JED - March 2011 - (Page 14)

letters f ro m o u r re ade r s JED welcomes and publishes letters to the editor when we’re lucky enough to receive them. Please send letters to John Knowles, or to MORE ON THE EW LEXICON Thanks to JED Editor John Knowles for bringing up the lexicon problem in his op-ed for the January 2011 issue. I agree, until “we” can define our multi-faceted, highly-technical, and largely obscure discipline, it will be near impossible for an outsider to grasp the concept. A good litmus test is your family members: while most can usually grasp the concept of air superiority, maneuver warfare or the advantage of high ground, it’s rare to find many who understand the EM spectrum, let alone exploiting it during warfare. It seems even the DOD is constantly struggling to define the relationships (and more importantly, the hierarchy) between EW and Cyber, which just further complicates the issue. Yes, the term “electronic” in EW fails to convey to the 21st century layperson (or journalist) the true nature of the EW discipline and the domain. The phase “electromagnetic” or “electromagnetic spectrum” is better, but a purist will state that this phrase is still too limiting, especially considering the assertion made by Lt Col (Sel.) Jason Eckberg in the December 2010 issue – that the domain of EW also includes electrons traveling within wires, as it should, lest the layperson infer that the jurisdiction (or effect) somehow stops at the receiving antenna. In other words, the dividing line between free space radiation and “hard wire” or fiber propagation should not serve as a division between EW and cyber warfare. It’s the same physical domain, often referred to as “DC to Light.” And while cyber warfare (or network warfare/CNA) is a very real discipline, I disagree with the proposition that there is a separate and distinct Cyberspace Domain. As noted by Lt Col Jeffrey Fischer’s piece in the September 2010 issue, it is a fool’s errand to define or bound a domain by the technology that operates within it, and this is the only way I’ve seen the Cyberspace Domain described. If there’s one thing the general public knows about electronics (read: the Internet), it’s that the technology will change overnight. As Mr. Knowles mentioned, both the acronyms EA and EP also serve to confuse the issue, despite the use of this terminology since the start of my career. During my stint as an instructor at the US Air Force’s EW schoolhouse (then at Randolph AFB) I routinely had to clarify the distinction between EP and self-protection EA for my EWO students. I resorted to stating that if their aircraft was not being electronically attacked, then they could not perform electronic protection. (This sparked other debates as to whether the action of a radar tracking an aircraft was electronic attack!) In the end, it helped if the students were made to view these concepts in terms of Action, Effect and Reason – for lack of better terms. In the case of self-protection EA, the Action was jamming; the Effect was information denial (to the threat operator); and the Reason was self-protection. But that doesn’t solve the issue of misinterpretation by the layperson. Part of the problem may stem from the fact that the “new” terms of EA and EP are not a direct translation of the older terms ECM and ECCM. I’d argue that the phrase “electronic countermeasure” does a much better job of implying an act of self-protection than does “electronic attack,” which could be inferred as an offensive act (e.g., a HARM). During a recent EW test and evaluation assignment, it was difficult not to notice what one might deem the artifacts of institutional inertia – new documents, test plans and websites that still referred to ECM and ECCM. But realistically, when dealing with “traditional” EW concepts like jamming and radar operation, those terms tend to fit nicely compared to say, EP, which lately can mean anything from side-lobe cancellation to spectrum management. Just furthering the discussion. Maj Cade R. Sonnichsen, USAF Offutt AFB, Nebraska ELECTRONIC SUPPORT VS. ELECTRONIC WARFARE SUPPORT In reading January’s “The View From Here: The EW Lexicon Problem,” I’d just like to point out a minor error, but an error that does lend credence to your point about folks using terminology incorrectly. ES is the acronym for Electronic Warfare Support per every Joint Publication referencing EW that I have read. It is not Electronic Support. Minor difference, but highlights the fact that ES “supports” Electronic Warfare. This same error in terminology usage is also found in Dave Adamy’s “EW 101: ES vs. SIGINT” in the same JED issue. Just thought I’d thrown in my two cents! Great magazine, though! Keep up the good work. Semper Fidelis, LtCol Francisco “Cowboy” Ball, USMC Editor’s note: Thank you for spotting my error. I was (wrongly) using Air Force EW terminology (Air Force doctrine uses the term “Electronic Support,” as well as “Electronic Warfare Support”), when I should have been using Joint terminology (“Electronic Warfare Support”), which is also used by the other DOD Services. I have to confess that although I’ve seen the term, “electronic warfare support,” in doctrine publications many times, the term “electronic support” is used in print and speech most of the time. But perhaps that’s because many in the EW community (me included, obviously) had assumed that ES universally stands for electronic support rather than electronic warfare support. We Crows certainly have a gift for creating confusion in our language. (I don’t know why the DOD doesn’t simply use the acronym EWS for electronic warfare support. Is it already “taken” or did someone think we need to have a nice set of two letter acronyms – EW, EP, ES, EA?) 14 The Journal of Electronic Defense | March 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - March 2011

JED - March 2011
The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Airborne Maritime Patrol
What Electronic Warriors Should Know About Physics, Language and Concepts
Technology Survey: RWR/ESM Systems
EW 101
AOC News
AOC Membership Page
AOC Industry/Institute/University Member Guide
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - March 2011