The Cyber Defense Review

Tactical Considerations for a Commander to Fight and Win in the Electromagnetic Spectrum

By Major General Patricia Frost, Captain Clifton McClung, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Walls | July 31, 2018

While the United States (US) fought two wars over the past decade, its adversaries were evolving their technology for fighting in the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). In his 2014 monograph, Dr. Larry M. Wortzel writes “the PLA [Chinese People’s Liberation Army] is updating 21st century mechanized and joint operations, combining them with electronic warfare—what the PLA calls “fire power warfare”–and precision strike.” [1] New doctrinal concepts ranging from the tactical to operational levels of employing traditional signals intelligence and electronic warfare lead this change movement in China. [2] Included in the transition is cyber warfare, which details both kinetic and non-kinetic effects across the EMS. [3] We have seen similar advances in capability from Russia in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The Ukrainian military has witnessed first-hand the actual effectiveness of Russian electronic warfare (EW) technology and tactics. [4] Russian artillery has demonstrated the synergistic effects of EW and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) small-UAS platforms when paired with jamming, indirect fire, and direct fire assets [in Ukraine]. [5] The Russians have utilized EW capabilities to geolocate Ukrainian signals and their associated forces, then fixed the formation with UAS, and finished these forces with jamming of mission command frequencies while delivering devastating barrages.

 

Tactical Considerations for a Commander to Fight and Win in the Electromagnetic Spectrum



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