Sky Soldiers test their skills in the first offensive EW training exercise in USAREUR

By Capt. Norman BlackAugust 16, 2017

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Papa Airbase, Hungary -- U.S. Army Paratroopers from the Electronic Warfare Element of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and their Hungarian Allies from the Electronic Warfare Company, 24th Bornemissza Gergely Reconnaissance Battalion, 5th Bocskai István Infantry Brigade, Hungarian Army, used organic unit electronic equipment to develop tactics, techniques, and procedures between NATO Allies and gain a better understanding of how each country conducts electronic warfare (EW) at the tactical level during Brave Warrior 17 at Varapolta, Hungary from July 10-14, 2017.

The EW event was the first time that ground based Electronic Support (ES) and Electronic Attack (EA) was conducted between U.S. land forces and a NATO member in the United States European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility.

The HDF Electronic Warfare Company and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Electronic Warfare Element concluded the successful Brave Warrior EW training with a Capstone exercise on 14 JULY 2017. Several Hungarian Joint Staff member and representatives were in attendance and expressed that the training and capstone went very well, while also highlighting the need for more combined North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partnered Electronic Warfare training to work on interoperability among partnered nations.

The goals of the Hungarian Defense Forces included building up a good relationship with the U.S Army 173rd Airborne Brigade Electronic Warfare Element, said Maj. Ferenc Nyizsnyik, Deputy Intelligence Division Head, HUN ACCC. "We have to conduct EW training with the available equipment; carry out interception, direction finding, and jamming in order to improve EW Soldiers' capabilities and cooperation between Hungarian and US Army EW elements."

The 173rd Airborne Brigade and 5th Bocskai István Infantry Brigade were both excited by the results and both expressed a strong interest in combined future Electronic Warfare training to work on NATO interoperability, supportability, and to build an enduring partnership between their respective Electronic Warfare teams.

"All of us really enjoyed the work with the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade Electronic Warfare Element," said The HDF Electronic Warfare Company Commander 1st Lt. Zsolt Kiss. "It was a whole new experience and was very effective, and useful."

The 173rd EWE employed dismounted electronic warfare systems at the Varapolta Training Range in coordination with the HDF. Both units reviewed their command's training objectives for the EW training event and developed a common understanding of how to employ their Soldiers and equipment while focusing on integration between the NATO EW teams.

"Having the opportunity to work with foreign partners as we learned the ins and outs of our equipment was a great experience," said Sgt. Shane Paulo, an Electronic Warfare Specialist with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. "The Hungarian EW team definitely challenged us to be creative in the way we operate, but I feel as though we also equally challenged them. Both teams came out more knowledgeable than when we started and look forward to the future opportunities of working with them."

The training event covered the use of Electronic Support and Electronic Attack by HDF EWC teams using dismounted jammers and additional ES capabilities provided by 173rd EWE dismounted VROD/VMAX systems. The 173rd EWE and HDF EWC operators used the electromagnetic spectrum to monitor, detect, locate, and then jam the adversary's radio communications notes in an austere operating environment while gaining valuable experience in operating their respective equipment.

"I hope next year we will be able to arrange an exercise like this and could put cooperation between HDF EW and U.S ARMY EW to a new, higher level," said Kiss.


The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the U.S. Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of projecting forces to conduct the full range of military operations across the United States European, Central and Africa Commands areas of responsibility.

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