Information on the 15 (UK) Psyops Group

Craig Barclay made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Defence

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Ministry of Defence.

Dear Ministry of Defence,

Subject: 15 (UK) Psyops Group

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request under FOI Act 2000

I request, under the FOI Act 2000, the following information.

I would appreciate the information - where possible - to be provided in digital format.

By ‘correspondence’ I make reference to any emails, letters, written notes, and / or minutes of meetings relevant to the information requested. Throughout my request, the term ‘The Group’ refers to the ‘15 (UK) Psyops Group’.

I request kindly the following information:

1. Stephen Jolly trained as a special operations reservist/officer cadet with 15 (UK) Information Support Group, the UK military's tri-service psychological operations unit, around 1999 / 2000.

Jolly notes the following in an essay describing the 15 (UK) Information Support Group – ‘Wearing the Stag’s Head Badge: British Combat Propaganda since 1945’, cited at

'Up until March 1999, the Unit was known as 15 (UK) PSYOPS Group. However, following a Ministerial directive received in late 1998, on 13 March 1999, the title changed to 15 (UK) Information Support Group (15 (UK) Info Sp Gp). The main reason for the change was to distance the Unit from the term psychological operations which some associate with ‘black’ and ’grey’ propaganda activities that are not practised today (Jolly, March 2001).'

I request a copy of the ministerial directive issued in late 1998, cited above, regarding the decision to change the name of the Group to the 15 (UK) Information Support Group.

By the same token, around 2005, it seems the name changed back to the 15 (UK) Psyops Group – I request therefore any correspondence or ministerial orders pertaining to the decision to change the name back to its precursor.

2. I request a historical account / report of the Group, and its specific role within the MoD. This should include any reports produced for internal purposes which review the function, role, or activities of the Group.

3. Copies of the most recent Group Annual Reports – I have been able to locate a copy of the 2007/08 Annual Report, and thus copies of the 2008/09 and 2009/10 Annual Reports are specifically requested, where available. If these are not available, please explain why they were not produced and what, if anything, replaced them. If anything has replaced them, I request copies of such documents.

4. As per the 2007 /08 Annual Report, Psyops external training courses fall into three categories: Military PSYOPS Planners Course (MPOPC); Target Audience Analysis Course (TAAC); and Tactical Psyops Team Training (TPTT). As such, I am requesting information on what individuals, external bodies, groups, companies, organisations, and / or other Military Units, have taken part in any of the above external training courses during 2010.

Can I request that list include the name of the organisation, division, regiment, etc., and ranks and function of those undertaking the courses.

5. Please release also course module descriptions and copies of any handouts, PowerPoint’s, reading lists and / or other material given to students. Please release the ranks and regimental origins of the staff who teach the courses (or details of the external organisations for which they work) for the calendar years 2008, 09, and 10 (or academic or financial years, if data held in that way).

If any further clarification related to my request is needed, please contact me via email.

I look forward to receiving a response within 20 days, as provided by statute.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Barclay

[email address]


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    20110222 Response to FOI Requests on Human Intelligence and Info Operations Issues.pdf

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Dear All

Please see the attached response to your FOI requests.


FOI Operations Team