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    Soldiers, Navy train in growing MOS

    EW soldiers, Navy train in new MOS

    Photo By Spc. Elayseah Woodard-Hinton | A group of electronic warfare soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., receive...... read more read more

    JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, UNITED STATES

    05.18.2012

    Story by Spc. Elayseah Woodard-Hinton 

    17th Field Artillery Brigade

    JOINT BASE LEWIS- MCCHORD, Wash. - A group of electronic warfare soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., traveled to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., to learn about Naval EW capabilities and foster joint service interoperability for future training exercises and operations, May 18.

    Through the Whidbey Island training, the soldiers gained a better understanding of the EW resources the Navy can supply in a joint-operating environment.

    “Over the last 10 years, the Army and Navy have been working close in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sean Hays, Prowler operations officer, electronic attack weapons school. “Face-to-face conversations and training such as this helps [the Army] to be smarter in what to ask for and what to expect from us.”

    Historically, the bulk of EW resources and expertise were leveraged by the Navy and Air Force. It wasn’t until 2009 that the Army created a military occupation specialty dedicated to developing subject matter experts in this field.

    “Our MOS is designed to plan for the use of air and ground [electronic attack] assets to deny the enemy use of the electronic magnetic spectrum,” said Sgt Juan Carrion, EW sergeant, headquarters and headquarters battery, 17th Fires Brigade. “A good 90 percent of EW is non-lethal, you’re usually not going to see the effects of something exploding,” explained the Bronx, N.Y., native.

    Carrion said that in critical situations where something must be detonated, it’s generally to deny communications, not to harm people.

    In short, the purpose of EW is to keep opposing forces from getting and passing information from items that use a signal to operate, such as cell phones, walkie-talkies and wireless internet, while allowing ground forces to seamlessly continue their missions.

    Since most of an electronic warfare specialist’s work generally takes place in an operational environment, the joint training opportunity was well received by many of the soldiers.

    “It’s a good refresher of what we learned in school,” said Sgt. Anthony Paulson, EW specialist, HHB, 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and a native of Tacoma, Wash. “This training gave a more in depth view of a specific asset instead of a general overview of what’s available.”

    Through the training the soldiers learned about equipment and aircraft that the Navy can provide through EW offensive and defensive support. They also discussed some of the nuances and differences and acronyms they’ve come across in working together.

    “I thought the training was great and very user friendly,” said Capt. Jacob Czekanski, EW support officer, HHB, 17th FiB.

    “Anytime we are going to work across services it is good to learn about our differences,” said the Silver Creek, N.Y., native.
    Czekanski also said that through the training and discussions, he learned that many of the soldiers shared a few challenges that were unique to their branch of service.

    “The hardest part of Army EW is justifying our existence,” said Staff Sgt. David Irby, EW non-commissioned officer-in-charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 17th Fires Brigade. “It is such a new field so the challenge is showing commanders that what we handle more than counter [improvised explosive devices].”

    Irby, a native of Jackson, Miss., said that meeting with the Navy was an important step in helping his group learn how to show their capabilities to commanders and peers. He said he hopes to use the information he learned at the NAS and continue to build rapport with his EW counterparts in the Navy and Air Force so his group will be well-rounded and prepared for future training exercises and missions.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.18.2012
    Date Posted: 06.19.2012 18:22
    Story ID: 90270
    Location: JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, US 
    Hometown: BRONX, NY, US
    Hometown: JACKSON, MS, US
    Hometown: TACOMA, WA, US

    Web Views: 339
    Downloads: 1

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