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New second Commander appointed to the National Cyber Force

Written by Tue 17 Oct 2023

Tim Neal-Hopes has been appointed as the second Commander of the National Cyber Force (NCF).

Neal-Hopes will be entrusted with delivering cyber operations to keep the country safe. More specifically the new Commander is expected to drive NCF’s growth in the UK’s cyber enterprise. This includes opening the Samlesbury headquarters in 2025, and expanding NCF’s collaboration with Government, partners, and global allies.

Tim replaces the NCF’s first Commander, James Babbage, who has taken up post as Director General Threats (Economic and Organised Crime) at the National Crime Agency.

Tim served as Director Cyber, Intelligence and Information Integration within UK Strategic Command. He will be the first member of the Armed Forces to hold the position.

“Tim’s experience in cyber and intelligence has repeatedly been proven throughout a distinguished military career, and most recently serving at the heart of Defence Intelligence. I am confident the NCF will benefit greatly from his knowledge, experience, and leadership,” said General Sir Jim Hockenhull, Commander of Strategic Command announcing the appointment.

Director of GCHQ, Anne Keast-Butler said she was delighted to welcome Neal-Hopes to the position.

“Tim brings a wealth of experience in intelligence, engineering, and cyber – and he has the vision to lead our dynamic partnership, which is countering state threats, supporting military operations, and disrupting terrorist cells and serious criminals,” added Keast-Butler.

Established in 2020, the NCF is a partnership between defence and intelligence. NCF conducts daily cyber operations to safeguard the UK against threats, advance the UK’s foreign policy, assist military activities, and combat serious crime.

The partnership combines various resources, including GCHQ’s global intelligence capabilities, the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) operational planning expertise, scientific and technological contributions from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), and the expertise of MI6 in agents and clandestine operational technology.

Working together, the collaboration is focused on developing cyber capabilities in response to real-world events, with the primary objective of promptly detecting, disrupting, and deterring continually evolving threats.

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Written by Tue 17 Oct 2023

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