WASHINGTON — An electronic-warfare testing range is slated for construction at Fort Gordon in Georgia, a development U.S. Army officials said will greatly bolster troop readiness.
The plans come as the service, the military’s largest, reinvests in electronic warfare and electromagnetic mastery after years of neglect. The renewed interest is spurred by threats posed by Russia and China after years spent in the Middle East.
Maj. Gen. Paul Stanton, Fort Gordon’s commanding officer, on Oct. 11 said the facilities will be a place where soldiers can get familiar with their jamming and sensing gear in realistic settings.
“It’s a fantastic training area to leverage EW capabilities,” Stanton told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Association of the U.S. Army conference in Washington. “It is heavily wooded, it’s undulated terrain. It has an airstrip built into it — lots of things that will benefit our ability to look at distances that matter in large-scale maneuver environments, in terrain that the Army would likely find itself fighting in.”
The sensitive nature of EW has long rendered full-strength testing and training tricky. Defense officials have said they do not want to harm neighbors on the spectrum and do not want to tip their hand to faraway observers, like Moscow and Beijing.
Todd Boudreau, the deputy commandant of the Army cyber school, in August said the project was approved by service leadership and “already” in the program objective memorandum, a layout of future spending plans.
The outdoor range, he told reporters the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Georgia, will give students an opportunity to engage with “the environment, movement and maneuver, light discipline and noise discipline in a combat environment.”
Fort Gordon will be formally 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 its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.