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HASC Lawmakers to Push Pentagon to Designate Top-Level Leaders for Electromagnetic Warfare

Two key lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee said they will push the Pentagon to designate a flag officer on the Joint Staff and a senior civilian to take charge of electromagnetic spectrum warfare.

Speaking Tuesday at the Hudson Institute, Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.) – who chairs the HASC cyber, innovative technologies and information systems subcommittee – said “we sure do need someone in charge,” such as a deputy assistant secretary.

He and Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), who sits on the tactical air and land forces subcommittee, agreed that for too long the Pentagon has resisted this change.

“We’ve got to stop studying and [begin] seeing some action,” particularly to close the gap between Chinese and Russian advances in electromagnetic warfare, Bacon said. “We had EW dominance in the ’80s and ’90s.” As a result, Beijing and Moscow “went on steroids,” investing in these capabilities to jam radars and disrupt sensor operations and communications flow. China and Russia are developing high-energy defenses, networked active and passive sensors, centralized control and new doctrine to use the emerging capabilities.

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