JED - May 2009 - (Page 52)

chapter prof ile UK Chapter By Marianne Kunkel It is fitting that the AOC’s UK Chapter is headquartered in London. What people worldwide know and admire about London – its rich history, its distinct culture and its impressive size – also are the traits that the UK Chapter is best-known for. The 480-member-strong chapter, begun more than 30 years ago in 1972, represents a group of past and present electronic warfare (EW) specialists from military, industry and academic fields throughout the United Kingdom. In this month’s AOC chapter profile, JED shines a spotlight on northwestern Europe, highlighting the achievements and innovation of the UK Chapter’s EW community. “I 52 The Journal of Electronic Defense | May 2009 see the mission of the UK Chapter at this time as being to carry a torch for EW,” said John Clifford in a speech he gave in February when he became chapter president. A former wing commander in the Royal Air Force (RAF), Clifford’s goal is to lead with the same sense of gumption that first inspired the chapter’s birth. His plans to draw more public attention to EW and recruit a more diverse membership go hand in hand; with a greater number of military and younger members, the chapter will be better able to catch the interest of influential people and publicize EW. Clearly stated on the UK Chapter’s website ( is a summary of the future EW market – over the next 10 years, as much as $27.8 billion will be funneled into developing and producing major EW systems. This is a number that the chapter takes seriously. In 2009 alone, it has scheduled chapter visits to five EW houses, including Chemring Countermeasures, Selex Galileo’s EW support facility in Lincoln and BAE Systems’ UK division in Warton. The chapter plans these classified and unclassified visits every year to stay up-to-date on future EW technology. Also on this year’s UK Chapter calendar is the AOC/Shephard EW 2009 Conference & Exhibition, held May 14-15 at the Novotel Hotel in West London. Last year’s event in Interlaken, Switzerland, drew more than 450 attendees and 38 exhibitors. This year, with a dynamic list of UK military and industry officials slated to speak at the event – including Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran, Commander-in-Chief of RAF Air Command – the UK Chapter hopes to see even more local, national and international attendees. Said David Kitching, executive director of the chapter, about the event, “We look forward to welcoming our American cousins and showing them the international side of the AOC.” A long-standing tradition of the UK Chapter is its annual meeting, held at the start of every year. Here, the chapter mixes business and fun, combining the inauguration of a new chapter president and staff with an EW presentation from a guest speaker. At this year’s meeting February 5, chapter members heard from RAF Squadron Leader Richard Birchenall, who shared with the group his Defence Academy Military Electronic Systems Engineering (MESE) course thesis about the reverse engineering of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). Birchenall received the Defence Academy’s “Best EW Thesis” award for his research. The UK Chapter gives out awards as well. In an effort to reach the full UK armed services EW community, it distributes a total of seven monetary awards annually. These awards go to best students in the Royal Navy Petty Officer (EW) Professional Qualifying Course and the Defence Academy’s MESE course, to the best personal thesis on the RAF Aerosystems Course at the RAF College Cranwell, and the chapter gives out an EW Operational Award for units deployed on the front lines, plus a Royal Navy Fleet EW Effectiveness trophy and a biennial RAF Smallwood Trophy. New last year was a “Most Improved Student” award for the Basic Communications Exploitation Course (BCEC) at the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre (DISC). The chapter’s appreciation of its role in the larger community is reflected through its charitable giving to museums. It has long been a supporter of Bletchley Park, hailed as the birthplace of the computer, and the City of Norwich Aviation Museum (CNAM), which both struggle for adequate funding. A chapter that covers so much territory could be considered too far-reaching, but the UK Chapter manages to maintain, and even strengthen, its EW campaign every day. For these chapter members, nothing comes more naturally than carrying a torch for EW. a

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - May 2009

JED - May 2009
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Protecting Helicopters
Ground-Based COMINT Steps Up
Roost Profile
EW 101
AOC News
Index to Advertisers
JED Sales Offices
JED Quick Look

JED - May 2009