Letter: Electronic Warfare Training range needed in Clallam County
Letter to the Editor
from Gerald Stiles
I support the Navy’s plans to install and operate an Electronic Warfare (EW) Training range here. Why?—it’s because I have firsthand experience with how important airborne EW training is.
Specifically, I flew 209 combat missions in Asia as an Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO) wherein my training on similar EW ranges saved my posterior more than once. I also served as a combat-ready, F-4 Wild Weasel EWO in Europe.
In all, I’ve worked in EW for over fifty years across numerous endeavors stretching from the cockpit to the classroom wherein I taught EW courses for George Washington University throughout the world. And, I hold an EW-related patent, have earned industry awards for innovative EW concepts, and have written numerous articles on the subject.
Given all this I’m supremely confident that the EW simulators the Navy will use here will be inherently safe and, contrary to internet folklore, won’t harm our populace or wildlife. For example, the EW range in Nevada has dozens of ‘threat’ emitters amidst hundreds of folks on the ground that operate and maintain them. No direct linkage to any harmful outcomes is known
Some argue that flight simulators can provide this training. Unfortunately, they can’t replicate the dynamic airborne environment that tugs and slams at the crewmember and dictates that which can and cannot be done in the cockpit. The EW range is where the airplane, the emitters, and the aircrew all come together. It’s the real world and not an artificial, simulated world. It’s needed!
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