JED - May 2014 - 6

the view

f ro m h e re

PLATINUM
BULLETS

T

The Journal of Electronic Defense | May 2014

6

his month's JED features an excellent article by Maj. Jeffrey "Seed"
Kassebaum, USAF, titled, "Fighting the Kill Chain: Concepts and
Methods of Electronic Attack." You may remember Maj. Kassebaum
as the author of an earlier JED article about suppression of enemy
air defenses in NATO's 2011 Libya operation. This time, he provides
a comprehensive, no-nonsense look at the electronic attack mission
and how the DOD should be thinking about it. This article should be required
reading for anyone who decides (or even influences) the DOD's EW budget.
Maj. Kassebaum could not have written his article at a better time. The DOD
budget received a partial reprieve from sequestration this year and next, but
FY2016 and beyond is uncertain. More importantly, this budget environment
has encouraged the wrong kind of discussion about electronic attack. The Navy
has requested 22 more Growlers as part of its FY2015 unfunded priorities list.
Supporters of the F-35 program, who fear that funding additional EA-18Gs could
mean buying fewer F-35s in FY2015, are claiming that the EA-18G would not support fifth-generation fighters.
From an EW perspective, this "either/or" debate surrounding the additional
EA-18Gs is simply looking into the wrong end of the telescope. It reduces the
DOD's understanding of EW down to a "platinum bullet" mentality in which a
single type of EW capability "does it all" and will win the day no matter what
type of conflict or what type of enemy US forces are fighting. This is not unlike
the equally damaging electronic attack vs. stealth debate that the US Air Force
encouraged in the 1980s and 1990s, which adversely impacted how the Air Force
invested in EW personnel, leadership, training and material.
Airborne Electronic Attack must be realized as an interdependent set of capabilities that work together to defeat an adversary integrated air defense system.
The US Marine Corps certainly understands this concept, and its MAGTF EW concept distributes electronic attack across multiple capabilities.
Investing in some of the required EW capabilities at the expense of the others is not a winning strategy for US air power. Partial EW solutions are less than
partially effective, because threat systems simply have too many advantages
today. As Maj. Kassebaum states, "We must attack the IADS at every part of
the kill chain from 'find' to 'engage.' We must saturate decision-making capacity and shift our focus from single-solution platinum bullets to multi-solution
copper buckshot."
Instead of engaging in an EA-18G vs. F-35 debate, the discussion should be
focused on why the warfighter needs the EA-18G and the F-35, and how the DOD
and Congress can build a defense budget that includes both of them. If tradeoffs need to be made, we should be discussing how the EA-18G and F-35 fit into
an Airborne Electronic Attack family of systems. Platinum bullets are part of
yesterday's EW. - J. Knowles

MAY 2014 * Vol. 37, No. 5

EDITORIAL STAFF
Editor: John Knowles
Managing Editor: Elaine Richardson
Senior Editor: John Haystead
Technical Editor: Ollie Holt
Contributing Writers: Dave Adamy, Jesse "Judge" Bourque,
Barry Manz
Marketing & Research Coordinator: Kent Agramonte
Editorial Intern: Briana Rittersporn
Proofreader: Shauna Keedian
Sales Administration: Candice Blair

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Col Marshall Denney, USMC
Chief, Future Operations (J35), US Cyber Command
Mr. Dan Gobel
President, Electronic Systems, BAE Systems Inc.
Mr. Micael Johansson
Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area, Electronic Defence
Systems, Saab
Mr. Mark Kula
Vice President, Tactical Airborne Systems, Raytheon Space and
Airborne Systems
Col Steve Ling, USAF
Director, Joint Electronic Warfare Center, US Strategic Command
Mr. Edgar Maimon
General Manager, Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT - Elisra
CAPT Paul Overstreet
Joint Strike Fighter Weapons System Program Manager, Naval Air Systems
Command, USN
Mr. Jeffrey Palombo
Senior VP and GM, Land and Self-Protection Systems Division,
Electronic Systems, Northrop Grumman Corp.
Mr. Steve Roberts
Vice President, Strategy, Selex Galileo
Mr. Rich Sorelle
President, Electronic Systems Division, Exelis
Gp Capt P.J. Wallace
Chief of Staff, Joint Air Land Organisation, UK MOD
Dr. Richard Wittstruck
Director, System of Systems Engineering, PEO Intelligence, Electronic
Warfare and Sensors, USA

PRODUCTION STAFF
Layout & Design: Barry Senyk
Advertising Art: Elaine Connell
Contact the Editor: (978) 509-1450, JEDeditor@naylor.com
Contact the Sales Manager:
(800) 369-6220 or sales@crows.org
Subscription Information: Please contact Glorianne O'Neilin
at (703) 549-1600 or e-mail oneilin@crows.org.
The Journal of Electronic Defense
is published for the AOC by

Naylor, LLC
5950 NW 1st Place
Gainesville, FL 32607
Phone: (800) 369-6220 * Fax: (352) 331-3525
www.naylor.com
©2014 Association of Old Crows/Naylor, LLC. All rights reserved. The
contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in
whole or in part, without the prior written authorization of the publisher.
Editorial: The articles and editorials appearing in this magazine do not
represent an official AOC position, except for the official notices printed
in the "Association News" section or unless specifically identified as an
AOC position.
PUBLISHED MAY 2014/JED-M0514/4049


http://www.naylor.com

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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