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Wednesday's Symposium Sessions: Congress, Readiness and Technology

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The 56th Annual AOC International Convention and Symposium wraps up today with a pair of congressional keynote addresses. The Honorable James Langevin, US House of Representatives (RI-02), Chairman, Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, House Armed Services Committee, will deliver a video address, and The Honorable Don Bacon, US House of Representatives (NE-02), House Armed Services Committee and House Homeland Security Committee, will speak to attendees beginning at 8:30 a.m. Both congressmen are co-chairs of the Congressional Electronic Warfare Working Group. The keynotes will conclude with a panel discussion of "Congressional Perspectives on EW/EMSO in the FY 2020 Defense Budget."

This should be an interesting session for attendees. Congressman Bacon is a former US Air Force electronic warfare officer, who served many years in EC-130H Compass Call squadrons and commanded an expeditionary Compass Call squadron in Qatar during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was commander of the 55th Electronic Combat Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, and he later commanded the 55th Wing at Offut AFB, NE.

Congress has become a very vocal advocate for EMS Operations (EMSO) over the past few years, and it has supported several reforms within the DOD, including the EW Executive Committee, the creation of an Electronic Warfare Senior Designated Official (Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and the establishment of an EMSO Cross Function Team, currently headed by Brig Gen Lance Landrum, USAF. These initiatives have strengthened the senior leadership and organization pillars of the DOD's EMS Enterprise.

At 10 a.m., the Ops Symposium track will culminate with a session on "Readiness in the EMS," chaired by Col Eric Shafa, USAF, Air Force Chair, Eisenhower School, NDU. Panelists in this session are Lieutenant Colonel Matthew E. Poole, USMC, Chief, Electronic Warfare Requirements Division, Joint Electronic Warfare Center, Lieutenant Colonel Gary "Mongo" Lyke, USA, Operations Branch Chief, Joint Electromagnetic Preparedness for Advanced Combat (JEPAC), Nellis AFB and Colonel Craig "Magnum" Harm, USAF (Ret), Association of Old Crows, Board of Directors. Like many aspects of the EMS Enterprise, EMSO readiness needs to be defined in new terms at the force level compared with EW readiness in the past. One question to consider: how do we define EMS readiness at different organizational levels in a Joint EMS Warfighitng Domain?

Also at 10 a.m., the Tech Symposium track will wrap up with a discussion of "Advanced Technologies for EMS Operations," which will be led by Dr. William Conley, Chief Technology Officer, Mercury Systems. This panel features Colonel William “Dollar” Young, USAF, Special Assistant to the Commander, USAF Warfare Center, Dr. David Stupples, Support to the UK MoD GCHQ, Professor of Electronic and Radio Systems, City University London, and Dr. Dan Green, PM for Electronic Warfare, Office of Naval Research. EW and SIGINT systems need to be developed and fielded at the same rapid pace as radars, radios and other EMS systems that leverage commercial technologies. How can this be achieved within military acquisition systems? Other Transaction Authority (OTA) and Mid-Tier Acquisition vehicles are providing more acquisition speed, but how can we develop and buy EW and SIGINT systems even faster than we are today? Additionally, how can emerging EMSO concepts at the Service level (CEMA, EMW, etc.) help to inform requirements more efficiently?

At 1:00 p.m., the Symposium will hold its final Spotlight Session, which will focus on "Service Visions for Multi-Domain Operations in the EMS." Lieutenant General Robert Elder, USAF (Ret), AOC Senior Advisory Board, will lead a panel of senior leaders comprising Rear Admiral Steven Parode, USN, OPNAV N2/N6F Warfighting Integration, Brigadier General David Gaedecke, USAF, Director, EMS Superiority, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Integration & Requirements, HQAF, and Mr. Laurence Mixon, Special Assistant to the Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (IEW&S). EMSO is a central piece of Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), and the Services will play a huge role in manning, training and equipping in support of this warfighting concept. How do each of the Services view EMSO and MDO? How are they developing MDO plans and concepts? And what challenges are the Services encountering as they pursue these goals? – John Knowles


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