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CHIPS Articles: Capt. Robert Gamberg, Director, Fleet Electronic Warfare Center (NAVIDFOR N3/N5/FEWC)

Capt. Robert Gamberg, Director, Fleet Electronic Warfare Center (NAVIDFOR N3/N5/FEWC)
Fleet Electronic Warfare Center doing great work on EM and Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare
By CHIPS Magazine - October-December 2014
The FEWC is a directorate within the Commander, Navy Information Dominance Forces organization. FEWC executes in four lines of operations: Requirement, Tactics, Training and Spectrum Operations. Capt. Gamberg has been the FEWC Director since September 2012 and is a career EA-6B Naval Flight Officer.

Q: Can you talk about the work of the Fleet Electronic Warfare Center in EM and Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (EMW)? Who are your customers and who do you work with? Does FEWC issue operational guidance, doctrine or TTPs? Does FEWC interoperate with the air warfare community?

A: We have been assisting Rear Adm. Shoemaker, COMNAVAIRLANT, who is leading an EMW Operational Planning Team on behalf of Adm. Gortney, COMUSFF. Our FEWC team has been very involved with the OPT to develop fleet efforts to take Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (EMW) from the conceptual level from the CNO Strategic Studies Group XXXI Report to a Plan of Actions and Milestones (POA&M) to fully integrate EMW in all fleet operations by 2025.

Our initial EMW implementation is focused on carrier strike group (CSG) and amphibious ready group (ARG) operations and Maritime Operations Center (MOC) support in forward deployed combatant commander areas of responsibility. FEWC coordinates with all fleet EW and spectrum stakeholders to improve EW and spectrum readiness across the air, surface, undersea, expeditionary and information dominance communities.

Q: You were OPFOR (opposing force) Lead for Exercise Valiant Shield with an estimated 18,000 service members participating from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps in which the Air-Sea Battle concept was exercised. The exercise aimed to overcome an enemy force’s attempt to deny access and maneuverability within sea lanes and air space. The ASB is really about ensuring electronic maneuver superiority and information dominance, isn’t it?

A: The Air–Sea Battle Concept is focused on reducing risk and maintaining U.S. freedom of action and reflects the services’ most recent efforts to improve U.S. capabilities, so it’s broader than EM superiority and Information Dominance. What ASB does acknowledge is that all domains will be contested by an adversary — space, cyberspace, air, maritime, and land.

Cyberspace and space-based capabilities are essential for U.S. operations and are vulnerable to adversary capabilities with a low barrier to entry such as computer network attack and electronic jamming. Since the adversary may employ a multi-domain approach, ASB must defend and respond in each warfighting domain.

Q: Can you talk about your role as OPFOR Lead in Valiant Shield?

A: We were tasked to generate a challenging operational environment to achieve specific training objectives for the carrier strike groups and joint force participants in Exercise Valiant Shield.

Q: How did command and control work between the services and were the services’ various EM and EW systems able to interoperate together?

A: There are always minor issues at the start of any major exercise, and the carrier strike groups and joint force participants worked through them aggressively and expeditiously and executed at a very high level in an exceptionally challenging Anti-Access/Area Denial environment.

Q: What did the Navy learn from Valiant Shield?

A: The Valiant Shield final report is still in work, but the need to effectively collaborate across domains and to maximize the interoperability of units, weapons systems and databases in the EMS were key takeaways. We also saw the value of a dedicated and highly capable OPFOR in an operational training environment.

Q: Do you think the Navy has enough authority to operate within the electronic magnetic spectrum and electromagnetic maneuver warfare to fully realize what the Chief of Naval Operations wants to achieve in EMW?

A: As noted by Adm. Greenert in his December 2012 Proceedings article “Imminent Domain,” “our military concepts, acquisition, tactics, and training have not coherently or fully embraced the central role of the EM spectrum and computer networks in our operations.”

I believe the Navy has sufficient authorities to achieve EMW, but decision makers need to prioritize EMW as a focal point across Navy DOTMLPF (doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership and education, personnel, facilities and policy). Although EMW is a Navy concept, it must be interoperable with higher-level joint concepts. These include Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations (JEMSO), Electromagnetic Battle Management (EMBM) and, of course, ASB.

Implementation of EMW in fleet operations will require a cross-domain effort to coordinate traditional, kinetic air/strike warfare, surface warfare, undersea warfare and expeditionary warfare with non-traditional, non-kinetic cyber and EMS operations. The bottom line is that EMW is not just EW (Electronic Warfare) or IW (Information Warfare), it’s about “every W” — focused on interoperability to maximize forward deployed maritime operations in the 21st century.

Capt. Robert Gamberg was part of a panel discussing EMS operations in a contested environment during the 51st Annual Association of Old Crows Symposium. Photo by Rich Schmitt Photography.
Capt. Robert Gamberg participates in a panel discussing EMS operations in a contested environment during the 51st Annual Association of Old Crows Symposium. Photo by Rich Schmitt Photography.
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