The theme of AOC EW Europe 2018 is 'Innovation and Evolution in Global Electromagnetic Operations' - Why are innovation and evolution currently so important in the EM Spectrum?
When the Wall came down at the end of the Cold War, the free world slowed or ceased an adequate focus on spectrum operations. Now, given Russia or China's demonstrations of EMS prowess, the free world needs to scramble to restore this focus. Because we are behind (or it appears that way), we need innovation to provide the "leap-ahead" capability to defeat these new threats. In the meantime, we need to evolve our capabilities - we cannot sit still awaiting those big innovations.
How you feel the EW community has evolved over the past 12 months?
Hinging on my last response - we are seeing evolution in the following existing capabilities: combat drones, directed energy (High-powered microwaves and lasers), passive radar, multi-spectral capabilities (RF/IR/UV/Visual/EO/Digital all in the same seeker), specifically to operate in a denied spectrum environment. We are seeing capabilities move into the higher (>18GHz) and lower (<2 GHz) bands, to counter capabilities being developed by our adversaries. From a U.S. Air Force perspective, we are seeing an increase in Spectrum Operations, as indicated by Gen. Stephen "Sevy" Wilson's announcement last fall at AOC International, standing up the EW/EMS Superiority ECCT.
What do you think are the particular challenges facing EW capabilities in Europe specifically?
The answer to this question is the premise for my presentation, so I'd like to maintain some curiosity among the readership so they will attend! However, I will say that Europe is not (in general) at war with Russia, so they don't need to attack Russia. But, given how Russia has been behaving, European countries need to ensure their own access to the spectrum. This means non other than, Electronic Project. I will share more in my talk in the afternoon on Day One at AOC EW Europe 2018.
What can delegates expect to take away from your session?
With the transformation of warfare from the speed of tanks and troops to the speed of light, everyone working in EW must take on an expanded role with global responsibility. Listeners need to formulate their new sphere of influence in this new global space. To use a cliché, but it definitely appies here, what is your piece of the puzzle? how can you make it the best it can be? I am providing a framework for you to make decisions about your future role in EW.
Why is AOC EW Europe a must-attend event for those working in the EW domain?
Because we keep saying we are not going to fight alone ever again - not the United States, or the UK, or NATO. So, we have to figure out what each of us is doing so we can ensure we will work together. We cannot afford to run into a scenario where we show up on the same battlefield and jam each other. From a military/operator perspective, people will connect with people who are sitting face to face with the Russian threat. They'll get a chance to discuss the capabilities we need to defeat it now. You cannot beat that kind of exposure, and AOC EW Europe 2018, will once again, provide it.