Electronic Weapons: The Only War We've Got

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November17, 2006: Yet another lesson of the Iraq war is that the U.S. Army does not have enough electronic warfare personnel. Currently helping to fill the gap are 295 navy and 26 air force electronic warfare (EW) specialists serving in Iraq, helping the army out. Most of the EW activity in Iraq has to do with monitoring enemy communications, and jamming some of them (especially those related to remotely controlled bombs.) The army does have EW specialists, but not enough. To remedy this, the army is going to train or transfer nearly 3,000 officers and NCOs to EW work over the next 18 months. New EW career specialties will also be created. The army hopes to retain the service of the navy and air force EW specialists, because these experts have much more experience (usually over ten years worth.) The navy and air force EW experts were glad to help out in Iraq, as it was a challenging situation for those in the field. Since the end of the Cold War, and the demise of the formidable Soviet Union armed forces, there has not been much of a challenge available for American EW specialists. But the Sunni Arab terrorists in Iraq are a technically adept lot, and have provided American EW people with the first challenge they have seen in over a decade.

 


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