US Army to build electronic warfare training range at Fort Gordon

WASHINGTON — An electronic warfare test site is slated for construction at Fort Gordon in Georgia, a development that U.S. military officials say will greatly enhance troop readiness.

The plans come as the agency, the military’s largest, reinvests in electronic warfare and electromagnetic dominance after years of neglect. The renewed interest is fueled by threats from Russia and China after years in the Middle East.

Lt. Gen. Paul Stanton, Fort Gordon’s commander, on Oct. 11 said the facility will be a place where Soldiers can familiarize themselves with their jamming and detection equipment in realistic settings.

“It’s a fantastic training ground for EW capabilities,” Stanton told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Association of the US Army Conference in Washington. “It’s very wooded, it’s rolling terrain. It has a built-in airstrip — a lot of things that will benefit our ability to see distances that matter in large-scale maneuver environments, over terrain that the military would likely be fighting in.”

The sensitive nature of EW has long made full endurance testing and training difficult. Defense officials have said they don’t want to hurt neighbors on the spectrum and don’t want to tip their hand to faraway watchers like Moscow and Beijing.

Todd Boudreau, the deputy commandant of the Army cyber school, said in August that the project was approved by agency leadership and “already” in the program’s objectives memorandum, a provision of future spending plans.

The outdoor range, he told reporters at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Georgia, will give students a chance to deal with “environment, movement and maneuver, light discipline and noise discipline in a combat environment.”

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Fort Gordon will be officially renamed Fort Eisenhower this month.

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration – specifically Cold War decommissioning and nuclear weapons development – ​​for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award winning photographer.

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