POINT MUGU, Calif. (NNS) -- More than 600 industry and government leaders in electronic warfare gathered for the 46th Annual Collaborative Electronic Warfare Symposium at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, California, April 25-27.
Key leaders from the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marines Corps, and the Royal Australian Air Force as well as industry and academia came together at Point Mugu, the home of U.S. Navy electronic warfare capabilities.
"It's significant that we hold the symposium here at Point Mugu because this is where the first organizational capability was established for naval aviation electronic warfare in the 1950s," said Ron Gewerth, NAWCWD computer scientist and this year's conference chairperson. "There's been a lot of work going on here, a lot of development and innovation, and we're trying to help that continue on."
"Our warfighting environment has grown enormously complex," said NAWCWD Commander Rear Adm. Brian Corey. "The electromagnetic spectrum is being used by our friends and our foes alike in ways that we never anticipated even a few years ago. What makes this particular event so exciting for me is that we've found a way work the problem collaboratively."
The annual symposium, hosted by Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division under a co-sponsorship agreement with the Association of Old Crows, focuses on collaboration in the world of electronic warfare. Briefs are held at the classified level, allowing attendees to have more in-depth discussions than they could have in a regular meeting environment.
This year's event, entitled "Enabling Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare with Cognitive Systems," featured keynote addresses by Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags, commander, Naval Air Systems Command; Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, commander, Navy Warfare Development Command; Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps; Rear Adm. Christian Becker, commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command; William Flynn, senior executive service and director for Integrated Fires, Innovation and Space for the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare; and RAAF Group Capt. Glen Braz, officer commanding 82 Wing.
This is the third year that Australian military has been included in the classified conference.
"There is just no way we could fight in a coalition as we intend to if we don't solve the EW problem in a collaborative way," he said, "so I'm really looking forward to what comes out of the engagement with our industry partners and more importantly our allies, especially the country of Australia."
In addition to the briefings, attendees were invited to participate in tours of EW laboratories and static displays, which the U.S. Navy's last EA-6B Prowler and an EA-18G Growler, which replaced the Prowler as the Navy's premier electronic attack aircraft. For many attendees, getting an up close look at the labs aircraft made real the theory they work with on a day-to-day basis.
"You spend so much time working with ... EW, walking in hallways and labs, but oftentimes not seeing the final product," said conference attendee Justin Hendricks, aerospace and defense account manager for Keysight Technologies, while getting an up-close look at the Growler.
"You know you're in this industry because it will make a difference and what you work with is meant for something great, but until you physically see it you almost don't know for sure. And then when you stand in front of it? It reminds you why you work so hard and that there is so much at stake. It's awesome."