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News > Presentation emphasizes challenge of warfighting in contested environments
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BEDFORD, Mass. - Bruce Johnson, Command and Control Center chief engineer for technology, speaks to attendees at the Military Affairs Council breakfast meeting Nov. 15 at the Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel. During his presentation, Johnson highlighted a study the Air Force is working on to address the challenges of warfighting in contested environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Wyatt)
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Presentation emphasizes challenge of warfighting in contested environments

Posted 11/21/2012   Updated 11/21/2012 Email story   Print story


by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

11/21/2012 - BEDFORD, Mass. -- The ability for warfighters to perform necessary missions in contested electronic environments was highlighted during the Military Affairs Council meeting Nov. 15 at the Doubletree Bedford Glen hotel.

"EW is similar to cyber as there are asymmetrical threats out there," said Bruce Johnson, Command and Control Center chief engineer for technology. "Over the last 10 years in particular, there has been a globalization of technology. Technologies are available to nation and non-nation states that can affect the electromagnetic spectrum."

Johnson spoke about a study that the Air Force is working on called Effective Warfighting in Contested Environments.

The study is looking at how to effectively fight in an electromagnetic contested environment.

During the past five years, this area has been a challenge and it has been brought up during exercises and by combatant commanders as a significant issue. They also expressed concern about each of the services addressing the problem its own way. Therefore, the study is also looking at joint and coalition operations.

The study, which is being led by the Air Combat Command, is looking at the threats and vulnerabilities, and what can be done about them.

"Adversaries can attack our most extensive weapons systems with relatively inexpensive systems," said Johnson.

Materiel solutions and tactics, techniques and training are being looked at as areas for improvements, including the interrelationships between them.

"We're looking for the best of breed - reasonable, cost-effective solutions," said Johnson.

He emphasized the study is not looking at long term research, but for innovative ideas that can be incorporated into existing programs of records. Johnson said that's where he sees industry being able to be involved, by bringing those ideas to the table. Some of the areas he sees industry being able to assist with include enhanced training tools and capabilities and advanced electronic warfare concepts.

Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, who had been participated in community meetings locally throughout the week, said he was "thrilled" to have the chance to work with industry on addressing these challenges.

"We need to think differently about how we do business," he said. "I'm charged up to see the government working with industry to come up with the right solutions."

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