The Operational record of one of the most glorious units of Intelligence of the Armed Forces of Ukraine began in August 19, 1932 when the 6th separate special signal intelligence company was formed on the basis of the separate radiotelegraph platoon of the 2nd signal battalion at the order of the Commander of the Caucasian Army decorated at the order of the Red Banner of Transcaucasian military command in Tbilisi.
In 1935 the 6th signal company was reformed in the 6th separate signal division, and in 1939 at the order of People’s Commissar of Defence of USSR the division was renamed in the 430th signal division of the Western military district.
In the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-1940 the division received the baptism of fire, during which two officers of the division were awarded the Order of the Red Star for the successful fulfillment of the tasks of the command.
In 1940 the 430th signal division was renamed in the 442nd separate special forces signal division.
When the Great Patriotic War started the division was a part of the Transcaucasian Front. In November 1941 intelligence officers of the division participated in the Crimean operation, during which there was determined the location of bases of the enemy aviation at the airfields of Crimea and the south of Ukraine. Intelligence officers followed the moving of the enemy aviation and determined the location of Army headquarters of fascists’ troops. In January 1942 as part of the Crimean operations the division along with the assault units was landed in the district of Kerch.
From May to November 1942 the division intelligence officers of the North Caucasian and Transcaucasian fronts took part in the Caucasian defensive operation.
It should be noted that in the first years of war due to the lack of reliable information about the principles and peculiarities of signal communications in the Army and Air Force of the Armed Forces of Germany, execution of many intelligence tasks was complicated by the absence of the relevant experience. In that tough combat situation during the constant retreat of the Red Army, the major source of information obtaining about the enemy was the interception of public radio communication of fascist troops.
From November 1942 to March 1943 the personnel of the 442nd separate signal division participated in offensive operation of Transcaucasian front on Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don liberation.
In April 1943 intelligence officers of the division as part of the Voronezh Front took part in the Kursk Salient defensive operation.
It is well known that one of the key battles of World War II was the Kursk Battle that was a complicated test for Soviet infantry, armored forces and aviation. But at the same time it became a symbolic for the units of signal intelligence of the Red Army.
So, a few months before the Kursk Battle fascist ground forces almost completely stopped the signal communication and switched over to the wire communication in order to camouflage operationally. At the same time the Germans continued to use airplanes’ onboard radio station and radio network anti-aircraft artillery. Under these conditions the conduct of ground forces radio reconnaissance became extremely difficult.
At that time the fascists intensified air reconnaissance considerably. German reconnaissance aircrafts were over the positions of Soviet troops for a long time and their crews reported on the reconnaissance results to their command posts.
Intercepting, systematizing and analyzing Nazi air radio communications, especially the open negotiations, Soviet signal intelligence officers exposed the regularities of German aviation intelligence organization and conduct, and intelligence features in it. This methodology enabled the Soviet command to estimate and predict the location and likely nature of Nazis ground groups actions. In particular, before the Kursk Battle it became possible to discover the direction of concentration of the enemy main efforts.
The results of that operation are considered as one of the greatest achievements of the Red Army signal intelligence during World War II.
In August 1943 the 442nd signal division was exploring the personnel, state and the character of actions of enemy troops during the Kharkiv-Belhorod offensive operation as part of Stepovyi Front.
During September-October 1943 the division participated in the crossing of the Dnieper by the Soviet troops and Kirovohrad offensive operation, during which signal intelligence officers exposed the arrival and troops regrouping of enemy reserves timely.
The 442nd separate special signal division took an active part in the liberation of Ukraine from fascist invaders. In January 1944 the division intelligence officers participated in Korsun-Shevchenko operation, in March 1944 – in Uman operation, in July 1944 – in Yasko-Kyshyniv operation.
During September 1944 – February 1945 division participated in the liberation of Romania and Hungary, in March – April 1945 – the liberation of Vienna. It was difficult enough to deal with the liberation of the capital of Hungary – Budapest. At that time a powerful group of fascists troops was encircled. In January 1945 in order to unlock the encirclement, the German command delivered three counterstrokes on Soviet troops. Due to the efforts of intelligence and signal intelligence Nazis plans were exposed in advance and appropriate measures were taken in order to prevent the unlocking of the surrounded Nazi troops.
For demonstrated courage in battles against the Nazi invaders and for the gained valuable intelligence information about the enemy during WWII, a significant number of the personnel of the 442nd separate special forces signal division were awarded the state awards, such as: Order of Kutuzov III Class – one soldier, the Red Star – 101, World War II – I class – 8, World War II – II class – 34, Glory III – 7.
Division finished the Great Patriotic War in the capital of Austria within the troops of the 2nd Ukrainian front.
In 1951 by the order of the Minister of Defence of USSR, August 19 is declared as the day of the unit, and is celebrated every year.
In 1952, the 442nd separate special forces signal division was reorganized into the 62nd separate special forces signal regiment (SSFRR).
According to the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from February 22, 1968 in recognition of the merits demonstrated in the battle for the Motherland and due to the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Army the unit was awarded the Order of the Red Star.
In June 1980 the 147th separate special signal brigade on the basis of the 62nd SSFRR was formed according to the order of the Chief of the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces.
The personnel of the brigade was four times awarded the transitional Red flag and during three years it was receiving the transitional pennant of the Military Council of the Carpathian military district.
In February 1992 the personnel of the unit took an oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people.
On October 30, 2004 the 147th separate special signal brigade was reformed into the Regional centre of electronic intelligence “West”.
Nowadays the unit is fully staffed with contract military men, the majority personnel of which has the higher education and can speak foreign languages. Also the technical equipment of the centre is completely updated. Due to this and also the professional skills of each soldier regional electronic intelligence centre “West” performs its tasks with dignity.