U.S. Strategic Command will official establish the Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Center in a ceremony Wednesday, serving as a key piece of the Pentagon’s implementation plan for its spectrum superiority strategy to gain an advantage over adversaries.
The JEC, as it is known, will aim to raise the readiness of the joint force within the electromagnetic spectrum, serving as the heart of the Defense Department’s EMSO, according to a spokesperson. It will work to restructure accounts for force management, planning, situation monitoring, decision-making and force direction while focusing on training and education with capability assessments.
This new center will also support combatant commands with EMSO training, planning and requirements support.
The organization derives its creation from the implementation plan of the DOD’s 2020 electromagnetic spectrum superiority strategy.
The U.S. military has been on a path of aggressive modernization within the spectrum in recent years after it divested much of the advanced capabilities it possessed throughout the Cold War and waged the post-9/11 counterterrorism campaigns. Now, as sophisticated adversaries have discovered the necessary reliance on spectrum for communications, precision weapons and navigation, the battle for supremacy in this invisible sphere has commenced.
“The activation of the Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Enterprise Center at Offutt Air Force Base represents a significant achievement and is an important day for the nation,” Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., a retired electronic warfare one-star general with the Air Force, said in a statement to DefenseScoop. “As a career electronic warfare officer in the U.S. Air Force, I entered Congress deeply concerned about the significant decline in the capabilities and readiness of our electronic warfare forces.”
Bacon didn’t believe the DOD had moved fast enough to address those concerns.
“The JEC is a product of the work that we’ve done in the [National Defense Authorization Act], frankly. We have forced putting people in the lead that we can hold accountable,” he said during an event hosted by the Hudson Institute July 18.
Bacon has been firm in the past that without Congress forcing certain issues on the Pentagon to take action, certain necessary steps to modernize in the spectrum from strategies, organizations, leadership and command-and-control relationships, would not have happened.
He added in an emailed statement that the standup of the JEC is a “significant milestone in our journey to ensure the Joint Force is prepared to compete with and — if necessary — defeat any adversary in any domain.”
Officials have previously explained the new JEC would provide operational leadership in assessing joint force readiness within the spectrum as well as standardizing the joint electromagnetic spectrum operations cells that exist at each of the combatant commands to provide planning expertise for commanders. The center would also serve as the operational sponsor for the electromagnetic battle management system (EMBM), which is a tool that will allow commanders to visualize and plan operations within the invisible spectrum.
The JEC will be led by Brig. Gen. Annmarie Anthony, who told DefenseScoop via an emailed statement that the center will transition to initial operational capability this summer.
She added that the center will be comprised of two additional elements aside from the headquarters at Stratcom: the Joint Electromagnetic Warfare Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas and the Joint Center for Electromagnetic Readiness at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
“Throughout this transition the all three organizations under the Joint EMSO Center will increase their staff to perform the additional, assigned responsibilities. We expect to reach full operational capability in FY25,” she said, referring to fiscal 2025.