Radioflash! Episode-9: In the City

Israel’s ongoing military operations in the Gaza Strip have once again highlighted the perils and pitfalls of urban electronic warfare, much as US-led operations in Iraq did several years earlier.

In episode 8 of the Radioflash! podcast, we chatted to Colonel Jeffrey H. ‘Fish’ Fischer, a European and global security expert, and author of the Curt Nover series of thrillers. Fish talked about the Electronic Warfare (EW) implications of Israel’s ongoing war in the Gaza Strip. This discussion generated significant interest and prompted an old friend of the podcast, Major Erik Bamford, to get in touch. Maj. Bamford is the Norwegian Armed Forces’ staff officer for electronic warfare and the Association of Old Crows’ director of region 1. Region 1 covers Africa, Europe and Middle East.

In this episode, we discuss the unique challenges inherent in performing EW in built-up areas. Maj. Bamford outlines the current state-of-the-art regarding the general literature on urban warfare. He talks about the place of electronic warfare within wider theories and approaches to urban combat. It is noteworthy, he says, that there is a paucity of dedicated texts looking at the peculiarities of EW in built-up areas. The examination of urban EW has tended to focus on electronic warfare’s role in the counter-improvised explosive device battle.

Meanwhile, troops must fight in a complex built-up environment home to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Radio Frequency (RF) emitters. To further complicate matters, radio waves have strange behaviours in urban environments, bouncing off hard surfaces and working badly underground. Certain building materials either reflect or absorb RF in particular ways. These phenomena only serve to further complicate the EW cadres’ work in the urban environment.

Maj. Bamford is keen to work with other EW practitioners who share his interest in urban electronic warfare and he can be contacted via the Armada website.

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Radioflash! Episode-9: In the City (126 downloads)

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by Dr. Thomas Withington