77th Brigade is a combined Regular Army and Army Reserve unit. The Reserve element draws specialists on a nationwide basis. This new Brigade aims to challenge the difficulties of modern warfare using non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as a means to adapt behaviors of the opposing forces and adversaries.
In September 2014 the Security Assistance Group was formed and assumed command of the Military Stabilisation and Support Group, the Media Operations Group, 15 Psychological Operations Group and the Security Capacity Building team. In July 2015, the 4 individual units were reshaped and formed the new 5 Columns of 77th Brigade:
- No.1 Column - Planning support focusing on the behavioural analysis of actors, audiences and adversaries
- No.2 Column - Provides the detail synchronisation and delivery of effect
- No.3 Column - Provides highly deployable specialists to other parts of the Armed Forces and other Government organisations
- No.4 Column - Provides professional specialists in Security Capacity Building in Defence
- No.5 Column - Media Operations and Civil Affairs
- No.6 Column - There is not a No.6 Column for historical reasons - the original 6th column was disbanded before the Chindits went into Burma.
- No.7 Column - The Engineer and Logistics Staff Corps - A powerful and influential specialist Army Reserve unit providing engineering, logistics and communication consultancy to both the MOD and across government agencies. No.7 Column was added in October 2015:
The 77th Brigade - keyboard commandos - was originally called the ‘Security Assistance Group’ or ‘SAG’. The 77 Brigade is a 1* formation created to enhance and integrate information activities and outreach capabilities in Defence. By merging the Military Stabilisation Support Group, Security Capacity Building Team, 15 Psychological Operations Group and the Army’s Media Operations Group into a single entity, it achieves synergy across these capability areas and provides the basis for transformative change in their employment and future development. As a key Defence partner with the Stabilisation Unit, 77 Brigade contributes to analysis and planning at all levels and cross-Whitehall. The Brigade contributes to contingent capability by supporting formation headquarters. This is primarily in the land environment but also applies to Joint Forces Command and the other Services where required.
The 77 Brigade partnership with the Stabilisation Unit places it on the interface with broader cross-government efforts to address the causes and consequences of instability. Through early engagement in planning and analysis, it helps to shape the conditions for an effective integrated and inter-agency approach, and ensures effective use of scarce resources. Underpinned by robust audience, actor and adversary analysis, the 77 Brigade contribution seeks to reinforce the centrality of influence with an imperative to focus activity and effects on achieving genuine and lasting behavioural change.
77 Brigade is an enabler of, and contributor to, persistent overseas engagement and capacity-building efforts to prevent or resolve crisis without the requirement for military intervention. This includes providing a range of civil-military cooperation and thematic experts able to integrate military support and, where required, augment civilian capacity. The Brigade provides security expertise and a focus for the military contribution to cross-government security capacity-building and support to military-led capacity building, including training. A light footprint means that individuals and specialist equipment can be deployed rapidly over long distances to achieve pre-emptive or early effect. 77 Brigade contributes to overseas engagement and capacity building in a variety of ways.
- Providing thematic experts to support the Permanent Joint Headquarters’ operational liaison and reconnaissance teams (OLRT)77 and missions led by the Stabilisation Unit or another government department.
- Providing civil-military cooperation experts to integrate military support to other government departments or non-government organisation-led missions, including for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
- Supports UK humanitarian assistance and disaster relief through liaison and planning and providing rapid needs assessments.
- Specialist support to military-led overseas engagement and capacity building.
- Specialist support to other force elements preparing for capacity-building tasks.
77 Brigade contributes to contingent capability across the spectrum of operations by augmenting core formation headquarters staff and providing specialist information activities and outreach capability where required. Wherever possible, habitual relationships developed during training will be maintained at readiness and on deployment. The persistent 77 Brigade presence helps integrate other government departments and other agencies from the outset of contingent activity and provides continuity from planning, through execution and into an enduring operation. 77 Brigade helps to deliver an integrated approach set in the context of a shared strategic narrative. Supported commanders will be better able to: manage the civil-military interface; ensure that representatives and staff from other government departments, non-governmental organisations and other civilian agencies are properly integrated; and integrate and synchronise military with civilian-led activity.
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