June 03, 2019

Rebuilding Electronic Warfare

BY JOHN A. TIRPAK

After long years of neglect, the Air Force plans to reorganize its chaotic electronic warfare enterprise, creating a new service EW czar to coordinate its efforts in the domain, and breathing new life into the career field specializing in warfare in the electromagnetic spectrum. 

The action plan will create an electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) “champion” on the Air Staff, who will advocate for the mission and its practitioners and consolidate USAF’s disparate EW tools and missions—everything from jamming pods and decoys to dedicated EW aircraft—into a coherent and rationalized enterprise.  

The plan came out of a yearlong Enterprise Capabilities Collaboration Team (ECCT) review of USAF’s electronic warfare tools and tradecraft, which was headed up by Brig. Gen. David M. Gaedecke, USAF’s director of cyberspace operations and warfighting integration, and approved in April by Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein.  

Electronic warfare is essential to each of USAF’s core competencies, Gaedecke said in a press release. These moves will help USAF “maintain our competitive advantage in [the] EMS to achieve freedom of action while denying the adversary that same freedom of action.”