Retired Air Force Brig. General-turned-U.S. Rep. Don Bacon said recently that after nearly 15 years’ worth of decline, American electronic warfare capabilities are finally beginning to improve, but not fast enough.
The Nebraska Republican told an electronic warfare trade group that EW should be a warfighting domain, complete with its own command structure like air, land, sea, space and cyberspace. Also, there should be general officers appointed to each of the four service branches and an EW flag officer appointed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“As a young EWO (Electronic Warfare Officer), there was no doubt we had the best electronic warfare capabilities in the world,” Bacon said. After the Soviet Union fell, however, “we let it atrophy for a decade-and-a-half.”
“Today, I would say that we’ve turned the corner, (but) we’re in first gear and we need to be in fourth or fifth,” said Bacon, who was elected to Congress in 2016.
Though he sits on the House Armed Services Committee, he is very much a junior member so it’s not certain his views would be listened to or appreciated. But he makes them from a position of experience: He spent 34 years as an Air Force electronic warfare officer, logging more than 1,700 flight hours and earning one star.
Also, when it comes to electronic warfare in particular, Bacon is likely Congress’ most qualified member.
“We need to be clear that electronic warfare, the electromagnetic spectrum, is indeed a physical domain. It is a separate physical domain. It’s a scientific fact,” Bacon said. [source]