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Electronic Warfare Operator Column Release date 04.07.2018
Pvt. A' received his Electronic Warfare Operator badge last week. In this personal column, he tells the IAF Site of his process, from his enlistment until today
Pvt. A', EW Operator

I am Pvt. A' and I am an EW (Electronic Warfare) operator. I have recently graduated from Electronic Warfare Course 173 alongside 20 of my peers. An important motto for EW in the Israeli Air Force is "the most significant things are hidden". Secrecy is an inseparable part of electronic warfare.

Before the trials, few people have even heard of the Electronic Warfare Division and even during the trials we barely managed to pay any mind to the importance of the position. I chose being an Electronic Warfare operator because I felt that it had a combination of mental and physical strength. That is, it felt like a challenging operational position which also demanded great technical knowledge but did not entail office work alone.

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Ready For A Challenge
Electronic Warfare operators undergo combat basic training in order to be able to face challenges in the field. We faced many obstacles throughout our basic training, including entire weeks in the field, strict discipline and long periods of not being able to phone home. When we just began our training, I felt like an astronaut landing on Mars for the first time. I had arrived at a new place with a strange language and a varied group of people from all across the country alongside which I had to live, eat and fight.

I quickly realized that my team was the greatest gift I could ever ask. We managed to overcome everything together, even the "King of the Mountain" competition – a long crawl up a thorn-ridden sunstruck mountain in which the first one up is declared King. However, the King and the other ones to finish do not get to remain at the top and oversee the situation. No matter how worn out and bloody they may be, they are required to crawl the entire way back down. In the field, I managed to do things I never dreamed I would be able to do and the experiences I shared with my teammates only managed to amplify our feelings of togetherness.

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Countless Classified Missions
At the end of our basic training, we were greeted by our new course commander. She reminded us that it would only get more and more difficult from now on and that we had to maintain our unity in order to succeed at the course. We dove straight into intensive training which brought along various challenges. The long hours and complex material took a toll on us but we remained strong and united, always helping each other. Thanks to each team member's hard work and determination we managed to graduate successfully.

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It was only when I encountered the electronic warfare system I was due to operate for the first time that I realized the significance of being an operator. Even though most of our activity is clandestine, lacking any tangible representation, our capabilities are great and significant for both the IAF and the entire IDF. The division takes part in countless missions, including defense of aircraft from SAMs (Surface-to-air missile) and anti-air missiles in addition to countless additional missions which I can't talk about.

We are just about to begin our Operational Training Course and each one of us will go his own way. Looking back, I can only thank my peers for four extraordinary months and wish us all luck in our new positions. It is in our hands now.