Army electronic warfare division hosts semi-annual working group
March 29, 2011
WASHINGTON -- The Headquarters Department of the Army G-3/5/7 Electronic Warfare Division hosted a working group March 7-9, at the Pentagon, that included military, civilians and business professionals interested in helping the Army arrive at solutions related to the institutionalization of Electronic Warfare as a core competency.
Col. Jim Ekvall, Division Chief, Electronic Warfare Division, developed the working group concept versus hosting an annual presentation-driven conference. He felt that semi-annual collaboration working groups would be a better way to find solutions for current problems facing the Electronic Warfare, or EW, community.
"My personal experience is that conferences have limited utility, where as a working group typically yields tangible results," said Ekvall. "I wanted results."
The working group was divided into four panels focusing on unique subject areas, Cyber, Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems, known as IEWS, Policy and EW integration.
Panel leads were selected to lead discussion in their respective areas of expertise. Panel leads included Mack Martin, CAC/CDID, Ken Denham DCS G-3/5/7, DAMO-CI, Rhon Say, DCS G-3/5/7, DAMO-ODE and Tony McNeill from the Electronic Warfare Proponent Office.
During the panel discussions attendees had the opportunity to share their real-life experiences with one another as well as gain further insight into what is happening now in Army EW, and what is planned for the future.
"I enjoyed the interaction between the panel chairs and the panel members. Second to that, I enjoyed the side-bar conversations with representatives of the larger EW community." Ekvall said.
Craig Easler, currently stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas was among the attendees.
"I thought the work shop was awesome because it was a great opportunity to meet people and voice our opinions and experiences at the headquarters level." Easler said.
One of the main highlights of holding a working group was the ample opportunity for networking and sharing ideas among both military and business professionals.
Sgt. Andrew Smith, an EW Specialist from Fort Bliss, Texas, and a graduate of the first 29E course in June 2010, participated in both the Cyber and Policy group panels. He enjoyed sharing his experiences from the EW classroom and in the field with fellow working group attendees.
"I wanted to help shape topics being discussed and put in what I see should be changed or modified from an integrator point of view," Smith said. "I learned a lot about networking, who all is out there and what their issues are concerning Electronic Warfare. I learned things about Electronic Warfare that I did not know, and now I have people to reach out to."
The Electronic Warfare office intends to hold another working group again in six months. Ekvall would ideally like the division to continually hold working groups in order to keep the discussions current and to resolve the issues that are being discussed.
"There should be a resolution of the issues presented in each of the panels, and a better and constant dialogue between the attendees throughout the year as we all work toward common resolution of issues," Ekvall said.
With the operations overseas continuing, EW will continue to be a growing and highly critical career field in the Army. These additional working groups will continue to assess the Army needs and capabilities.
"This working group was a really good idea and will help other groups of the same sort because EW is in its infancy and therefore events such as these will help push EW forward," Smith said.
EW professionals interested in participating in a future Army EW Working Group, or who have any questions regarding HQDA, Electronic Warfare, can check out the Headquarters Department of the Army Electronic Warfare Facebook page at