The 10th Mountain Division have received training in electronic warfare from the Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. 10th CAB Electronic Warfare Specialists used a small, portable interference device – called STEAVE, a Situational Trainer Electronic Attack Variable Emitter – which is designed to interfere with navigational systems aboard the aircraft used in the exercise. STEAVE affects an area up to about 15 to 20 nautical miles. During the air assault mission of the exercise, Captain Kyle Terza, the Chief of Home Station Training from the SMDC, and his team of Electronic Warfare Specialists targeted the aircraft flying above, interfering with their navigational systems.
“When we talk about many practices in the Army, we’re talking about the past 16 years of fighting counter-insurgency operations,” said Terza. “We weren’t contested in the electromagnetic spectrum. The next war might be inside this type of environment. So, we have to train on it before we see it downrange.”
The primary goals of the training were having the pilots be able to recognize that their navigational systems were being interfered with and be able to successfully navigate to their objective despite the interference, and have soldiers understand the real-world effects of electronic warfare on aircraft, navigational systems and even artillery batteries.
“Soldiers were able to see what it looks like, so they can identify it in the future. If something happens, they need to know what they’re seeing when their systems don’t work,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Traynham, an electronic warfare non-commissioned officer for the 10th Mountain Division.