News: Soldiers master the art of Electronic Warfare
Story by Cpl. Ryan Hohman
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – As Soldiers continue to support the drawdown of Iraq and the Build-up in Afghanistan, attacks from improvised-explosive devices continue to be their biggest threat. To counter these threat Soldiers throughout Iraq and Afghanistan have been using Counter Remote Control Improvised-Explosive Device Electronic Warfare systems.
Soldiers traveling through Camp Buehring, Kuwait on their way to Iraq or Afghanistan attend a 5-day course to ensure proper use of the CREW system to protect their unit from IED attacks.
“With almost every vehicle equipped with a CREW system, it is important they are properly maintained so they can save lives,” said Anthony Hope, team chief with the Electronic Warfare Officer course at Camp Buering.
“This is the wave of the future and saves it lives,” said Lt. Col. Nancy Griego, who serves with the Center for Army Lessons Learned, Theater Observation Detachment, and a student of the course. “We need to get it right.”
While the Soldiers receive initial training at Fort Huachuca, Az. and Fort Sill, Okla., this course provides more hands on training and acts as a refresher before the Soldiers head to a combat zone. They are given classes on basic antenna theory, cell phone theory, how to perform pre-combat inspections on the systems and how to fix faults in the system.
“Units send their top notch Soldiers here, they know the importance of the system,” said Hope. “These Soldiers must take the skills they learn here and use them so they can protect their unit downrange.”
In order to pass the course Soldiers are faced with a written exam and practical hands on exercises, requiring them to fix faults in a CREW system to ensure they know how everything works.
“It is important for these Soldiers to be able to fix the system while downrange so their unit is fully protected from IED attacks,” said Hope. “Soldiers could pass hundreds of IEDs and if the system is properly working they would never know it.”
Despite the capabilities of the CREW systems, their usefulness is only as good as the people who use them.
“EWOs are important because as we start moving equipment in support of the Build-up of Afghanistan and the Drawdown of Iraq these systems have to be maintained to ensure the safety of our Soldiers,” said Griego.
As the Army continues to evolve and adapt to the situations faced in a combat zone Soldiers will always be able to Sustain the Fight by learning new skills, which help them save lives.