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        30 Commando IX Group

        30 Commando IX Group

        30 Commando Information Exploitation Group was, until March 2010, known as United Kingdom Landing Force Command Support Group (UKLF CSG), which itself grew out of 3 Commando Brigade's Headquarters and Signals Squadron. The Unit’s role, however, extends back further to Royal Marines units tasked with signals, reconnaissance and intelligence operations during the Second World War.

        Royal Marines seize huge bomb haul

        It achieved major unit status in 2000, and is now a multifunctional "information regiment" of some 465 personnel, though during operations this figure increases significantly as additional units are taken under command.

        The unit is designed to achieve information superiority within assigned battlespace by all available means, and contribute to component and joint information activity in order to enable 3 Commando Brigade operations.

        Much of its capability lies in its four organic squadrons:

        • Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron (SR Sqn) personnel comprise the bulk of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. This highly trained unit is made up of reconnaissance specialists tasked with operating ahead of the main brigade force.
        • Y Squadron comprises electronic warfare specialists, able to gain intelligence on the enemy and increase situational awareness by intercepting enemy communications systems.
        • Communications Squadron operates and maintains the wide variety of communications systems and media available to the Commander, and provides personnel to set up and run the Brigade Headquarters when deployed.
        • Logistics Squadron role is to MOVE, SUSTAIN and PROTECT the Brigade and 30 Commando Headquarters. 

        Organic sub units provide specialist functions, such as air defence for the Brigade Headquarters, and the unit also tasks and coordinates non-organic assets, such as aerial reconnaissance platforms, to achieve its effect.

        30 Commando fuses and links Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) to provide broad understanding of an operational environment and the enemy.  This is combined with Information Operations, including Electronic Warfare and Psychological Operations to achieve effect on the minds of target audiences.  In addition, the Unit maintains it’s traditional enabling role; providing communications, IT and Life Support to the Brigade HQ.

        Winning the information battle and achieving information superiority requires the prosecution of three key effects with greater tempo and accuracy than the adversary:

        • Obtain information (FIND).
        • Derive intelligence from it (UNDERSTAND).
        • Life support, protection of communications and information systems and IT (ENABLE).

        30 Commando ensures that the Brigade Commander has superior situational awareness, allowing him to make quicker, more accurate decisions and to target his adversary's key capabilities. In order to carry out its role in sustaining and protecting Brigade Headquarters, it has forces transferred to it from other parts of the Brigade. This process of tasking, fusing and coordinating a number of diverse capabilities to achieve a single aim is central to the way it does its business and is carried out in the Commando Headquarters, which is composed of a number of functional cells dealing with specialist capabilities, conjoined to Brigade Headquarters.

        The Unit has developed through successive operational trial and validation. Operations in Iraq and repeatedly in Afghanistan have driven this evolution. It has become a model which Joint and Army Headquarters have successfully emulated. The evolution, of course, continues.

        COMMANDING OFFICER

        Chris Middleton

        RANK:
        Lieutenant Colonel RM
        JOINED:
        1996
        SPECIALISATION:
        Landing Craft
        PREVIOUS UNITS:
        40 Cdo, 45 Cdo, 3 Cdo Bde
        Military experience

        Chris Middleton was born in Ashby De La Zouch, Leicestershire and educated at Ashby De La Zouch Grammar School and Bangor University. He joined the Royal Marines in 1996.

        His early service as a Troop Commander in 45 Commando Royal Marines, which focused around the JRRF commitment, included deployments to Norway and the Mediterranean.

        Following specialisation as a Landing Craft Officer in 1998, an 18 month appointment to the Senior Naval Officer Northern Ireland (SNONI) ensued as OC Operation Lifespan and OCRM.

        A subsequent role as the Training Officer at 10 (LC) Training Squadron, responsible for delivery of Landing Craft specialists from Marine to Officer level, completed in 2002.

        Having graduated from Army Junior Division later in the same year he returned to the amphibious environment as SO3 N2/N3 AW to COMATG; deploying on Operation Telic with the staff in early 2003. In the following 28 months, training and advisory deployments across the globe invariably arose, including Malaysia, Oman, USA and Norway as member of either a UK or Netherlands Task Group.

        In 2004, as a Major, he returned to Commando Unit life as the Operations Officer in 40 Commando Royal Marines, which included an amphibious deployment to Senegal and a brief return to the arctic. Shortly thereafter, he attended ACSC in 2006-7.

        Sub-unit command in FPGRM from 2007 to 2009 included focus on nuclear security as OC R Squadron initially, followed by a year as OC S Squadron delivering Fleet boarding and protection tasks. During this time S Squadron developed and operationally fielded the Level 3 ‘Enhanced’ Boarding capability to counter the rise in piracy off Somalia, for which he was made an MBE.

        He returned to 3 Commando Brigade as SO2 G3 Operations at the end of the year and oversaw the brief transition from Op Herrick 9 to contingency, including generation of 42 Commando as the SSCBG and 1 Rifles and the SLE, as well as undertaking amphibious deployments to Norway and Norfolk Virginia.

        On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in 2010 he briefly returned to counter-piracy operations as ACOS CJ5 within the EUNAVFOR Op Atalanta staff, before moving to MOD to undertake a role as SO1 Amphibious Joint Warfare in Navy RP.

        He assumed command of 30 Commando (IX) Group Royal Marines in September 2012.

        Chris currently lives in Plymouth with his wife, Catriona, and young son, Angus. Long term interests in mountain biking and sea kayaking have been temporarily demoted in favour of baby related logistics and entertainment activities.


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        It achieved major unit status in 2000, and is now a multifunctional "information regiment" of some 465 personnel, though during operations this figure increases significantly as additional units are taken under command.

        The unit is designed to achieve information superiority within assigned battlespace by all available means, and contribute to component and joint information activity in order to enable 3 Commando Brigade operations.

        Much of its capability lies in its four organic squadrons:

        • Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron (SR Sqn) personnel comprise the bulk of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. This highly trained unit is made up of reconnaissance specialists tasked with operating ahead of the main brigade force.
        • Y Squadron comprises electronic warfare specialists, able to gain intelligence on the enemy and increase situational awareness by intercepting enemy communications systems.
        • Communications Squadron operates and maintains the wide variety of communications systems and media available to the Commander, and provides personnel to set up and run the Brigade Headquarters when deployed.
        • Logistics Squadron role is to MOVE, SUSTAIN and PROTECT the Brigade and 30 Commando Headquarters. 

        Organic sub units provide specialist functions, such as air defence for the Brigade Headquarters, and the unit also tasks and coordinates non-organic assets, such as aerial reconnaissance platforms, to achieve its effect.

        30 Commando fuses and links Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) to provide broad understanding of an operational environment and the enemy.  This is combined with Information Operations, including Electronic Warfare and Psychological Operations to achieve effect on the minds of target audiences.  In addition, the Unit maintains it’s traditional enabling role; providing communications, IT and Life Support to the Brigade HQ.

        Winning the information battle and achieving information superiority requires the prosecution of three key effects with greater tempo and accuracy than the adversary:

        • Obtain information (FIND).
        • Derive intelligence from it (UNDERSTAND).
        • Life support, protection of communications and information systems and IT (ENABLE).

        30 Commando ensures that the Brigade Commander has superior situational awareness, allowing him to make quicker, more accurate decisions and to target his adversary's key capabilities. In order to carry out its role in sustaining and protecting Brigade Headquarters, it has forces transferred to it from other parts of the Brigade. This process of tasking, fusing and coordinating a number of diverse capabilities to achieve a single aim is central to the way it does its business and is carried out in the Commando Headquarters, which is composed of a number of functional cells dealing with specialist capabilities, conjoined to Brigade Headquarters.

        The Unit has developed through successive operational trial and validation. Operations in Iraq and repeatedly in Afghanistan have driven this evolution. It has become a model which Joint and Army Headquarters have successfully emulated. The evolution, of course, continues.