Create, Grow and Sustain Electromagnetic Spectrum Warfare Professionals

Jan 19, 2012, 12:56 ET from Association of Old Crows

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released today by The Association of Old Crows:

We have competitive Electromagnetic Spectrum Warfare (EMSW) capabilities now, but they will erode if there are insufficient numbers of dedicated SMEs to evaluate, evolve and replace them.  This is not to say that only experts brought up in the EMSW profession are suitable for senior roles, but our solutions to the deepening problem of EMS Control will continue to suffer from atrophy as long as we fail to acknowledge the need for deliberately sustained expert EMS Warfare cadre. 


Three new truths have become increasingly apparent during the previous decade:

1)  The EMS can no longer be thought of as a fragmented utility of marginal importance, to be used in standalone pieces.  Logic and evidence dictate that we now regard the EMS as a continuous shared Operational (physical) maneuver space of National significance, featuring dynamic key terrain, maneuver, attack, concealment and related decisive effects.  Recognizing that control of the EMS is why we fight in this space, we must accept that the label "electronic" (ie "Electronic" Warfare) is now outmoded and limiting language;

2)  EMSW ("EW") has outgrown its legacy role as an enabler.  It now serves as a decisive, standalone mission area, with its own characteristic and unique Operational responsibilities, capabilities, and effects.  It must be developed and pursued as a Service core competency and as a Tier-1 Joint Capability Area (JCA);

3)  The value of an EWO is not just to "flip switches" as a system operator, but to serve durably as a seasoned critical thinker securing EMS Control for his Commander across the EMS Domain and evaluating EM Operating Environments (EMOE) to inform development of future EMS capabilities, forces and options.

We must assist the EMS community in transcending the cultural misunderstanding that EMSW professionals are not "Spectrum guys."  Those who focus on "management" are habitually engaged in activities concerned with the communications/RF region of the EM Spectrum only.  Echoing doctrine, it is only the Spectrum Warfare Professional focused on any radiant electromagnetic energy (the EMS) who is concerned with the EM Spectrum in its entirety, and all who may be served by exercise of that broad Operational responsibility.

The DoD community is experiencing a paradigm shift from EMSW = "QRC-pod-CREW-tactical" to "learning to maneuver in the EMS as an integrated force," despite the myriad of competing concerns in the shift toward more prominent non-kinetic modes of force application.  As deliberate production and sustainment of EMSW professionals is in certain decline across our Services and those who remain are broadly realigned to more traditionally valued activities, this state of decline will yield very broad, deleterious and irreversible effects.

Two potential futures lie ahead.  We may continue to vest our eroding base of EMSW professionals with an increasing range of EMSW responsibilities and court their extinction, or we may commit to life cycle education for the future EMS maneuver and technical force, inclusive of the EMS Warfare professional force.  We cannot have Operational capability without dedicated sustainment of Operational expertise, and technology does not equal capability.  Any conceivable future demands deliberate efforts to create, grow and sustain EMS Warfare professionals.

AOC is a non-profit international Electronic Warfare/Information Operations (EW/IO) association which promotes electromagnetic spectrum operations and related activities across military, civilian and commercial applications.  It is the mission of the AOC to advance strategy, policy and programs for EW/IO, and electromagnetic spectrum operations.

SOURCE Association of Old Crows