eCrow Newsletter
September 12, 2012

A Personal Note from AOC Executive Director Don Richetti

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Fellow Crows,

Today, our community faces one of its most challenging and also opportunistic times. Senior leaders in our governments now realize how important EW is and how the contested/congested spectrum is the medium where all future successful operations will be decided. EW programs
historically have undergone cyclical lapses that correspond with immediate threats to our warfighters. 

For example, in the United States; thanks to our passionate community leaders, EW is among the few real growth areas in the DoD’s 2013 budget. U.S. leaders plan to spend $4.95 billion in Electro-optics and EW -- a 7.6 percent increase over 2012. The largest spending areas include ongoing EA-18 Growler procurement, JIEDDO’s "Attack the Network" project, B-2 defensive management system upgrades, large aircraft countermeasures, Next Generation Jammer development, and ongoing procurements of JCREW and AN/SLQ-32 improvements. These advancements are happening in the wake of more than $487 billion in cuts established in this year’s U.S. Budget Control Act.

Sequestration poses additional unacceptable risks which could lead to more than $1 trillion in reductions government-wide over the next 10 years, with potentially disastrous consequences not only for U.S. warfighters and national security, but U.S. partners as well. These cuts are happening in the middle of the most dynamic and complex security environment most of us have ever known; precisely at a time when advanced technologies are spreading cheaply across the world, eroding our technological advantages. Globally, we cannot afford to have our defense industrial base marginalized and lose the innovation and skill across our community. Now is the time for the AOC community to unite and speak with one voice to ensure that we maintain our warfighting edge.

For almost 50 years your AOC has been bridging the gap between Electronic Warfare and Information Operations practitioners, industry partners and decision-makers. Professionals from government, military, academia and the private sector have looked to the AOC to provide insight to emerging technologies and the latest developments to protect the warfighter.

Our membership continues to grow with representatives in over 40 countries. Today, our non-industry members composition is Army – 25.5 percent, Navy – 14.9 percent, Marines/Coast Guard – 14.9 percent, Air Force – 27.7 percent and other Government – 17 percent. Our jobs span across the fields of data processing, engineering support, engineering research and development, management, marketing and sales, operations, acquisition, procurement, production, testing and simulation and training in all aspects of EM spectrum operations, EW, Cyber-EW, Space Operations and Information Operations.

The AOC is the only professional association that represents you, the subject matter experts in EW, IO and EM spectrum operations, and collectively our role has never been more important. We value what it means to be a "Crow" – the leaders for fifty years in advancing ground breaking research, technologies and concepts. Many of you, however, may not be aware of all the advantages that come with your professional membership.

Beyond the subscription to our premier Journal of Electronic Defense, your membership provides:
  • Affiliation with your professional peers through multiple channels to include online tools
  • Networking opportunities across our roosts, conferences and our annual symposium and convention
  • Recognition of our nation’s finest in the only EW Professional award program
  • Advanced and focused technical and operational education
  • Reduced rates for flights, rental cars, office space, clothing, health care, and long-term care, recognizing your contributions to our communities well-being
  • National representation on issues affecting our community
  • Opportunities to mentor and ensure that the next generation of Crows is prepared to continue and build upon the legacy of which each of us is so proud
Most importantly, AOC offers you the opportunity to strengthen the bonds of our international EM Spectrum coalition of military, government, industry and academia.

Today, Crows are rising to today’s emerging challenges, taking on non-traditional issues in the areas of defense, homeland security, national commerce and more. Collectively, government and industry members, chapters and your AOC staff must work together to ensure that our ability to achieve national security objectives is not undermined in any of our member countries. The professional members of your international staff remain focused on supporting the AOC’s most important asset – its members. I anxiously look forward to meeting with you in Phoenix at this year’s national convention starting September 23.

Non Videbunt, 
Don Richetti