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Dominate the Spectrum: ACC Emphasizes EMS

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  • By Air Combat Command Public Affairs
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs

The Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) connects forces on land, in the air, at sea, space, and cyberspace. The EMS connects you in your personal and professional life, but this is a battlespace, and it must be won in each and every conflict.

In Air Combat Command, the EMS is at the forefront of technological development supporting the Air Force, especially through the progression of electromagnetic warfare. It ultimately affects how ACC, and the Air Force, will engage in and through the EMS in the future.

“Focused integration of electromagnetic spectrum operations in our training and exercises will expand our readiness by creating complex environments for our Airmen to train in and against,” said Air Force Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of ACC. “Our focus on the Electromagnetic Spectrum builds on, and enhances our mission areas to prepare our Airmen for future operations and conflicts as the first battlespace that must be won.”

The EMS is a highly regulated continuum of electromagnetic waves arranged according to frequency and wavelengths. The EMS includes the full range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.

We integrate and utilize the EMS every day in our personal and professional lives. However, due to advancements in technologies, gathering intelligence and maneuvering within the EMS has become challenging. Air Combat Command stands ready to address this challenge head-on with precision and strength.

“The spectrum affects almost every aspect of everyday life for our Airmen and how they connect through cell phones, Wi-Fi, and wireless technologies. Nearly all modern communications have a wireless connection, so our presence in the EMS is greater now than ever before,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Weggeman, deputy commander of ACC. “Riding through all of these wireless connections in the EMS is data and information, and this is where there are opportunities and challenges. To understand Information Warfare we must first focus on the EMS as the purveyor of data and information. To be a leader in AI, you have to first be a leader in Data and to be a leader in Information Warfare, you first have to be a leader in Spectrum Operations.”

Historically, the EMS has been critical for military, industry, and civilian use. This shared dependency makes this resource more scarce, valuable, and vulnerable every day, according to Mr. Ted Uchida, ACC A3 deputy director of operations.

“Competing in the EMS is a complex problem that must be properly evaluated to understand how future conflicts will be fought and won,” Uchida said.

The Air Force has been fighting and defending in the EMS for many years. While advances in technologies in the civilian and industrial markets have leveraged the EMS in ways never before seen or thought possible, these challenges and opportunities must be understood by our Airmen.

To get after these issues, ACC will adjust organizations, tactics, and policies as both civil and DoD communities balance vital EMS allocations which the Air Force relies on to fly, fight, and win.

Overall, the importance of educating our Airmen on the EMS is vital to the dominance of the spectrum, Kelly explained.

“Now more than ever, it is crucial we educate our Airmen on the EMS and how to detect threats and better protect Air Force systems and devices – and that doesn’t stop when you leave work,” Kelly concluded. “That is why we are going to continue to dominate the spectrum to secure the battlespace and our Airmen.”