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USAF EMSO strategy due later this year

US Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff General Charles Brown is pressing the service’s top brass to complete a new overarching battle plan for electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO), electronic warfare (EW), and information warfare by this northern spring, which will influence the air service’s budget investments for EMSO in the coming fiscal years.

“I am putting pressure on [air] staff to make sure we deliver, because that strategy is going to lay out … where we are headed and where we are taking the air force, including in the electromagnetic spectrum and the operations we need to do in that arena,” Gen Brown said of the spring 2021 deadline for the new EMSO plan. The general declined to comment on the specifics of the burgeoning strategic plan but did note the service’s efforts would likely be reflected in the air force’s spending blueprint for fiscal year (FY) 2023.

“I really see that [FY] 2023 will really give us more opportunity [in EMSO] … and we are going to have to make some tough choices,” he said. “In some cases, operating in the electromagnetic spectrum can be cheaper that some of the other things we can be doing, and that is the balance we have to make,” Gen Brown added, noting the USAF’s investment roadmap for EMSO and other air force priorities for FY 2022 have been finalised, but could be amended at the request of President Joe Biden’s administration.

That said, one of the major thrusts of the air force’s new internal EMSO strategy will be to shift the enterprise away from stove-piped, legacy systems into more integrated and technologically agile solutions, he said.

An F-15 undergoes testing for a defensive electronic warfare (EW) system at Edwards Air Force Base, California (US Air Force)

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