With Cyber & Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) playing an ever-evolving critical role in military operations, those charged with directing this in-theatre capability need to be fully versed in the latest technology, processes and strategies to deliver the front-line effect.
Training and mission rehearsal therefore become increasingly important to ensure that Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) personnel become fundamental enablers
Speaking at the recent 55th Annual Association of Old Crows (AOC) International Symposium & Convention in Washington DC as part of the 'Preparing Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) Superiority' stream, Leonardo’s Head of Integrated Mission Solutions and RF Cyber Sales, PJ Wallace, re-emphasised the importance of people in delivering this capability.
"Access and understanding of the spectrum is much more complicated today, and there is a skill set mismatch: how do you teach people effectively about the spectrum, and who do you teach? Everyone operating in the EMS needs to understand the environment. We need our EW, Cyber, Maths and IT people to think differently from those trained in the last 20 years.
"So, the processes and technology to train them must evolve. We must draw upon academia to cultivate the right talent, developing new degree fields and certifications. Young people have incredible intellectual energy and need to be motivated to use that intellect, make mistakes and learn from them."
Leonardo is Europe’s leading EW specialist and has been developing products and services for the UK armed forces and their allies for more than 100 years.
Recognising the need to develop and maintain a greater number of Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQEP) to meet today's electronics-driven battlespace, Leonardo recently invested £2m to expand its EWOS capability at its CEMA Academy close to the Royal Air Force’s Air Warfare Centre in Lincolnshire. Opened by Air Marshal Philip Osborn, the UK’s Chief of Defence Intelligence, the new facility more than triples the Company’s training capacity to allow 150 students to train at any one time.
The Academy will deliver a range of domain knowledge modules that provides users with a structured course of education from overview to expert across the CEMA environment, some of which will form part of a Master of Science (MSc) programme.
Speaking after his presentation in Washington, PJ said: "From the topics being discussed in the conference and from the people I met at the symposium, it is clear that the availability of SQEP remains a key factor in successfully deliver strategic CEMA at all operational levels. Our Academy provides an ideal environment to meet the future demands for EWOS both from our UK and Export customers."