American military forces have mostly forgotten all of the training they received for electronic warfare and are therefore not prepared at all to confront their Russian and Chinese peers in case a conflict breaks out, a report states, amid increasing speculation that Moscow and Beijing are overtaking Washington in terms of military prowess.
Apparently, not only the US troops are not taking their lessons seriously, nobody is forcing them to relearn them either, the website Breaking Defense noted Wednesday, citing military and civilian experts.
The report argued that even major training electronic warfare exercises for the US military are unrealistically easy and even when specialists are allowed to disrupt a unit’s radios and radar in practice, they’re instructed to stop what they are doing so the training can continue as normal.
The report added that the soldiers keep their cellphones on during the exercises, which easily gives away their precise location to the enemy.
They also forget to draw up backup plans for situations where their primary communications get jammed.
“We’ve got to stop wishing it away,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Poole, a US Marine working at US Strategic Command. “We’ve got to stop willfully ignoring the fact that the bad guys have jammers too.”
“We are actually improving at a slower rate than we’re finding new problems,” Lt. Col. Gary Lyke, an Army officer also at STRATCOM, which is tasked with improving EW.
Units consistently forget such basics as having backup plans in case their primary communications get A real adversary like Russia or China would exploit such failings mercilessly.
Lyke warned that the scenarios used in training are nothing like real threat troops would face from sophisticated adversaries like China nad Russia.
“I’m being polite when I say that it ‘does not represent the most likely and most dangerous course of action’ [by an adversary],” Lyke said.
He told audience at a recent EW conference that the US military training was “garbage.”
US Strategic Command has recently spent $32 million to put more jammers on training ranges, Poole said, warning that much more is needed to close the gap.
US military readiness ‘marginal’ against Russia, China: Study
Meanwhile, a study published by conservative Heritage Foundation has warned that American forces face major readiness challenges, repeating previous warnings that it could not fight more than one war with adversaries such as Russia or China.
The “2020 Index of US Military Strength” by the foundation suggests that each of American armed services only maintain “marginal” readiness levels at a time that Russia and China are running major modernization programs.
According to the report, the US Army needs 50 brigade combat teams while it only has 35 at the moment and from those, only 28 are considered “combat-ready.”
The US Navy also fails to reach the standards as it only 290 warships, which is well below the 400 recommended by Heritage analysts.
The report noted that the US Air Force had the same “marginal” readiness levels due to “shortages of pilots and flying time that have “degraded the ability of the Air Force to generate the air power that would be needed to meet wartime requirements.”
The Marine Corps was also rated as “marginal” by the report as it only has 67 percent of the recommended 36 combat battalions.
Senator Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said at a briefing at the Heritage Foundation Wednesday that the study keeps her up at night.
“Russia has turned an army of ragtag conscripts, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, into a very modern and professional fighting force,” she said.
“China has rapidly invested in anti-ship ballistic missiles, hypersonics and artificial intelligence while significantly growing the size and capability of their naval forces.”