Mar 15, 2009
Major Elden Lacer didn't expect to be sitting in a classroom in Oklahoma this winter. An 18-year U.S. Army veteran, he has served two tours of duty in Iraq. But Lacer isn't doing standard training. Instead, he's taking an unusual 11-week training course on electronics, learning such things as how to turn a garage door opener into a bomb detonator. He's also finding out how insurgents can turn key fobs into explosives and how tech systems called jammers can be used to disable electronic weapons. The course is part of a growing push by the U.S. military into high-tech warfare. One leading-edge strategy is to attack enemies and bolster defenses by disrupting electromagnetic signals in battle. On Feb. 12, the Army announced it would train 1,600 full-time specialists in the discipline, to support the thousands of officers like Lacer who have received electronic warfare training in recent years to complement their normal roles. While the Defense Dept. has warned of large spending cuts to conventional weapons and vehicle programs, such as the F-22 fighter aircraft, the Obama Administration is expected to allocate more funding for equipping soldiers with innovative electronic systems that have proven vital in nontraditional environments, such as Afghanistan. Mar 9, 2009
The U.S. Army...