The Pentagon is standing up a congressionally mandated, cross-functional team to address electronic warfare gaps throughout the military services.                                                                       

Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said Nov. 28 during the Association of Old Crows annual symposium in Washington that section 1053 of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directs the department to form electronic warfare and joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, capability and capacity recommendations.

“I think this is particularly important because any time we have a directed cross-functional team, it allows us within the department to bring all the different voices together and focus on a particular warfighting challenge,” she said.

The Defense Department began the process of forming the cross-functional team, but the organization needs to be approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Lord characterizes the nascent team as a working group that will take a horizontal look across all of the services’ programs while comparing U.S. technology to the threat.

“This cross-functional team will give us the ability to deep dive into the areas where we see gaps and capabilities and a particular need to develop a capability,” she said.

The 2019 NDAA mandates that by February, the Electronic Warfare Executive Committee, in coordination with the cross-functional team, must submit to lawmakers an update of the Electronic Warfare Strategy, including a road map; an assessment of vulnerabilities identified in the May 2015 electronic warfare assessment by the Defense Science Board; the expected direction of technology and research over the next 10 years; and a review of the sufficiency of experimentation, testing, and training infrastructure, ranges, instrumentation, and threat simulators.