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11th Air Formation Signals
11th Signal Regiment
22nd Signal Regiment
22 Signal Regiment Shield Badge.png
Active 1943—1992
2007—Present
Country  United Kingdom
Branch

 British Army

Role Rapid Deployment Signals and Communications Support
Size Regiment
Part of

Allied Rapid Reaction Corps

Nickname(s) 22 Signal Regiment
Engagements

World War II

Berlin Airlift
Falklands War
Operation Granby

The 22nd Signal Regiment known as 22 Signal Regiment is a military communications signal regiment of the Royal Corps of Signals within the British Army. The regiment was formed in the middle of World War II supporting allied air formations, the regiment kept this role until 1962 when it gave it's control over to the 21st (Air Formation) Signal Regiment. The regiment continued providing communications support until 1992 when it was disbanded. The regiment was reformed in 2007 following the Delivering Security in a Changing World reforms in 2003. The regiment today provides communications support for the ARRC and the Joint Headquarters within the 1st (United Kingdom) Signal Brigade.

History[edit | edit source]

World War II Period[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

During the latter stages of World War II, new air formation signals units were being formed to provide communications to the allied air forces based in the continent. After formation these new communications groups were assigned to the following groups; 2nd Tactical Air Force, No. 38 Group RAF, No. 85 Group RAF, and the RAF Regiment Group. The communications groups first saw service in 1943 as the Invasion of Normandy started.[1][2][3][4]

World War II[edit | edit source]

In 1943 the 11th Air Formation Signals were formed, and by March the regiment was fully organised and manned. After this, the regiment was assigned to the No. 83 (Fighter) Group RAF of the 2nd Tactical Air Force. During this time, the regiment didn't see any front-line service, but did provide service communications for the air force and communications of the bases and groups assigned to the force. The regiment saw service from 1944 to 1945 during the final push to Germany and based in Celle by the time the war ended.[2][3][5][6]

During this time, the regimental structure was very complex compared to other types of signals regiments. Air Formation signals regiments were not "regularly" manned, meaning there had different structure depending upon their assignment. Usually one signal regiment was assigned per headquarters. By 1943, the signal regiments were re-organised so they all had a standardised structure. This reform was the result of the first signals committee headed by Lieutenant General Sir Alfred Reade Godwin-Austen.[3][7] As a result, the regiment was reorganised into a standard structure;[3][7]

  • Regimental Headquarters
  • Headquarters Signals Section
  • 2 Line Troops
  • 2 Construction Troops
  • 2 Terminal Equipment Troops
  • 3 Telegraph Operating Troops
  • 2 Despatch Rider Troops
  • 1 Technical Maintenance Troop
  • 5 Wing Troops (assigned to each air wing)

Following the end of the war, the unit absorbed all other air formation signals based in Germany they absorbed the former 12th and 15th Air Formation Signals therefore were completely based in Celle. The regiment also had squadrons based in Hamburg and Sundern. In 1947 the unit was renamed in accordance with the re-titling of the Royal Corps of Signals to become the 11th Air Formation Signals Regiment.[3][8]

Cold War[edit | edit source]

Berlin Blockade, image showing the main airlines

In 1948, a major event shocked the western world when the Soviet Army and Internal Forces cut off all types of movement to West Berlin. As a result, NATO launched a major air-lift support operation to provide West Berlin with basic needs. This operation became known as the Berlin Airlift. During this time, the regiment saw a lot of service supporting the RAF support planes going to Berlin from the bases in Celle and Northern Germany. One of the major roles of the regiment was to provide the communications for the telephone support for the RAF during this time. The regiment provided communications for the main line from Celle to West Berlin.[1][3][9][10]

In 1950, the RAF started taking over communications from the Army and the regiment lost their role of communications support to the RAF. By this time, the regiment started to focus on line and equipment maintenance. After this change of role, the regiment moved to Sotrnoway Barracks in Lemgo. The next year, the moved under the command of the 2nd Tactical Air Force.[1][3]

Following the end of the Berlin Airlift, a lot of experience was gained from the RAF about communications needs. This brought the need of more communications support units, so 3 Squadron from the regiment detached to form the basis of the 12th Air Formation Signal Regiment later being named 21st Signal Regiment.[1][3][8] Following 3 Squadron's movement, the regiment was reorganised into the following;[3]

  • Regimental Headquarters
  • 1 Squadron (Switchboard and Cabeling)
  • 2 Squadron (Supervising Wing Troops at RAF fields)

In 1954, another air formation signals regiment was formed, 10th Air Formation Signal Regiment which joined the 11th and 12th in Germany. The 10th regiment was formed from the Trieste Signals which had recently moved from Italy. Following the 10th regiment's move to Germany, the regiment's role changed to support all RAF based in Germany, not just the ones in North-Eastern West Germany. In 1959, following the 1957 Defence White Paper, the 11th regiment was renamed, becoming 22nd Signal Regiment (Air Support).[3]

By 1962, the regiment was re-titled again becoming the 22nd Signal Regiment, losing their air support role and adopting the Corps support role. This change came as a result of the disbandment of 10th Signal Regiment. Following this role change, the regiment moved to Churchill Barracks in Lippstadt. After their move, the regiment supporting the 1st British Corps's rear support units. By this time, the regiment was reorganised into the following;[11]

  • Regimental Headquarters
  • Headquarters Squadron
    • Technical Maintenance Troop
    • Motor Transportation Troop
    • REME Light Aid Detachment
  • 1 Squadron (Trunk Cable Systems from the Rear to Main HQ), the squadron also used the C41/R222 Radio Relay System.
    • A Troop (Corps Artillery Network)
    • B Troop (Command and Flanks)
    • K Troop (Corps Administrative Network)
  • 2 Squadron (High Frequency Radios), also supporting the Covering Force
  • 218 Signal Squadron
  • 244 Signal Squadron

Until 1967, the regiment along with the 7th Corps Signal Regiment were providing the "main line" communications for the 1st British Corps. As a result of the 1966 Defence White Paper, it was first announced that a new corps signals regiment was to be formed. This idea was eventually dropped because of the possible overspending following the reforms.[3][11]

In 1992, following the fall of the Soviet Union and subsequent end of the Cold War, the British Army of the Rhine was disbanded with the 1st British Corps being disbanding also. The 2nd and 4th divisions were disbanded leaving just the 1st Division in Germany, and the 3rd Division in England. Because both the corps and army were disbanded, so was the regiment. Before these major reforms, the regiment provided manpower and support during both the Falklands War and the Gulf War. On 19 September 1992, the regiment was disbanded with their tasks being given to the 7th Signal Regiment.[3][11]

Modern-day[edit | edit source]

In 2007, following the Delivering Security in a Changing World reforms in 2003, it was announced the 22nd Signal Regiment was to be re-formed. The regiment was officially organised and formed by April 2007 at Beacon Barracks in Stafford, Staffordshire.[3][8] At this time, the regiment had the following structure;[3][8][12]

  • Regimental Headquarters[12]
    • Regimental Operations Group
  • 217 Signal Squadron (A, B, C Troops)
  • 222 Signal Squaron (G, H, I Troops)
  • 248 Signal Squadron (L, N, O Troops)
  • Support Squadron[12]
    • Squadron Headquarters
    • Regimental Motor Transport Platoon
    • Engineer Support Troop
    • Quartermasters Department
    • REME Light Aid Detachmnet
    • Training Wing

After being formed, the regiment provided General Support Information Communications Systems to the Land component of the ARRC, the 3rd (UK) Division, and the JHQ. The regiment also provided support for crisis and deployment support. Following the Army 2020 reforms, and later refine, the regiment was assigned to the 1st (United Kingdom) Signal Brigade with their same role. The regiment as a result gained 252 (Hong Kong) Signal Squadron in Innsworth at Imjin Barracks. The regiment currently operates the following equipment; TacCIS (Bowman), FAS (Functional Application Services), Falcon (Operation CIS), DII, Reacherdisambiguation needed, and the Multi-Mode Radio (MMR).[3][13][14]

Links[edit | edit source]

Because the regiment spent their entire history in Germany, the regiment gain a few links with other units in the area including;[11]

  • 11 August 1972,  Germany, 7 Fernmeldebataillon (7th Communications Battalion)
  •  France, 62éme Bataillon des Troupes de Transmissions (BE) (62nd Transmissions Battalion), Lussen-Schiede

The regiment also gained the Freedom of Lippstadt on 27 October 1973.[11]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Lord and Watson Page 69
  2. 2.0 2.1 "11th Air Formation Signals". http://afsa-assu.webeden.co.uk/11-afs/4533441916. Retrieved 20 October 2019. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 "Royal Signals Interactive Map". https://www.army.mod.uk/umbraco/Surface/Download/Get/11310. Retrieved 20 October 2019. 
  4. Niehorster, Dr Leo. "Normandy, Allied Forces, Operation Nepturne, 06.06.1944". http://niehorster.org/500_eto/44-06-06_allies.htm. 
  5. Lord and Watson Page 252
  6. Lord and Watson Page 261
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lord and Watson Page 264 and 265
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 British Army units from 1945
  9. "Berlin Airlift". History.com Editors. 9 March 2011. https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/berlin-airlift. Retrieved 20 October 2019. 
  10. "British Army Veterans Commemorate Berlin Blockade Anniversary". Global Defence Technology: Issue 100. 1 June 2019. https://defence.nridigital.com/global_defence_technology_jun19/british_army_veterans_commemorate_berlin_blockade_anniversary. Retrieved 20 October 2019. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Lord and Watson Page 70
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "22 Signal Regiment Organisation: Unit Organisation". Archived on 12 September 2008. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=. https://web.archive.org/web/20080912130530/http://www2.army.mod.uk/royalsignals/22sigregt/organisation.htm. 
  13. "Army 2020 Order of Battle [Updated 2019"]. 2019. https://britisharmedforcesreview.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/army-2020-refine-orbat-6.pdf. Retrieved 2 September 2019. 
  14. "22 Signal Regiment". https://web.archive.org/web/20080907123839/http://www2.army.mod.uk/royalsignals/22sigregt/index.htm. Retrieved 2 September 2019. 

Sources[edit | edit source]

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