Reprogramming on the edge at Northern Edge 23-1

  • Published
  • By By 1st Lt. Benjamin Aronson
  • 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing

The Crows took flight north to participate in Northern Edge 23-1 (NE 23-1), where they supported reprogramming requirements for aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines as they exercised together with international partners in Alaska featuring more than 150 aircraft, five ships and thousands of U.S. service members.

The Alaskan-based exercise welcomed for the first time the United Kingdom Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to train alongside U.S. forces on joint, multinational and multi-domain operations fostering interoperability while improving the combat readiness of the participating forces.

“The main objective we were trying to achieve as the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing was to execute a practice of Crowd Source Flight Data (CSFD) and attempt to stress the system,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Mark Edwards, 16th Electronic Warfare Squadron B-52 flight commander. “We were looking for a wing-level integrated approach to help shape reprogramming efforts throughout Northern Edge 23-1.”

The process of CSFD involves leveraging all the systems’ data from all platforms to enhance and develop capabilities to improve the lethality and survivability of Combat and Mobility Air Force assets, battle management and readiness, and platform development.

The 16th EWS, 513rd EWS, 453rd EWS and 36th EWS all participated in NE 23-1, supporting various aircraft and reprogramming efforts ranging from bombers to fighters, including all the F-35s of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

“We were in Alaska in order to refine the more intricate details of the reprogramming effort, to solidify those internal processes and external communications,” said U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Haremza Landon, 513th EWS electronic warfare chief. “The reprogramming effort we do is to make sure that when the mission data is released, it coincides with the mission units are trying to fly and it enables their lethality and survivability.”

While the 513th EWS led the way for F-35 reprogramming efforts across the three branches and five squadrons, the 453rd EWS and 16th EWS coordinated on bomber MDFs. The 453rd EWS uploaded data into the Electromagnetic Warfare Management System (EWDMS), a central data repository for mission data, where the data was downloaded and reviewed for future programing updates by the 16th EWS. Lastly, the 36th EWS supported the F-22 community with their MDF reprogramming here at Eglin, AFB, FL.

Participating in this exercise provided the Crows an opportunity work with mission partners in person, allowing for a better understanding of the critical role EW plays in the joint forces’ operations. Educating mission partners in person allowed for key partnerships to be developed and concepts to be better conveyed about the impact of the EMS on all aspects of battle.

“One of the things that worked really well was just being on the ground and collaborating with the squadrons we support,” said Landon. “Being able to be there in person just drives home that we are all fighting the same fight and enabling the warfighter.”