The landscape of warfare is changing, hinging on the advancement of technology. Current strides in electronic warfare are particularly poignant around the world. Electronic warfare (EW) involves any assault or defense action that uses electromagnetic spectrum or directed energy to control it. The hope is that this technology will give you an advantage over the opposing force and prevent them from using your frequency.
The United States will not fall behind in these measures if they can help it. Recently, a regiment in Poland began training with brand new electronic warfare technology.
The U.S. Army Announces Electronic Warfare Training in Poland
A group of ground soldiers, the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division, currently in Zagan, Poland, are now training with electronic and cyber data technology to prepare for strategic situations. They’re focusing on “collecting enemy radio signals, sensing radar of an incoming threat, and utilizing radio waves to confuse or disable an enemy’s electronic communication methods,” according to the press release.
Specifically, soldiers are learning to master VROD and VMAX, EW technology that’s part of a backpack system to spot and defend from electromagnetic signals. It also has limited assault capabilities like jamming or intercepting signals. They’re also using Raven Claw, which is a mobile computer system for planning and managing on-the-ground assaults and defense sans a network connection.
These training measures are invaluable for providing information in the here and now rather than waiting for intelligence to trickle down from commanders in the tech departments.
“Having it [EW technology] at this level helps a local commander make more EW type decisions,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Benjamin Donahue, an officer of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. “If you have it at only the high echelons, you’re waiting on a report to come down later, versus something you can do right now.”
This Technology is Brand New to On-the-Ground Soldiers
This training is new and exciting to the U.S. Army soldiers who haven’t experienced the direct use of EW before. EW has been around for years, but it’s often been used remotely by soldiers in an office in Washington D.C. or a local military base rather than being used by the people risking their lives every day.
“These teams are tied to surveying the battlefield, going out with the scouts and being the lead elements,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Wheeler, another officer of the brigade. “We’re using it for real-time information. We never saw it before we came out here. We had a month of training at Grafenwoehr, Germany. In the future, you would train before coming out. We’ve got a good handle on it.”
The release also announced that the training would prepare soldiers for EW in a practical setting at Combined Resolve XI. This is an international training exercise in Germany that helps 16 alliant nations prepare for potential warfare situations. The skills learned in these exercises could be invaluable in a real-world warfare situation.
The U.S. Electronic Warfare Strategy
This on-the-ground training is part of a much bigger EW strategy created by the Department of Defense. Although they will obviously keep the bulk of their strategies private for national security reasons, the Pentagon created a document on August 23, 2018, detailing their 5-part EW strategy.
“The objective of the U.S. Army Electronic Warfare Strategy is to operationalize EW capabilities as a force multiplier supporting ground commanders,” reads a one-page document provided to C4ISRNET. “The strategy enables the paradigm shift to cyberspace electromagnetic activities by addressing EW capabilities and capacities that allow the Joint Force to compete, deter, and win in this environment.”
The strategy, which has been a long time in creation, includes five parts:
- Building the workforce
- Capability development
- Educating and training the Force
As new reports are released surrounding EW training efforts, you’ll be able to see how they fit into each of these categories.
Of course, this strategy is subject to change at any time.
“EW must adapt in order to keep up with a rapidly changing, multi-domain environment,” the document states. “Land, air, sea, space, and cyberspace superiority all depend on superiority in the electromagnetic spectrum. In order to maintain the Army’s battlefield superiority, it is critical for the U.S. Army to integrate new technologies into well-trained formations faster than our adversaries.”
Ultimately, EW strategies are integral to staying at the head of the game in international warfare, and it’s fascinating to see the revelations and support for the troops in their effort to keep the nation safe.