By Staff Sgt. Samuel NorthrupNovember 10, 2017
YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER, Wash. -- Soldiers of 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team learned the hazards of enemy jamming techniques during a degraded environment class held Nov. 5-7, at Yakima Training Center, Washington.
The class focused on GPS interference recognition and reporting, while emphasizing the importance of not being reliant on electronic technology for navigation.
"A lot of people don't realize what our enemies are capable of when it comes to jamming," said Lisa Prue, a training exercise instructor with U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Forces Strategic Command. " We try to introduce them to those concepts and train them how to mitigate that if they find themselves in a GPS-jammed environment."
The training is important because Soldiers will most likely be fighting in GPS-degraded environment in the future, said Sgt. 1st Class Juan Jaramillo, an electronic warfare sergeant with 1-2 SBCT. Getting this training down to the lowest level will help mitigate a lot of the risks they will face in the future.
"There are also basic techniques we are teaching in the class such as body masking, digging a hole in the ground, using terrain or metal objects to block jamming signals so you can re-acquire the GPS signal," said Prue. "Old-school techniques are also very important. Being proficient in map and compass skills is very important."
According to Prue, one of the most important things Soldiers can do is report jamming.
"We will not be able to find or target a jammer until reports are made," she added. "It is the personnel in the field who are executing the mission who can most easily find the jammer. When the information gets up to the proper channels, we can find the jammer and take care of it."
Anyone can get their hands on a GPS jammer -- making it even more important for Soldiers to report the jamming source, Prue said.
"Anyone in the world can go online and buy a GPS jammer," she said. "If you do a Google search, you will get more than one million hits for GPS jammers. That is available to buy commercially. Our potential adversaries will have more advanced capabilities."