JED - August 2012 - (Page 6)

the view f ro m h e re BRAIN DRAIN his month’s JED includes an insightful article by Elaine Richardson about the EW job market. In August 2011, JED published an article describing the many opportunities in the EW career field and why the job market was so good for military professionals transitioning into industry. What a difference a year makes! This year, with sequestration playing havoc in the US defense market, and Europe navigating its own financial woes, the EW job market is noticeably cooler in many places. Companies are still looking for talent, and they are willing to pay handsomely for the right people. It’s just that the “right people” typically are EW professionals who have already spent several years in the industry, have successfully transitioned into civilian employment and generally know the ropes. It’s not that companies are shunning military experience, especially if that military experience represents fresh operational thinking and an excellent set of contacts who are still serving in the military. There are just fewer EW jobs available at the moment and companies are being much more selective. It is also worth noting how diverse the EW profession is becoming. A decade ago, there weren’t very many types of military EW professionals for companies to choose from. Many were from B-52, Prowler, Compass Call or Rivet Joint backgrounds, which is to say airborne RF electronic warfare. Today, however, there are military EW professionals with backgrounds in air warfare, ground warfare, space operations and naval operations. And, within those areas, are EW professionals from a variety of specialty disciplines across enlisted, warrant officer and commissioned officer ranks. Again, companies have a lot of EW talent to choose from, and they are choosing very carefully these days. I share the same concern raised by an executive recruiter interviewed in this month’s EW career article: we cannot afford to lose a generation of motivated and experienced EW talent to places like Home Depot because there are not enough EW jobs in industry waiting for these professionals when they transition out of the military. This type of talent is so difficult to develop and so difficult to retain due to a poorly defined EW career structure in most of the services. How do we correct that problem so that we do not lose too many of these people to other career fields? Because let’s face it, once you are out of EW, it is very difficult (but not impossible) to return. In future conflicts, when the DOD needs people who understand how to plan and maneuver in the electromagnetic spectrum, where can the theater commanders turn? The ranks of EW professionals in some services will be too thin to contribute very much. In these cases, the DOD would next turn to industry. But if the EW talent there is too thin, as well, what will the solution be? I hate to think that the answer to that question might be, “We’ll figure that out when it happens.” – John Knowles AUGUST 2012 • Vol. 35, No. 8 EDITORIAL STAFF Editor: John Knowles Managing Editor: Elaine Richardson Senior Editors: Glenn Goodman, John Haystead Technical Editor: Ollie Holt Contributing Writers: Dave Adamy, Barry Manz, Richard Scott, Martin Streetly, Gàbor Zòrd Marketing & Research Coordinator: Heather McMillen Sales Administration: Chelsea Johnston EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD T 6 The Journal of Electronic Defense | August 2012 Mr. Tom Arseneault Vice President for Product Sector and Chief Technology Officer, BAE Systems Inc. Mr. Gabriele Gambarara Elettronica S.p.A. Mr. Itzchak Gat CEO, Elisra CAPT John Green Commander, EA-6B Program Office (PMA-234), NAVAIR, USN 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 LTC James Looney Chief, Electronic Warfare Division, Directorate of Training and Doctrine, Fires Center of Excellence, US Army Mr. Jeffrey Palombo Senior VP and GM, Land and Self-Protection Systems Division, Electronic Systems, Northrop Grumman Corp. Col Jim Pryor Chief, Electronic Warfare, Operational Capability Requirements Headquarters, USAF Mr. Kerry Rowe Vice President, ISR and Force Protection Systems, Electronic and Mission Systems, The Boeing Company Wg Cdr 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: Christina O’Connor Contact the Editor: (978) 509-1450, Contact the Sales Manager: (800) 369-6220 or Subscription Information: Please contact Glorianne O’Neilin at (703) 549-1600 or e-mail 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 ©2012 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 AUGUST 2012/JED-M0812/7349

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - August 2012

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
EW and SIGINT Payloads for UAVs
EW Careers: The Changing Market
Technology Survey: FPGA Boards
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers

JED - August 2012