JED - May 2014 - 50

By Maj. Jeff "Seed" Kassebaum, USAF
THIRTEEN YEARS OF REPRIEVE:
A WARNING

The Journal of Electronic Defense | May 2014

50

For nearly the last 13 years of fighting
insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan,
the majority of tactical air missions
have lacked an air threat and a radar
surface-to-air missile (SAM) threat.
From the airborne electronic attack
(EA)/suppression of enemy air defenses
(SEAD) perspective, combat operations
in CENTCOM have atrophied our respect
for the radar SAM threat. We have had
13 years of reprieve because we have not
had to fight against an Integrated Air
Defense System (IADS) actively trying
to shoot us out of the sky at medium and
high altitudes.1 We have focused much
of our weight and energy on CENTCOM
threats while non-CENTCOM radar threat
capability has increased. The aviators
in today's Combat Air Force (CAF) and
Fleet have flown in fewer Large Force
Exercises (LFE) than their predecessors
just over a decade ago. This directly results in fewer aircrews training against
a robust IADS threat, and fewer of us
being punished for our mistakes in nonpermissive environments. As the EA and
SEAD Leads in the CAF and Fleet, it is
our job to ensure that strike-package
commanders have an appropriate level
of respect for the IADS threat. We must
emphasize that the threat is not only
the end of the kill chain - the threat is
the kill chain.

FOR CONTEXT: DELIBERATE STRIKE
NIGHT, MAY 2013
Deliberate Strike Night (DSN) is a US
Air Force Weapons School student's first
high-fidelity Large Force Exercise (LFE).
DSN takes place during Weapons Inte-

gration Phase, ordinarily the secondto-last phase before graduation phase,
Mission Employment (ME). However, due
to sequestration, Weapons School class
13A did not have the luxury of DSN as
a "walk before the run" of ME. Instead,
DSN was the only high-fidelity LFE the
Weapons School students of 13A saw.
However, from an EA/SEAD standpoint,
that year's DSN was serendipitous for
the CAF because it gave us the opportunity to employ new EA capabilities for
the first time.
The objective of DSN is a long-range
SAM take-down in a high-threat environment. This iteration of DSN had no
U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler squadrons able
to support the USAF Weapons School, as
they have in the past. This highlights a
distinct limitation in joint tactical execution: When sister Services have competing operational objectives, we have
gaps in tactical execution. In the case of
EA and SEAD, when the Navy could not
support DSN, the CAF was left to solve
a long-range SAM take-down problem
on its own without being able to "rent"
a modified escort EA platform for the
SEAD package.
However, the Growler's absence became a critical EA opportunity for the
CAF. This provided an occasion to integrate a new stand-in jammer, the
ADM-160C Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Jammer (MALD-J), into DSN for its
very first LFE, and the EC-130H Compass
Call featured its newly fielded Radar EA
capability called the Counter Radar System (CRS), or "Jam Cube." The purpose
of this article is not to discuss the tactical specifics of the weapons systems
involved in DSN - that is for a differ-

ent forum. Last May's DSN simply provides the context for the discussion of
concepts and methods of EA. (For tactical specifics and debrief items for DSN,
please contact me on SIPRNET.)
The purpose of this article is to discuss conceptually how we must think
about the threat and how the Department of Defense should employ EA from
an offensive EA and a defensive EA perspective, as well as concepts for integrating stand-off and stand-in offensive EA.

CONCEPTS OF ELECTRONIC ATTACK
To start, it is important to discuss
the concepts of EA (lethal and non-lethal) against the threat's kill chain in
general theory. I use the typical Blue
Force dynamic targeting kill chain terminology intentionally. The threat is
doing against us (Blue Force) what we
are doing to the threat (Red Force). The
threat needs to find inbound aircraft,
generate tracks, engage tracks, and assess engagements. By using the Blue dynamic targeting kill chain terms (which
are frankly more familiar to most of
the CAF than the traditional threat Air
Surveillance, Battle Management, and
Weapons Control terms) the process of
what an IADS is doing while we attack
it is more clear and concise. To avoid the
wrath of my intel brethren, the IADS
Kill Chain is doctrinally: 1) Detect and
initiate tracks, 2) Identify, 3) Correlate
and maintain track, 4) Battle management, 5) Acquire, 6) Track, 7) Guide and
8) Kill.
In Figure 1, the horizontal axis in
red shows the threat's kill chain.
The left vertical axis (in black) shows
non-lethal EA (i.e., radar and communi-

FOOTNOTE
1 For a Libyan perspective see "The Art of SEAD: Lesson from Libya," in The Journal of Electronic Defense, December 2011.



JED - May 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - May 2014

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Interview
European Helicopter EW
Advanced ASE And ESM Already On Some US Helicopters
Ground-Based COMINT Solutions
Fighting the Kill Chain: Concepts and Methods of Electronic Attack
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - May 2014 - cover1
JED - May 2014 - cover2
JED - May 2014 - 3
JED - May 2014 - 4
JED - May 2014 - 5
JED - May 2014 - The View From Here
JED - May 2014 - 7
JED - May 2014 - Conferences Calendar
JED - May 2014 - 9
JED - May 2014 - Courses Calendar
JED - May 2014 - 11
JED - May 2014 - From the President
JED - May 2014 - 13
JED - May 2014 - 14
JED - May 2014 - The Monitor
JED - May 2014 - 16
JED - May 2014 - 17
JED - May 2014 - 18
JED - May 2014 - 19
JED - May 2014 - 20
JED - May 2014 - 21
JED - May 2014 - Washington Report
JED - May 2014 - 23
JED - May 2014 - World Report
JED - May 2014 - Interview
JED - May 2014 - 26
JED - May 2014 - 27
JED - May 2014 - European Helicopter EW
JED - May 2014 - 29
JED - May 2014 - 30
JED - May 2014 - 31
JED - May 2014 - 32
JED - May 2014 - 33
JED - May 2014 - 34
JED - May 2014 - 35
JED - May 2014 - 36
JED - May 2014 - 37
JED - May 2014 - 38
JED - May 2014 - Advanced ASE And ESM Already On Some US Helicopters
JED - May 2014 - 40
JED - May 2014 - 41
JED - May 2014 - 42
JED - May 2014 - 43
JED - May 2014 - Ground-Based COMINT Solutions
JED - May 2014 - 45
JED - May 2014 - 46
JED - May 2014 - 47
JED - May 2014 - 48
JED - May 2014 - 49
JED - May 2014 - Fighting the Kill Chain: Concepts and Methods of Electronic Attack
JED - May 2014 - 51
JED - May 2014 - 52
JED - May 2014 - 53
JED - May 2014 - 54
JED - May 2014 - 55
JED - May 2014 - 56
JED - May 2014 - 57
JED - May 2014 - 58
JED - May 2014 - 59
JED - May 2014 - EW 101
JED - May 2014 - 61
JED - May 2014 - AOC News
JED - May 2014 - 63
JED - May 2014 - 64
JED - May 2014 - Index of Advertisers
JED - May 2014 - JED Quick Look
JED - May 2014 - cover3
JED - May 2014 - cover4
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