The Air Force plans to activate the first two of four detachments within its new spectrum warfare wing Oct. 25 with their primary focus on assessment and readiness.
The detachments are part of the 950th Spectrum Warfare Group, which sits beneath the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing. This first-of-its-kind wing, created in 2021, is focused on three missions: rapid reprogramming, target and waveform development, and assessment of Air Force EW capabilities.
The 950th — which will be based at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia — will enhance the Air Force electronic warfare assessment programs, according to a spokesperson. It will be responsible for the Combat Shield mission, the primary electronic warfare assessment team for the Air Force. That Combat Shield mission is currently assigned to the 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron.
“They’re going to be focused on everything from platform-specific readiness to large-force exercise employment and assessment, getting into [tactics, techniques and procedures] development, and write down some of these things that will be in the future,” Col. Joshua Koslov, commander of the 350th, said of the group, in a podcast hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
The Air Force — along with much of the joint force — had taken its eye off the ball within the electromagnetic spectrum for years. Now, there is greater focus on its importance and emphasis on capabilities that can be critical to gaining an advantage against adversaries.
Regarding assessments, the four functions the group will perform include developing comprehensive EW assessment methodologies to assess combat readiness and effectiveness of Air Force, joint and coalition systems; executing real time or near-real time large force exercise live-flight and virtual assessments across all global combatant commands and ensure assessment of electromagnetic spectrum operations employment; executing EW effectiveness assessments for aircraft and applicable EW systems onboard; and developing and verifying the combined effectiveness of integrated electromagnetic spectrum operation across multi-mission design series Air Force packages and multi-domain force packages, according to the spokesperson.
Officials note that the group will have a military-wide impact by improving readiness and effectiveness, developing tactics and procedures for the joint force, and informing operation plan development and sustainment efforts that provide critical insights to combatant commanders.
“The 950th Spectrum Warfare Group will provide the DOD the capability to verify EW readiness through assessment for all aircraft types as well as the cumulative effectiveness of integrated strike packages. This effort benefits combatant commander, [Air Force major commands], warfighters and better informs the acquisition enterprise for future decision-making,” the spokesperson said. “The 950th Spectrum Warfare Group aims to bring a critical factor of assessment to the EW enterprise that will directly result in the readiness of our fleet’s EW capabilities, assuring our warfighters and partners … and deterring our adversaries.”
Updated on Oct. 5, 2023 at 2:30 PM: This story has been updated to reflect that the Air Force is activating two detachments. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Air Force is activating two squadrons.