By Major Robert L. McPeek
We have all seen the winds of change blowing through
the world. The Berlin Wall has come down, new crisis areas have
emerged, and military forces not only need to be proficient in the
art of war for regional conflicts but also train for operations
other than war. The structure and mission of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) are no less affected by this changing
world and its corresponding impact on the nature of military
A major outcome of these changes has been the downsizing of NATO's
military forces. Downsizing coupled with political pressure may
lead NATO to createmore integrated multinational corps
and below formations. The Allied Corps Europe (ACE) Rapid Reaction
Corps (ARRC) and the Multinational Division Central (Airmobile) are
two examples of the integrated multinational NATO formations
currently in existence. As future military operations become more
of an international effort, it becomes imperative that U.S.
military personnel continue to learn more about how our NATO allies
operate in all aspects of combat arms, combat support, and combat
A Need to Know
Within the U.S. intelligence community, how many military
intelligence (MI) professionals really know how our NATO allies
plan and direct, collect, process, produce, and disseminate
intelligence? Would it not benefit the overall operation if we knew
the answers to those questions before we deployed on a real-world
NATO operation? Imagine how much better intelligence liaison would
be if the liaison officer came to a NATO headquarters with a good
working knowledge of not only how our MI assets work but also how
the supported allied headquarters' intelligence assets work. Having
this knowledge would allow us to assist in fully integrating all
NATO intelligence and electronic warfare (IEW) assets into the
maneuver commander's plan.
This article provides a brief synopsis of the organization and
capabilities of the British Army's electronic warfare (EW) unit,
the 14th Signal Regiment (EW). As the only organization of its kind
in the British Army, the 14th Signal Regiment has kept quite busy
supporting all levels of command from tactical to strategic. The
regiment has supported numerous NATO, United Nations, and British
national operations including those in Kuwait and
In July 1993, I became the S3 operations officer of the 14th Signal
Regiment, the British Army's only EW unit. Serving as the S3 of the
British Army's only EW regiment for two years was one of my most
rewarding and challenging assignments. This unique assignment gave
me the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of some of the
non-U.S. intelligence assets currently available to support a NATO
operation. Hopefully this article will generate interest in
learning more about other NATO EW units, because the time to learn
about one another is now, not when we are called upon to support
The 14th Signal Regiment (in U.S. terms a battalion) comprises four
squadrons (equivalent to U.S. companies) with an established
strength of 800 personnel. (See Figure 1.) As the regiment's name
indicates, this is a British Royal Corps of Signals unit. In the
British Army, the Royal Corps of Signals has the proponency for EW.
Virtually all EW officers and unit commanders in the regiment are
Royal Corps of Signals officers. The British Army's
Intelligence Corps representation within the regiment is
mainly in the enlisted ranks as EW analysts and linguists.
The regiment traces its origins to 1959 when it provided worldwide
communications support for the British Army. The regiment reformed
as the 14th Signal Regiment (EW) in 1977. Garrisoned in Celle,
Federal Republic of Germany, the regiment's mission for the next 15
years was to provide tactical EW support to the 1st British Corps,
British Army of the Rhine. With the formation of the ARRC in 1992,
the regiment's mission changed to tactical EW support to that NATO
headquarters. Restructuring in the British Army led to the 1993
relocation of the regiment's Headquarters, 245th, and
226th Signal Squadrons from Celle to Osnabruck, Federal Republic of
Germany. Its 237th Signal Squadron moved to the United Kingdom
(U.K.) in April 1993. In December 1995, the remainder of the 14th
Signal Regiment moved back to the U.K. and is now located at Royal
Air Force Brawdy, a former U.S. Navy and British Royal Air Force
base on the west coast of Wales.
The regiment is similar in some respects to a U.S. Army divisional
MI battalion. The similarities however cease when the regiment
deploys on an exercise or real- world operation. The regiment does
not deploy as a whole unit. The regiment deploys in tailored
subunit packages when it supports the ARRC or a British national
deployment. The regiment's two tactical EW squadrons deploy under
operational control of the supported divisions.
The 640th Troop, if called upon, could deploy under the same
command relationship to a supported brigade or the Multinational
Division Central (Airmobile). The 226th Signal Squadron is in
direct support to the ARRC. This concept of operations is similar
to U.S. Army doctrine in having the divisional MI battalion support
the maneuver brigades through designated direct support MI
companies and the division by a general support MI company.
Increase the level of support from brigades and divisions to
divisions and corps and you begin to see how the regiment provides
The Headquarters Squadron contains the regimental staff, the
Electronic Warfare Coordination Cell (EWCC), and logistics support.
The Headquarters Squadron is roughly equivalent to the
Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Company in a U.S.
divisional MI battalion. Normally, when a U.S. MI
battalion deploys, the battalion commander directs the
efforts of his unit from a battalion tactical operations center.
When the 14th Signal Regiment deploys, there is no regimental-level
command post or operations center. In an ARRC deployment, the
regimental commander deploys to the ARRC's EWCC.
Electronic Warfare Coordination Cell
The regimental EWCC operates out of two 4-ton trucks located
near the ARRC G2's All-Source Cell. It consists of an
intelligence section and an operations section. Along with the
regimental commanding officer, the operations section includes the
S3, the assistant S3, and the S2. The intelligence section
comprises the assistant S2, the operations warrant officer (an
Intelligence Corps warrant officer), and various Intelligence Corps
personnel. EWCC functions include-
The only EW assets the EWCC actually controls are from the
regiment's 226th Signal Squadron and a Danish EW company that are
put under command of the regiment upon an ARRC deployment.
Additional personnel functioning as liaison officers would come to
the EWCC from other EW units supporting the ARRC. These liaison
officers could be from U.S., Dutch, Danish, or German air,
maritime, or ground EW units. As you can see with all the possible
nationalities and military services present, the EWCC can provide
the capability to coordinate multinational, joint EW
operations in support of the ARRC.
- Coordinating the EW effort of assets allocated to the
- Developing and implementing electronic attack (EA)
operations when authorized by the corps G3.
- Disseminating the intelligence products from the 226th
226th Signal Squadron
The 226th Signal Squadron is the regiment's Depth EW Squadron.
The squadron's primary mission is to provide deep EW coverage of
the ARRC area of interest. It provides this support by-
The squadron's assets report their intercept and DF results to
command and control elements at the squadron's headquarters.
After first-line analysis, the squadron relays the information
back to regimental personnel at the EWCC at the ARRC headquarters.
Intelligence Corps personnel at the EWCC conduct further analysis
and pass the intelligence to the Corps G2.
- HF Intercept. The 226th Signal Squadron carries out high
frequency (HF) intercept from equipment mounted on a 4-ton truck.
This intercept station also acts as a cueing device for the
squadron's HF direction-finding (DF) system called Kingfisher.
- Kingfisher. The Kingfisher covers the standard NATO
military HF band and consists of three low profile stations mounted
in British Army land-rovers. These stations can operate
as part of a multi- station DF net or independently using their
single-station locating capability. Depending on terrain and
atmospherics, the Kingfisher can locate HF signals out to a
range of 3,000 kilometers. During Operation
DESERT STORM, the system located emitters out to a distance of
approximately 2,000 kilometers from its positions in
- Beady Eye. The Beady Eye system intercepts and locates
battlefield surveillance, artillery, early warning, and air defense
radars. The system consists of four sensors, each mounted on a
4-ton truck. The maximum range of the system is 300 kilometers;
however, the system is line-of-sight (LOS) dependent. Due to the
shorter range of the system, the Beady Eye sensor vehicles will
deploy to tactical sites to the rear of a division's main command
post. The system's four sensors normally spread across a baseline
of 80 kilometers.
237th and 245th Signal Squadrons
These two squadrons provide tactical EW support to Britain's two
remaining Active Component divisions (see Figure 2). The
237th Signal Squadron supports the U.K. 3d Division, and the
245th Signal Squadron supports the U.K. 1st Armored Division. An
important note to remember about these two squadrons is
that although they have a training affiliation with their
respective British divisions, they could be called upon to support
a non-British NATO division deployed as part of an ARRC operation.
The organization of the two squadrons is basically the same
with the main difference being the EW systems' prime
movers. The 245th Signal Squadron has the armored vehicle
variants while the 237th's EW equipment uses wheeled
vehicles. The squadrons support their division commanders
The 237th and 245th Squadron commanders command and control
their assets from their EWCCs at the supported division's main
headquarters. The squadron commanders are the principal sources of
EW support and advice for the division commander. The G2 tasks the
squadrons for EA. The regimental EWCC at ARRC
headquarters provides the squadrons with database and technical
- VAMPIRE. Located immediately behind the forward edge of
the battle area (FEBA) are 8 very-high frequency (VHF)
Army Mobile Position Indicating Interferometer Radio Equip-
ment (VAMPIRE) intercept and DF systems. The squadron
will deploy these assets across the entire divisional
frontage. The VAMPIREs have a working range of 50 kilometers,
- Intercept Complex. An intercept complex, one of two in
each squadron, controls four VAMPIRE systems. The intercept
complex, comprising five to six vehicles each, locates
approximately 5 kilometers behind the FEBA. These complexes are
also responsible for collecting hostile communications out to a
range of 70 kilometers. The complex analyzes and processes raw
information and then passes it to the divisional EWCC.
- Vixen. The Vixen is a new EW system that will automate
a majority of the squadrons' current manual intercept and DF
functions. Beginning in 1995, the Vixen system will replace all the
intercept and DF equipment in the 245th and 237th Signal Squadrons
(the VAMPIREs and intercept complexes). The fielding and testing of
the Vixen equipment will occur over a two-year period. The system
will be a quantum leap in tactical EW support capability of the
regiment. The fielding of Vixen will force the regiment to totally
rewrite its concept of operations for how it supports the ARRC and
British national operations.
- Bromure Jammer. Each squadron also has
four French-made VHF Bromure jammers mounted on 4-ton
trucks. These jammers can radiate up to 1 kilowatt of
power and attack up to four frequencies simultaneously. They
can jam targets in different modes including tones, music, and
sound-blocking white noise. Their effective range is up to
40 kilometers, but they are LOS dependent. The
VHF Bromures normally operate in pairs and employ a jam and scram
method of operation. This allows for a pair of jammers to always be
available for a jamming task.
The 640th Troop is a completely airtransportable, airmobile
regimental subunit located with the 237th Signal Squadron. The
troop has the capability to intercept; locate; and jam high,
very-high, and ultrahigh frequency communications and
noncommunications (radar) emitters. The British Ministry of Defense
has earmarked this unit to support the Multinational Division
Center (Airmobile). The troop also forms the core rapid response EW
capability for British national deployments.
Light Electronic Warfare Teams
The regiment has also begun to field small four-soldier Light
Electronic Warfare Teams (LEWTs) with the 245th Signal Squadron.
Each LEWT has small handheld receivers and hand-emplaced,
unattended jammers. The hand- emplaced jammers have a power output
of 10 watts and can jam three frequencies simultaneously. The teams
support airborne, airmobile, or special forces units. They
accompany the forward elements of a rapid reaction force and
provide dedicated EW support to the force commander in the very
early stages of an operation. The regiment hoped to have a troop of
16 airborne and commando-trained personnel and all of their
equipment fully operational by late 1995. The squadron had great
success employing these jammers during its three deployments to the
Combat Maneuver Training Center at Hohenfels, Germany. Future
exercises have the LEWT deploying to France and Italy to
support British airborne forces in NATO multinational
The 14th Signal Regiment is a leader in developing training
and exercising opportunities with other NATO EW units.
It has established and maintained relations with the U.S. 103d
MI Battalion, the Royal Netherlands Army's 102d EW Company, the
Royal Danish Army's EW Company LANDZEALAND, and the
German Army's 320thFernmelderegiment. U.S. MI
personnel can learn much from their experiences. We can reap great
dividends by continuing and expanding multinational training
opportunities with the NATO EW units like the 14th Signal Regiment.
Knowledge is a very powerful tool when used correctly. As future
military operations take on more of a multinational structure, it
becomes imperative that we know more about the doctrine, tactics,
and systems of our NATO Allies. Now is the time to learn
and exchange vital information as it will be too late once
we deploy in NATO or coalition operations.
Major McPeek is a deputy team chief at the U.S.
Transportation Command's Joint Intelligence Center at Scott Air
Force Base, Illinois. Major McPeek has served as a battalion S2 and
G2 staff officer in the 3d and 24th Infantry Divisions. Prior to
his assignment with the 14th Signal Regiment, he served in the
748th MI Battalion as S3 and executive officer. Readers can reach
Major McPeek at (618) 256-6723, DSN 576-6723, or via his E-mail at