry into Gloucester and the Freedom of Celle. In 1997 it was honoured with the Freedom of St Davids.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare)". British Army (preserved by the National Archives). 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Regimental History". 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cawdor Barracks "not fit for purpose" and WILL close after 2018". Western Telegraph. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "14 Signal Regiment (EW)". Birgelen Veterans Association. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  5. ^ a b McPeek, Major (US Army), Robert L. (January–March 1996). "Electronic Warfare, British Style". Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "224 Signal Squadron". Royal Air Force. 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Peter Thorpe". Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "LCpl Jabron Hashmi". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "UK military deaths in Afghanistan". BBC. 28 July 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sergeant Barry Keen of 14 Signal Regiment killed in Afghanistan". Ministry of Defence. 28 July 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  11. ^ "Killed British soldier named as L/Cpl James Brynin". BBC News. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "UK soldier killed on patrol in Afghanistan". BBC News. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "James Brynin named as latest British soldier killed in Afghanistan". BBC News. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 

External links[edit]