JED - October 2013 - 36

Beyond CREW:

By Zachary Lum

In the June JED, we described the US learning curve in EMS operations over a
decade of experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. Talking with leaders and practitioners, then and now, we distilled three framing principles for building future EW
capabilities in the ground component. In this follow-up, we examine in finer detail
how Army planners, program managers and advocates are ensconcing EW as a core
activity within the service.

The Journal of Electronic Defense | October 2013

36

Zero to 30,000. That’s been the growth
in US Army radio-controlled IED
(RCIED) jammers over the past decade.
It’s an illuminating, if imperfect, metric for quantifying how fast the Army’s
ground component has accelerated
its EW capability to the point, today,
where any vehicle crew in theater,
any dismounted squad, any individual
trooper can be equipped to throw out
a protective bubble of jamming energy
– making every soldier a spectrum soldier, in a limited fashion.
The limitation is that Army ground
EW today is spread very wide, as measured in thousands of Counter RadioControlled IED Electronic Warfare
(CREW) devices, but very thin, in that
these are reactive countermeasures
tied to a narrow threat. As the Pentagon shifts focus away from Afghanistan
and 10 years of counter-insurgency operations, the cadre of EW professionals in the Army are trying to shift in
step, to ensure Army EW becomes more
responsive and relevant on any future
battlefield. According to Michael Ryan,
the Army’s deputy project manager for
EW, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, “when
we’re talking about threats that are
specific to a brigade combat team [BCT]
area of operations [AOR], those threats
are significantly more than just radiocontrolled IED threats…That’s still a
valid threat today, but the spectrum of
EW threats is so much more significant
than that one aspect, and as we tran-

sition from an insurgency war to looking forward to potential major combat
operations in the future, or the hybrid
warfare scenario, we really need to open
up the EW aperture and look at all the
potential EW threats that the Army will
face at the tactical level.”
As the Army’s needs for both defensive and offensive electronic attack
(EA) have increased, joint airborne EA
fleets – already overtaxed – continue to
shed iron as a result of age or sunsetting, “so all of a sudden the Army found
itself with a capability gap. And that
capability gap was really about how do
we conduct either offensive or defensive
electronic attack absent the joint force,”
said COL Jim Ekvall, chief of the EW Division at Headquarters, Department of
the Army (HQDA). “The lesson that the
Army learned is that we really need to
have our own, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week,
365-day all-weather electronic warfare
capability.”
To its credit, the Army’s top leadership has endorsed this perspective.
Earlier this year, the Army’s chief acquisition executive laid out four priorities.
EW ranked third (behind cyber and ISR).
But good intentions aside, it’s unclear whether Army senior leaders have
the knowledge and experience to actually nurture, build and integrate this
priority. “I think people are still having
a hard time understanding EW’s role in
the Army beyond counter-IED. Because
you don’t have general officers that

were brought up in a school house that
understands it,” said COL Laurie Buckhout (Ret.), who stood up the EW Division in HQDA in 2006.



JED - October 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - October 2013

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
Letters
The Monitor
Washington Report
Growing AOC’s EW Advocacy Program
World Report
Beyond CREW: Army EW Fights for a Bigger Spectrum
US Army Electronic Warfare in the Post- Global War on Terrorism World
RF Decoys for Fighter Aircraft
New Products
EW 101
AOC News
AOC 50th Annual International Symposium and Convention Guide
AOC 2013 Award Winners
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - October 2013 - cover1
JED - October 2013 - cover2
JED - October 2013 - 3
JED - October 2013 - 4
JED - October 2013 - 5
JED - October 2013 - The View From Here
JED - October 2013 - 7
JED - October 2013 - Conferences Calendar
JED - October 2013 - 9
JED - October 2013 - Courses Calendar
JED - October 2013 - 11
JED - October 2013 - From the President
JED - October 2013 - 13
JED - October 2013 - Letters
JED - October 2013 - The Monitor
JED - October 2013 - 16
JED - October 2013 - 17
JED - October 2013 - 18
JED - October 2013 - 19
JED - October 2013 - 20
JED - October 2013 - 21
JED - October 2013 - 22
JED - October 2013 - 23
JED - October 2013 - 24
JED - October 2013 - 25
JED - October 2013 - 26
JED - October 2013 - 27
JED - October 2013 - Washington Report
JED - October 2013 - 29
JED - October 2013 - Growing AOC’s EW Advocacy Program
JED - October 2013 - 31
JED - October 2013 - 32
JED - October 2013 - 33
JED - October 2013 - World Report
JED - October 2013 - 35
JED - October 2013 - Beyond CREW: Army EW Fights for a Bigger Spectrum
JED - October 2013 - 37
JED - October 2013 - 38
JED - October 2013 - 39
JED - October 2013 - 40
JED - October 2013 - 41
JED - October 2013 - 42
JED - October 2013 - 43
JED - October 2013 - 44
JED - October 2013 - 45
JED - October 2013 - 46
JED - October 2013 - 47
JED - October 2013 - US Army Electronic Warfare in the Post- Global War on Terrorism World
JED - October 2013 - 49
JED - October 2013 - 50
JED - October 2013 - 51
JED - October 2013 - 52
JED - October 2013 - 53
JED - October 2013 - RF Decoys for Fighter Aircraft
JED - October 2013 - 55
JED - October 2013 - 56
JED - October 2013 - 57
JED - October 2013 - 58
JED - October 2013 - 59
JED - October 2013 - New Products
JED - October 2013 - 61
JED - October 2013 - EW 101
JED - October 2013 - 63
JED - October 2013 - 64
JED - October 2013 - 65
JED - October 2013 - 66
JED - October 2013 - 67
JED - October 2013 - AOC News
JED - October 2013 - 69
JED - October 2013 - 70
JED - October 2013 - 71
JED - October 2013 - 72
JED - October 2013 - 73
JED - October 2013 - 74
JED - October 2013 - AOC 50th Annual International Symposium and Convention Guide
JED - October 2013 - 76
JED - October 2013 - 77
JED - October 2013 - 78
JED - October 2013 - 79
JED - October 2013 - 80
JED - October 2013 - 81
JED - October 2013 - 82
JED - October 2013 - 83
JED - October 2013 - 84
JED - October 2013 - 85
JED - October 2013 - 86
JED - October 2013 - 87
JED - October 2013 - 88
JED - October 2013 - 89
JED - October 2013 - 90
JED - October 2013 - 91
JED - October 2013 - 92
JED - October 2013 - 93
JED - October 2013 - 94
JED - October 2013 - 95
JED - October 2013 - 96
JED - October 2013 - 97
JED - October 2013 - 98
JED - October 2013 - 99
JED - October 2013 - 100
JED - October 2013 - 101
JED - October 2013 - 102
JED - October 2013 - 103
JED - October 2013 - 104
JED - October 2013 - AOC 2013 Award Winners
JED - October 2013 - 106
JED - October 2013 - 107
JED - October 2013 - 108
JED - October 2013 - 109
JED - October 2013 - 110
JED - October 2013 - 111
JED - October 2013 - Index of Advertisers
JED - October 2013 - 113
JED - October 2013 - JED Quick Look
JED - October 2013 - cover3
JED - October 2013 - cover4
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