{glossarbot=disable}Sol­diers Learn Elec­tron­ic War­fare Skills in East­ern Bagh­dad

By Army Sgt. Jere­my Todd
Spe­cial to Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice

FORWARD OPERATING BASE RUSTAMIYAH, Iraq, Nov. 5, 2008 — Select­ed sol­diers assigned to the 10th Moun­tain Division’s 4th Brigade Com­bat Team and Multi­na­tion­al Divi­sion Bagh­dad received elec­tron­ic war­fare train­ing here.

US Soldiers Learn Electronic Warfare Skills in Eastern Baghdad
Army Sgt. Nicholas Hof­fert applies the final addi­tions to an anten­na sys­tem dur­ing an elec­tron­ic war­fare class at For­ward Oper­at­ing Base Rus­tamiyah, Iraq, Oct. 29, 2008.
U.S. Army pho­to by Sgt. Jere­my Todd

Elec­tron­ic war­fare applies the radio fre­quen­cy spec­trum to defeat an ene­my and save lives on the bat­tle­field. Impro­vised explo­sive devices are the biggest threat to coali­tion and Iraqi forces, and defeat­ing that threat is the biggest con­cern for lead­ers, explained Navy Lt. Christo­pher Win­ters, the 4th Infantry Division’s elec­tron­ic war­fare train­ing offi­cer from Water­ville, Maine.

Though mil­i­tary elec­tron­ic war­fare spe­cial­ists are in the Air Force or the Navy, the Army soon will offer the career field to sol­diers.

“This is some­thing the Army needs to be con­cerned about,” said Air Force Maj. Jason Eck­berg, an elec­tron­ic war­fare offi­cer for Multi­na­tion­al Divi­sion Bagh­dad, who hails from Las Vegas.

The Army will add elec­tron­ic war­fare spe­cial­ist to its col­lec­tion of mil­i­tary occu­pa­tion­al spe­cial­ties in 2010, he said, adding that the sol­diers attend­ing the here will be among the first to attain the new MOS.

“This job offers the sol­diers a sense of pride; it is a very impor­tant to them,” Eck­berg said. “The most impor­tant fac­tor of this job is the care and main­te­nance of the equip­ment. The com­po­nents of the counter-IED sys­tems are extreme­ly intri­cate and must be cared for by trained per­son­nel.”

Eck­berg said train­ing sol­diers at the low­est pos­si­ble lev­el ensures mis­sion sta­bil­i­ty and offers lead­ers the capa­bil­i­ty to assign the respon­si­bil­i­ty to the com­pa­ny lev­el.

Civil­ian tech­ni­cians and mil­i­tary offi­cers con­duct­ed the elec­tron­ic war­fare work­shop here, which entailed 40 hours of hands-on train­ing. Four­teen sol­diers from through­out Multi­na­tion­al Divi­sion Bagh­dad attend­ed the class. The 18th Mil­i­tary Police Brigade, based out of Sand­hofen, Ger­many, spon­sored the train­ing.

“I am extreme­ly excit­ed to learn a new skill – espe­cial­ly one that will save sol­diers’ lives,” said Army Sgt. Nicholas Hof­fert, a Bis­mar­ck, N.D., native assigned to 191st MP Bat­tal­ion.

“This skill will save time on the bat­tle­field as well,” he said. “We will no longer have to wait in line to fix a fault in the sys­tem. We will be the on-site tech­ni­cian for most prob­lem­at­ic issues that may arise.”

(Army Sgt. Jere­my Todd serves in Multi­na­tion­al Divi­sion Bagh­dad with the 10th Moun­tain Division’s 4th Brigade Com­bat Team Pub­lic Affairs Office.)

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)