Electronic Warfare
British Style

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 operations.

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 service support.

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 Bosnia-Herzegovina.
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 one another.

The Regiment

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 EW support.

Regimental Headquarters

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.

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.

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 with-
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 support.

640th Troop

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 exercises.

The Future

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 [email protected]