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From the Editor

Topic Spotlight: Alliances, Partnerships and EMSO

For our final day of AOC 2023, we return to the symposium theme: "Advancing EMS Superiority Through Strategic Alliances and Partnerships." EMSO can be extremely complex within a national force, let alone across an alliance or coalition. The challenge extends well beyond compatibility and interoperability. It requires an understanding of each coalition members' EMSO terminology and doctrine, systems capabilities, training, experience and more.

At 12:00 PM in Potomac Ballroom B, Mr. Erik Bamford, AOC International Director and an officer in the Norwegian Army will lead a Breakout Session on "Multi-National EW Partnership." Speakers include Air Commodore Blythe Crawford, Commandant, UK Air & Space Warfare Centre (ASWC); Dr. Chiho Lee, Principal Researcher, Agency for Defense Development (ADD) South Korea; Lt Col Marc Lewis, SML, AFLCMC/WNY System Program Office; and Col Tomohiko KAKUTA Chief, Advanced Technology Application Section, 2nd Force Structuring Division (Space & Cyber), Defense Planning and Policy Department, Air Staff Office, Japan Ministry of Defense

At 2:00 PM on the Main Stage, the Closing Symposium Spotlight Session will focus on "EMSO in Ukraine and Russia War." This session will provide insight on the intense battle for EMS advantage between Ukrainian and Russian forces. Speakers include Major General Borys Kremenetskyi, UKR-Air Force & Defense Attache, Embassy of Ukraine to the USA; Captain Iaroslav Kalinin, Chief Executive Officer, Infozahyst LLC/Ukraine Army Reserves; Col (Ret.) Jeffrey Fischer, USAF, Author and Journalist in International Security.

For more context, you may want to listen to:

"A Look at Innovation Through the Eyes of NATO," with Erik Bamford, From the Crows' Nest podcast, Oct. 27, 2022

In the Flat Field: Did Russian Army Electronic Warfare Underperform in Ukraine?, AOC Webinar hosted by Dr. Thomas Withington, Dec. 22, 2022 (AOC members access only)

Secretary of the US Navy, the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, provided the first of yesterday's Keynote Speeches, providing an excellent overview of the Navy's EMSO initiatives and achievements.

Del Toro's speech covered a lot of ground, including ongoing deployments in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Red Sea, where three US Navy destroyers have recently downed 40 drones launched by Houthi forces in Yemen. He then moved on to the Navy's significant EW investments in programs such as Next Generation Jammer, Surface EW Improvement Program (SEWIP) and the Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasures (DAIRCM) system for rotary-wing platforms. He added, "While these are just a few of the many acquisition programs that we have focused on EW and EMS operations, we recognize that these projects take time to develop, to test, to adopt, and to field. As part of our department's aim to innovate at the speed of relevancy, several recently established organizations include the Naval Innovation Center in Monterey, the Marine Innovation Unit in Troy, NY, the Navy Disruptive Capabilities Office, the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratories, Rapid Capabilities Office and Naval X – all of which complement our already established naval innovation ecosystem. They're engaging with industry to find commercial solutions to our fleet, and our forces critical capability gaps, including those in the electromagnetic spectrum."

One of the main messages in Del Toro's speech is the Navy's commitment to investing in industry to deliver new capabilities. "We have invested an enormous amount of time and resources over the last two and a half years in innovation," he said, "because we recognize that since probably the 1980s innovation really has taken over in the private sector more so than in government itself. And it's our responsibility in government to embrace that innovation and bring that innovation as quickly as possible to the warfighter so that they can fulfill their mission."

One particular industry tier Del Toro has focused on is small businesses. He said that over the past year, the Navy has invested $2 billion into small businesses. This has helped to add more than 1,000 small business suppliers into the Navy's industrial base, many of which are new to the Navy market.

VADM Stephen Koehler, USN, Director for Strategy, Plans and Policy, J5, Joint Staff, provided the second keynote yesterday with a talk on EMSO that complemented Secretary Del Toro's earlier speech. One area of emphasis in Koehler's speech was how important it is for DOD leaders to understand EMS maneuver.

"As military leaders, our understanding of this realm is paramount to guiding our forces to exploit the full spectrum of capabilities at our disposal, he said. He then discussed the emergence of maneuver concepts after World War 1, and the concept of maneuver as a series of unconventional, indirect attack methods performed in conjunction with direct conventional attack methods. Performed together, these give rise to an endless series of maneuvers. "Electronic warfare was born firmly in that indirect or unconventional column," explained Koehler. "But now I submit electromagnetic maneuver is entrenched across both categories."

Discussing his leadership theme further, he said, "Electronic warfare is a cornerstone of maneuvering within the EMS and plays pivotal roles in gaining the upper hand. Whether it's jamming enemy communications, deceiving radar systems, or protecting our own signals, warfighters must be equipped not only with cutting edge technology, but with the expertise to outmaneuver adversaries in this invisible battlespace. So, let's focus on a critical point, the indispensable role of military leadership. It goes beyond understanding a technology. It involves shaping a mindset within our forces. The EMS arena – its mastery is not just about wielding the technology; it's about orchestrating the symphony of signals, ensuring they harmonize to create relative advantage. Leaders, other conductors of this orchestra and how we navigate and manipulate the spectrum is synonymous with control over the flow of critical information. It's maneuver. Understanding this spectrum is not a technological luxury. It's a strategic and operational imperative. Our warfighters depend on this information for situational awareness, decision making and executing operations. I would offer the most fundamental level of military leaders and warfighters must consider and implement the following things with respect to the EMS: We have to protect our organization. We have to safeguard against incidental contact. We have to sense the enemy. And we have to leverage the EMS to deny or create military advantage."

Koehler further said, "Leveraging the EMS … is about denial of crucial capabilities to adversaries, while simultaneously creating avenues for military advantage. However, the art lies in the commander's and staff's ability to orchestrate electronic warfare, cyber operations and intelligence gathering to create an environment where Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations becomes a force multiplier. Those leaders who understand and wield its power will be able to tilt the scales decisively."

Koehler said that education and training will provide the basis for commanders and leaders to develop an understanding of EMS maneuver. "Leadership in the EMS begins with education. Training and development programs need to continue to focus on enhancing warfighters' understanding of spectrum operations. And when we understand, we can then incorporate EMS in to our plans from the start."

Mercury Systems
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Inside AOC 2023, Day 2

In this special episode of From the Crows’ Nest, host Ken Miller welcomes Col. William “Dollar” Young, USAF (Ret.) and Maj. Gen. David Gaedecke, USAF (Ret.) to discuss their symposium session on Advancing EMS Superiority. Their session traces the spectrum superiority story arc from 2018 through the present, through the eyes of senior leaders particularly well-positioned to offer critical observations and fresh insights the history, evolution, current status and future of spectrum superiority. Ken also then sits down with AOC Senior Analyst Matt Thompson to “connect the dots” among the many sessions and technical briefings taking place this week.

To learn more about AOC 2023, please visit our homepage.

Symposium Happenings
  Erik Bamford

What are you most excited about for each day of the symposium?

Wednesday will look at Multi-National EMSO Partnering. As the world and our militaries increasingly become interconnected, collaboration between nations is pivotal to addressing our common and complex electromagnetic challenges. Delving into aspects for achieving EMS superiority through partnership, international and regional cooperation, and operational collaboration on EW and EMSO, the day will include themes like NATO Military Committee perspectives on EMO development, Mission Data for 5th gen fighters in multi-national operating environments, insight on Asian-Pacific views and challenges, before the symposiums last spotlight session on the war in Ukraine, and the current EMS challenges on the battlefield.

Erik Bamford
AOC 2023 Daily Co-Chair

  From left to right: Kevin Laughlin, Elizabeth Bledsoe, Bill Flynn, Col. Donald Mammano, Bret Eddinger and Jair Aguirre

“With my total of two and a half years in the EW world, you can see that this is an area ripe for revolution. Not an evolutionary increase in technology – definitely revolution. And as a material developer, that kind of scares me because I have to deal with both.
So, I have to understand technically what the the next leap might be and where they want to go, and it's impossible to predict. And so my concern is how do we keep up? How do we stay abreast of those requirements and create the foundations of a dynamic ability to adapt to those emerging requirements? And that's what I'm trying to look at right now with what we're doing with the office, some drastic change is to if not get ahead of the revolution, at least keep up with them. And right now, I feel like we're just slowly starting to fall behind at a gradual pace.” –Elizabeth Bledsoe, Army Product Manager, Electronic Warfare Integration, responding to a question about the challenges facing EWPMT and other EMBM systems tools and capabilities during a Q&A after the "Joint EMSO Through Electromagnetic Battle Management" panel discussion Tuesday afternoon. 

L3Harris Technologies
Today's Events

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – Wednesday, Dec. 13

7:30 AM – 2:00 PM On-site Registration Open
Located in the Ballroom Level pre-function area.
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM Morning Coffee in the Exhibit Hall
8:00 AM - 9:45 AM Keynote Session
Vice Admiral Francis Morley, USN, Principal Military Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) 

Lieutenant General (Ret) Lance Landrum, Former 23rd Deputy Chair of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee
9:45 AM – 2:00 PM Exhibit Hall & Crows' Nest Open
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Symposium Breakout & Technical Sessions
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Lunch in the Exhibit Hall
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Program Manager Briefing Series - Navy
This session is for stakeholders from government and industry, including the small business community, interested in learning about upcoming procurements, acquisition strategies, and procurement timelines.
Closed to media
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Symposium Breakout Sessions
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Symposium Closing Spotlight Session

Review the online schedule of events and symposium agenda to finalize your on-site agenda.
Check out the floorplan and search for an exhibitor and make plans to visit the companies you wish to connect with.

Get out your smartphone and download the conference app from the App Store or Google Play. Follow us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) or LinkedIn and use #AOC2023 to join in the conversation.

Rohde & Schwarz USA. Inc.
IAI ELTA Systems Ltd
Inside the Convention

Come early, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for some valuable insights from some of our leading military, government and industry thinkers.

Today: Vice Admiral Francis Morley, USN, Principal Military Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition), and Lieutenant General (Ret) Lance Landrum, Former 23rd Deputy Chair of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee
More details, including descriptions of all symposium spotlight and breakout sessions, program manager briefings, and technical briefings, are available in the full agenda.

  Jarrett Holcomb
  Jarrett Holcomb

In today's Future 5 profile, we focus on Jarrett Holcomb. Jarrett joined Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Warner Robins, GA, as an intern in January 2018. After graduating from Mercer University later that year with a BS in Electrical Engineering, he earned a fulltime position at SwRI as a research engineer.

Jarrett says that from his earliest years, he always wanted to know the "why" about something. He says, "… I quickly realized that if I could answer the 'why' question, then all the 'what,' 'when' and 'how' were easier to answer. For me the typical answer to "why" in EW is simple: to save the warfighter. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this same answer. That is why my ultimate career goal is to create, inspire, and motivate EW leaders to answer their why question in a similar manner."

"I wish that someone had taught me earlier about the importance of EW earlier in my career path," he says. "My younger self was always looking for opportunities to make a difference, but I often looked at various other career paths to accomplish this. Had I known about the importance of EW, I would have started applying my research to solve EW problems sooner. This is why my career goal includes speaking about my passion for the importance of EW at as many conferences, colleges, and schools as possible."

Jarrett says his greatest career achievement so far has been to help develop SwRI's SPARTA software. "When I first started testing EW systems at SwRI," he explains, "the required tools for verification and analysis lacked the precision and measurement resolution for me to confidently test the system’s functionality. This caused my team and I to acquire internal research and development funds to develop an EW domain specific test software designed to adequately measure Electronic Attack (EA) system outputs. After many great successful internal demonstrations, I led multiple outreach efforts to proliferate the tool to protect warfighters on more platforms. Several successful government contracts later, SPARTA received an R&D 100 award presented to the top 100 revolutionary technologies of 2020."

You can learn more about Jarrett and his fellow Future 5 professionals here.

For more information about the AOC's Future 5 program, visit here.

The 60th Annual AOC International Symposium & Convention is the leading event for electronic warfare, electromagnetic spectrum operations, cyber-electromagnetic activities, and information operations professionals worldwide. Make the most of your experience using the tips in this helpful video to help you prepare for your arrival and assist you onsite, ensuring you have the best experience possible.

If this is your first AOC Convention, or you just need a refresher, be sure to watch the orientation video.

Need more information about dress code, sessions locations, Wi-Fi access, or even where you can find coffee in the morning? Check out the 2023 AOC Convention's FAQ page to find answers.

"Given its vast range of frequencies and wavelengths and role as the conduit for communication surveillance, intelligence gathering and ultimately attack, I would offer the EMS is the pulse of contemporary warfare."
–VADM Stephen Koehler, Director for Strategy, Plans and Policy, J5, Joint Staff

Abaco Systems
Showcasing the power of cutting-edge RF technology.
Click Here to Learn More
Exhibitor Happenings

Official Exhibit Hall hours during the 2023 AOC Convention are as follows:

9:45 AM –  2:00 PM
Join us in the Exhibit Hall for lunch (11:30 AM – 1:00 PM).

To plan your time in the Exhibit Hall, view the floor plan and search for exhibitors.

Spectrum Control, Inc. formerly APITech
JED News

More Context: US Navy Programs

Today in the Program Manager's Briefing Series, beginning at 12:00PM in Potomac Ballroom C, the session will focus on Navy Programs. Dr. James Stewart, Chief Scientist, Spectrum Warfare Systems, NSWC Crane, will be the session moderator. Presenters will be CAPT Dave Rueter, Program Manager, NAVAIR PMA-234 (AEA); Col Tamara Campbell, USMC, Program Manager, Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems, NAVAIR PMA-272; and Dr. Nathaniel Husted, Chief Scientist, Cyber and EW Technology, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division.

To provide more context on some of the Navy EW programs this session, you may want to read:

"Protect and Strike – NAVAIR PEO-T Advances Naval Airborne EW," JED, June 2023, which covers key airborne EW program at NAVAIR;

"The Path Forward in Navy Acquisition Efforts," with VADM Frank Morley, From the Crows' Nest podcast, July 12, 2023;

"Next Generations Jammer," with CAPT David Rueter, From the Crows' Nest podcast, Feb. 2, 2022; and

"Electronic Attack is Back – The US Navy Invests in Non-Kinetic Defense," JED, April 2023, which provides an overview of US Navy shipboard EW programs.



Read the December issue of JED, hot off the presses in time for the 2023 AOC Convention:

Cover Story: EW Concepts for Global Air Combat Program
Interview: Dave Harrold, BAE Systems
News: Beowulf MFA Planned for Growler Block 2; US Army, Lockheed Martin Conduct Test of MFEW-AL Payload

Read the full issue now, and read more each week at JEDOnline.com.

The Journal of Electromagnetic Dominance (JED) is the official publication of the Association of Old Crows (AOC), an independent, nonprofit, international professional association promoting public understanding in the science and practice of EW, SIGINT and related disciplines. Become an AOC member to get access to the latest issue of JED.


JED: Elta has introduced the Scorpius family of EW systems over the past few years. What systems comprise the Scorpius family?

Licht: Scorpius is family of AESA EW products. It includes: airborne self-protection pod (Scorpius SPJ) ELL-8222SB; airborne support (EJ and SOJ) jammer (Scorpius SJ) ELL-8251SB; ground based jammer (Scorpius G) ELL-8256SB; naval EW system (Scorpius N) ELL-8256SB; and wideband threat emulator (Scorpius T) ELL-8257SB.

JED: The ELL-8222 self-protection pod has been a successful export item for ELTA. Can you tell us about its successor, the ELL-8222SB?

Licht: ELL-8222SB started production deliveries in 2023. It is aero-mechanically and physically very similar to 8222, but its performance is greatly improved relatively to ELL-8222 in three key performance areas: improved sensitivity, very high ERP and improved spatial selectivity. The performance improvement is achieved through the use of solid-state GaN amplifiers in AESA antenna arrays with staring multibeam in receive and focused beams in transmit.

JED: One of the customers of the ELL-8222 is the US Air Force. The 64th Aggressor Group at Nellis AFB uses the pod on its F-16s for "Red Air" training. Do you see a potential EW training role for the ELL-8222SB?

Licht: Indeed, ELTA has supplied numerous ELL-8222 pods to the US Air Force aggressor squadrons. As for ELL-8222SB, although its first application is to protect the Blue forces, the capabilities of the pod are equally relevant to emulate the capabilities of advanced Red force in training, and we expect to see air forces interest also in the role.

JED: The Scorpius T threat emulator is a relatively new offering from Elta. Can you tell us more about its basic capabilities and how it fits into modern EW training concepts?

Licht: The system's wideband electronic steering antenna allows for simultaneous emulation of multiple emitters, effectively simulating different radar systems in different frequency bands and in different directions and accurately matching different radars characteristics. Scorpius T can simultaneously engage multiple aircraft in training – each one against different radar types. The ERP of Scorpius T is scalable and can match different requirements. The ground system is mobile so the training can be easily performed in different areas, as opposed to fixed, single-radar emulation of the legacy systems.

JED: What technologies upgrades do you expect to see in the future for the Scorpius family?

Licht: We definitely see continuous improvement effort on both front-end and back-end of the Scorpius family. On the front-end side, the development with continue to cover additional frequency bands and increased transmission power. In the back-end, AI will contribute to a better extraction of radar parameters and more effective selection of the optimal jamming technique.

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