Marine Corps Electronic Warfare--A Combat Power Multiplier AUTHOR Major Stephen C. Robb, USMC CSC 1990 SUBJECT AREA C4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TITLE: MARINE CORPS ELECTRONIC WARFARE--A COMBAT POWER MULTIPLIER THESIS: If the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Commander is to gain control and manage the electromagnetic spectrum of the future battlefield, he must understand and integrate Electronic Warfare (EW) into his warfighting plans as a combat power multiplier. BACKGROUND: History holds many lessons concerning employment and integration of electronic warfare. Our potential adversary--the Soviet Union, has learned the lesson the hard way by the German Invasion of 1941. Other countries such as Israel, and Great Britain have learned through war experiences that electronic warfare is a combat power multiplier. Much has been written, but little is known about Electronic Warfare. Within the Marine Corps, electronic warfare support is a commodity that all want but really don't know what to do with it when they receive it. Some commanders understand and integrate electronic warfare into their scheme of maneuver, while others think electronic warfare can provide a force field to protect their communications and destroy the enemy's jammers. The modern battlefield today overloads the electromagnetic spectrum from command and control to modern weapon systems. It will tax the MAGTF commander's ability to command. An old adage states that without communications a commander commands nothing. A commander must be able to control and use the electromagnetic spectrum while possessing the ability to deny and exploit the enemy's use. CONCLUSION: Electronic warfare provides the MAGTF commander with a combat power multiplier and an ability to control and shape future battlefields. The key to this multiplier is education and integration into the overall scheme of maneuver. Don't just check the block that Appendix 3 to Annex C is completed. Use it! MARINE CORPS ELECTRONIC WARFARE-A COMBAT FORCE MULTIPLIER Thesis: If the Marine Air-Ground Task Force commander is to gain control and manage the electromagnetic spectrum of the future battlefield, he must understand and integrate Electronic Warfare (EW) into his warfighting plans as a combat power multiplier. I. Historical Examples a. Russo-Japanese War 1905 b. World War II c. Arab-Israeli War 1973/1982 II. Terminology associated with Electronic Warfare a. EW b. ESM/SIGINT c. ECM d. ECCM III. Comparision of Soviet Electronic Warfare a. Organization b. Mission c. Concept of Operations IV. Radio Battalion - Ground EW a. Mission b. Organization c. Concept of Operations V. VMAQ-2 Squadron a. Mission b. Organization c. Concept of Operations VI. Command & Control - Signals Intelligence/Electronic Warfare Coordination Center (S/EWCC) a. Mission b. Organization c. Responsibilities and membership VII. Lessons Learned from Electronic Warfare a. MCLLS b. " c. " VII. Can a commander control and shape the future battlefield? a. Modern battlefield can be managed and controlled through EW. b. EW education and integration is the key. MARINE CORPS ELECTRONIC WARFARE - A COMBAT POWER MULTIPLIER "Whoever controls the electromagnetic spectrum on the battlefield will win the next war." Admiral Sergei Gorschkov Former Commander-in-Chief Soviet Navy "If there is a World War Three, the winner will be the side that can best control and manage the electromagnetic spectrum." 1 Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff As America's Force-In-Readiness, the Marine Corps is ready to deploy worldwide on a moment's notice to protect this nation's vital interests. The likelihood of our involvement in a low- intensity conflict is high. Furthermore, the likelihood that our enemy will possess and employ sophisticated electronics is just as high. The modern battlefield today overloads the electro- magnetic spectrum from command and control to modern weapon systems. A commander must be able to control and use the electromagnetic spectrum while possessing the ability to deny and exploit the enemy's use. If the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Commander is to gain control and manage the electro- magnetic spectrum of the future battlefield, he must understand and integrate Electronic Warfare (EW) into his warfighting plans as a combat power multiplier. Competition for control of the electromagnetic spectrum began when Marconi made his third wireless and tried to communicate on the same frequency, at the same time as the first pair. The history of electronic warfare or at least the first recorded intentional interference of military voice communi- cations occurred in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. The Shinano Maru had located the Russian fleet in the Tsushima Strait, and was communicating its location to the Imperial Japanese Fleet Headquarters at Mesampo Bay, Korea. The captain of the Russian ship Ural requested permission to disrupt the Japanese communication link by attempting transmit a stronger signal over the Shinano Mura's signal hoping to distort the Japanese's signal at the receiving end, Admiral Togo's Fleet Headquarters. [Admiral] Rozhestvenshiy refused the (electronic warfare) advise, which in those circumstances might proved invaluable. . . . perhaps he wanted to prove to the fleet his self-confidence in the face of the enemy or perhaps he had failed to grasp the value of electronic jamming as a means of preventing the enemy from communicating. 2 During World War II, both the Allied and Axis Powers extensively used electronic warfare, or what Winston Churchill called the "Battle of the Beams." Initially, the focus of effort for both sides was in defeating navigational radars used to vector bombers to long range targets. Later, electronic warfare helped in providing the battlefield commander with vital tactical intelligence. The importance of electronic warfare was particularly demonstrated at the battle of Gazala-Bir Hacheim (Tobruk), June, 1942. Rommel not only knew of British plans and of their numerical superiority in a general way, he also knew - thanks to his signal intelligence company [Fernmelddeaufklarung] - exactly where the British fighting units were deployed. British low-level tactical communications, sent mostly in plaintext, provided the location, strengths, deployment, and readiness of their units . . . If Rommel had had the capability to jam the British tactical communication systems during that battle, the consequences could have been expected to be even more terrible [for the British] during the British withdrawal. 3 On the Eastern Front, initially the Germans were the masters of not only air and ground warfare but also electronic warfare. At Stalingrad, however, the Russian Army showed that it had learned many lessons from the German use of electronic warfare. The Russians, "claimed to have accomplished a historical first integrated use of the three elements of German electronic tactics; radio intelligence, radio disinformation, and a combination of jamming and destroying enemy artillery and aviation command posts and communications centers." 4 The Israelis have shown often that they can apply past lessons of electronic warfare into coordinated and integrated tactics for the modern day battlefield. For example, at the beginning of the Six Day War, on 5 June, 1967, the Israelis launched a pre-emptive strike against Egyptian air and air defense targets by employing the following tactics: the most far-off radars were attacked and put out of action while those within range of Israeli electronic equipment were subjected to jamming. Moreover, during and after the initial attack, Israeli radio operators who spoke fluent Egyptian Arabic transmitted into the enemy air defense radio communications network, giving false orders, canceling correct orders and generally causing confusion and preventing Egyptian commands from using the radio. . . . the Israelis managed to destroy the whole Egyptian air force in the space of two hours. 5 Before discussing electronic warfare further, a basic foundation of terminology should be established. The following electronic warfare associated definitions are DOD definitions as defined in JCS Publication 1-02, Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. a. Electronic Warfare (EW). Military action involving the use of electromagnetic energy to determine, exploit, reduce, or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum. There are three divisions within electronic warfare: (1) Electronic Warfare Support Measures (ESM). That division of electronic warfare involving actions taken under the direct control of an operational commander to search for, intercept, and identify/ locate sources of radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat recognition. Thus, electronic warfare support measures provide a source of information required for immediate decisions involving electronic countermeasures, electronic counter-countermeasures, avoidance, targeting, and other tactical employment of forces. ESM data used to produce signals intelligence (SIGINT), both communications intelligence (COMINT) and electronics intelligence (ELINT). (2) Electronic Countermeasures (ECM). That division of electronic warfare involving actions taken to prevent or reduce an enemy's effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum. Electronic countermeasures include: (a) Electronic Jamming. The deliberate radia- tion, reradiation, or reflection of electro- magnetic energy for the purpose of disrupting enemy use of electronic devices, equipment or systems. (b) Electronic Deception. The deliberate radia- tion, reradiation, alteration, absorption, denial, enhancement, or reflection of electromagnetic energy in a manner intended to convey misleading information and to deny valid information to an enemy or to enemy electronic-dependent weapons. Among the types of electronic deception are: (1) Manipulative Electronic Deception (MED). Actions to eliminate revealing, or convey misleading, telltale indicators that may be used by hostile forces. (2) Simulative Electronic Deception (SED). Actions to represent friendly notional or actual capabilities to mislead hostile forces. (3) Imitative Electronic Deception (ICD). The introduction of electromagnetic energy into enemy systems that imitates enemy emissions. (3) Electronic Counter-Countermeaaures (ECCM). That division of electronic warfare involving actions taken to ensure friendly effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum despite the enemy's use of electronic warfare. b. Signala Intelligence (SIGINT). A category of intel- ligence information comprising all communications intelligence, electronics intelligence and telemetry intelligence. (1) Communicationa Intelligence (COMINT). Technical and intelligence information derived from foreign communications by other than the intended recipients. (2) Electronica Intelligence (ELINT). Technical and intelligence information derived from foreign non- communication electromagnetic radiations emanating from other than nuclear detonations or radioactive sources. c. Communications Security Monitoring (COMSEC). The act of listening to, copying, or recording transmissions of one's own circuits (or when specifically agreed, e.g., in allied exercises those of friendly forces), to provide material for communications security analysis in order to determine the degree of security being provided to those transmissions. In particular, the purposes include providing a basis for advising commanders on the security risks resulting from their transmissions, improving the security of communications, and planning and conducting manipulative communication deception operations. Before we become educated on Marine Corps electronic warfare doctrine, capabilities and assets, we should examine electronic warfare from the viewpoint of our largest potential adversary -- the Soviet Union. Glasnost and Perestroika has changed many Western political and military views toward believing the threat of posed by the Soviet Union has dissolved with the cold war. Soviet politics may change quickly but Soviet military doctrine is slow to change especially if they surmise that the doctrine is sound in theory and practice. We should remember that in future conflicts, the enemy may employ Soviet-taught doctrine, tactics as well as Soviet equipment against us. We should become familiar with way the Soviet Union views and employs electronic warfare. The Soviets subdivide electronic warfare or Radio- electronic Combat (REC) [Radioelektronaya Bor'Ba] into four areas; radio intelligence/intercept, radio countermeasures (jamming), physical suppression/attack, and radio concealment and deception. Soviet REC units are assigned at both operational (front) and tactical levels (division) depicted in figures 1-1 and 1-2. Click here to view image Soviet doctrine and concept of operations emphasize the integration of REC units at the tactical level (Division). The Radio/Radar Recon Co at the division level "doubles the jamming capability of a Soviet front." 6 Additionally, the Soviets possess formidable air REC assets; both helicopter (Hip H/J/K variants) and fixed wing (TU- 16 Badger/Blinder). The word "integration" signifies the following three significant factors concerning how the Soviets view REC: 1. It means REC has been adopted for use by all the services of the Soviet armed forces, subject to central direction, probably by the General Staff. 2. It signifies that REC is an integral part of overall Soviet military doctrine. 3. It means that REC integrates all methods of manipulating radioelectronic emissions throughout the electromagnetic spectrum--including electro-optical and acoustic signals--into one inclusive system of military practice. 7 A specific area which the Soviets have had little debate, unlike in some Western circles, has been the differentiation between ESM and SIGINT. ESM and SIGINT operations are synonymous for the Soviets because both are functionally involved with detecting, identifying and locating enemy emitters while providing early warning to the supported commanders. "In fact, in literally translated references to ESM, the Soviets explain it away as another name radioelectronic intelligence (SIGINT) or as a concept that comprises SIGINT." 8 The focus of effort for radioelectronic combat operations would be targeted against enemy command and control communi- cations, and weapon acquisition and fire control radars. Through the REC unit's organization, mission and concept of operations, Soviet commanders prove their willingness to utilize and employ radioelectronic combat as a combat force multiplier. There are two organizations that provide the combat force multiplier for the MAGTF commander--the Radio Battalion (RadBn) for ground electronic warfare and VMAQ-2 Squadron for airborne electronic warfare. The Radio Battalion is organized and equipped to conduct tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT), ground electronic warfare (EW), and communications security (COMSEC) monitoring/analysis in direct support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. To accomplish its mission, the Radio Battalion performs the following tasks: a. Provides and manages tasked organized units capable of providing tactical SIGINT, EW support, and COMSEC monitoring/ analysis to the MAGTF commander. b. Conducts ECM operations against enemy communications. c. Conducts COMSEC surveillance and surveys to determine the success of the force COMSEC efforts. d. Provides technical direction and guidance on SIGINT/EW matters to the MAGTF. e. Provides personnel and equipment to assist in the establishment of the Signals Intelligence/Electronic Warfare Coordination Center (S/EWCC) at the MAGTF Command Element. f. Provides special intelligence communications support for the MAGTF command element. 9 There are two Radio Battalions within the Fleet Marine Force. First Radio Battalion, FMFPAC, supports both I and III MEF and is considered a Force asset--not resident in either the 1st or 3rd Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group (SRI), and receives its tasking from the CG FMFPAC. Second Radio Battalion, supports II MEF and is part of the 2nd SRI Group. It receives its tasking from the MAGTF commander, through G-2 channels to the SRI Group commander. The Radio Battalion, in garrison, is organized and equipped along traditional table of organization/equipment structures, e.g., three companies - Headquarters and Service (H&S) Company, Company A and Company B. This allows maximum administrative control of subordinate elements, facilitates training, and permits rapid structuring and operational deployment of task- organized detachments. The H&S company is organized and serves in the same capacity as any other FMF H&S companies except for three additional platoons - see figure 1-3. Company A maintains the battalion's direction finding, electronic countermeasures, and communications security monitoring assets. Company B provides the signals intelligence collection assets for the battalion, see figure 1-4. Click here to view image The Battalion's warfighting structure is the task-organized Direct Support Unit (DSU) that is organized into the seven basic elements as depicted in figure 1-5. Depending upon the specific mission tasking and operational requirements, a DSU may consist of less than the seven elements but would have a minimum of four elements - command, collection, operational and analysis, and service support. Click here to view image As the Force-In-Readiness, the Marine Corps developed the concept of special operations capable MAGTFs (SOC). The (SOC) designation represented that a particular MAGTF possessed certain unique and special skills required to accomplish a myriad of missions. Consequently, special and unique electronic warfare support measures for (SOC) units were also required to ensure successful mission accomplishments. The Commandant's implementation plan for special operations capabilities . . . specifically identified EW as a requisite special operations support capability . . .Marine Corps Order 3501.8, with change 5, establishes the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation System (MCCRES) for Marine air-ground task forces (MAGTFs). EW performance standards are mandated and defined in this order, establishing EW as a necessary component of readiness. 10 The solution for Marine Corps electronic warfare was the creation of a Radio Reconnaissance Platoon within each Radio Battalion. The Radio Reconnaissance Platoon is organized in five-six man teams (RRT) according to mission and target country language. Marines assigned to RRTs are specially trained and employed to conduct SIGINT/EW operations during advance force, pre-assault, or special operations. The RRT performs the following functions when employed; (1) signal search and development operations; (2) limited reporting to satisfy EEI/OIRs tasked to the DSU; (3) lines of bearing (direction finding); and (4) immediate threat warning to alert advance forces or special operations force elements of enemy intentions/detection. The RRT is usually employed with other reconnaissance assets/forces and as part of a larger Radio Battalion detachment. The organization that conducts airborne electronic warfare in support of Fleet Marine Force operations is VMAQ-2 Squadron. VMAQ-2 is an organic unit of 2nd Marine Air Wing (MAW), but can provide detachments in support of any MAW. VMAQ-2's primary, and only, platform for conducting airborne EW is the EA-6B, Prowler. The squadron currently possesses 18 EA-6Bs and deploys in three detachments of 6 planes. While in garrison, however, VMAQ- 2 is organized along functional lines to ease administrative and training operations. In the accomplishment its mission, VMAQ-2 performs the following tasks: a. Conducts ECM operations and electronic support measures operations. b. Conducts ECM operations for ECCM training of FMF units. c. Process and provide mission data from tape recordings obtained on EW missions for updating and maintaining an electronic order of battle. d. Maintain the capability of operating from aircraft carriers, advanced bases, and forward bases. 11 In accounts written concerning responsibility for electronic warfare, the authors laid the responsibility at the feet of the commander. Commanders' control and management of the electro- magnetic spectrum require control and management of the electronic warfare assets. The primary management tool that permits coordination of EW assets is the Signals Intelligence- Electronic Warfare Coordination Center (S/EWCC). As a staff agency, the S/EWCC coordinates the signals intelligence, electronic warfare and COMSEC activities of the MAGTF to identify and resolve potential conflicts. Even with the history and exercise lessons learned, there are still some who believe EW is something right out of Star Trek or Star Wars. A flip of the switch and presto--an electronic force field that allows friendly communications while jamming enemy's radio and radar systems. Unfortunately, the modern battlefield is not that modern. When radiating, friendly jammers can disrupt friendly communications if there was not prior coordination and planning. The S/EWCC is the focal point for coordination between the G-2/S- 2, G-3/S-3, and the Communications-Electronics Officer (CEO) and requests for EW support from MAGTF units. The MAGTF G-2 establishes and is responsible for the manning and operations of the S/EWCC. He ensures that the following representatives, at the minimum are present; (1) G-2; (2) G-3; (3) CEO; (4) Special Intelligence Officer (SIO); (5) Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO); (6) Radio Battalion liaison officer; and (7) VMAQ-2 liaison officer. Other countries have learned lessons from history concerning using electronic warfare as a combat power multiplier. Some of the lessons the Marine Corps has learned are: (1) ESM and SIGINT are not mutually exclusive, but complimentary and interdependent on each other to ensure successful EW operations. The degree or emphasis placed on techniques and also the use of the information derived separate one from another. (2) Rear security area operations can be enhanced by early warning information of a potential threat or attack from Radio Battalion via a dedicated Indications and Warning (I&W) net. (3) The speed and size of future battlefields may result in establishment of a S/EWCC (forward) that can communicate and coordinate with the forward-deployed EW units. (4) Radio Battalion can enhance its EW capability via airborne ESM and ECM missions by employing RadBn unique equipment mounted in UH-1N helicopters. (5) The best approach for educating commanders and their staffs on the unique capabilities of Radio Battalion is by integrating the battalion's assets into the commander's scheme of maneuver. An old adage states that without communications a commander commands nothing. The modern battlefield will tax the MAGTF commander's ability to command. He must ensure he can communi- cate freely while denying or exploiting his adversary's command and control assets. Electronic warfare provides the MAGTF commander with a combat power multiplier and an ability to control and shape future battlefields. ENDNOTES 1 Mario de Arcangelis, Electronic Warfare: From the Battle of Tsushima to the Falklands and Lebanon Conflicts, Blandford Press, Dorset, United Kingdom, 1985, p. 9. 2 Ibid, p. 11. 3 Don E. Gordon, Electronic Warfare: Element of Strategy and Mulitplier of Combat Power, Pergamon Press, New York, 1981, p. 69. 4 David G. Chizum, Soviet Radioelectronic Combat, Westview Press Inc., Boulder, Colorado, 1985, p. 3. 5 Arcangelis, p. 178. 6 Department of Defense, Soviet Military Power: Prospects for Change - 1989, Washington D. C., 1989, p. 81. 7 Chizum, p. 4. 8 Ibid, p. 32. 9 U. S. Marine Corps, Fleet Marine Force Organization-1990, FMFMRP 1-11, Quantico, Virginia, 1989, p. 7-3. 10 Captain Patrick C. Heggy, "MEU(SOC) Electronic Warfare," Marine Corps Gazette, (September 1979), p. 76-77. 11 U. S. Marine Corps, FMFMRP 1-11, p. 5-38. 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