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New Electronic Warfare Operators Release date 03.01.2019
After two months of training, dozens of new EW (Electronic Warfare) operators have graduated from their course and joined the ranks of the IAF. Now, they are due to be divided across the various squadrons, expecting their first operational activity
Illy Pe'ery

After two months of training, dozens of new EW (Electronic Warfare) operators have joined the ranks of the IAF after graduating from their course. Now, the operators are due to be divided across the various squadrons, expecting their first operational activity.

Archive Photo

"On May 1st of 1960, an American spy plane was intercepted over the USSR by SAMs (Surface-to-Air Missiles). This event marked the ending of an era where an aircraft's survivability depended on its power, speed or altitude. From then on, it was no longer lookouts and wiretappers on hilltops waiting for enemy aircraft to fly by, but electromagnetic wave-based radars capable of identifying objects flying in a certain airspace", said Maj. A', Commander of the IAF EW Academy. "Electronic warfare is required in order to penetrate these radars' defensive mechanisms and allow the aircraft to go undetected. You need to provide the IAF with optimal conditions, maintaining aerial superiority over the enemy and protecting the electromagnetic space".

Step By Step
The IAF's EW Division is made up of aerial and ground units responsible for disrupting enemy signals in order to defend the force's aircraft and ensure the safety of the airspace. As part of the course, the EW operators learned about the division and its capabilities while acquiring the necessary basic skills. 

Photography: Alexandra Aksyutich

"The course is made up of two main stages: the element stage and the department stage. During the five-week-long first stage, the operators work their way through the position's rudiments, beginning with theoretical studies before receiving a tour of every EW unit in the IAF", elaborated SSgt. L', a commander at the course. "During the department stage, the cadets are divided across the division's various units and get a taste of operationality. Afterwards, they return to the unit for a concluding week, split up again and begin their service".

"Being an operator means being thorough and professional. It means following through with everything to the end and being as precise as possible", said SSgt. L'. "We emphasize teamwork. The operators need to stay involved, contribute and initiate. Throughout the course we give them many responsibilities in order for them to experience some of their future activity". Pvt. A', a cadet at the course, added: "In the beginning, you have no idea what you're doing seeing as everything is classified, but as soon as you delve into the course you begin to understand the great significance in what you do".

Archive Photo

Protecting the Country
Now, the operators are due to join the IAF's EW units and begin eight months of operational training. They will specialize in the operation of various systems, learn their missions and understand the importance of their position. "Dear graduates – during the course you gained basic knowledge in a complex, ever-evolving field. You were provided with tools to assist you in any operational activity you partake in", said Maj. A'. "Dear graduates, I look at you with pride, certain that you will succeed in whatever you need to do. Aim high and carry on protecting Israel".