The head of the U.S. military's Special Operations Command said Wednesday that Air Force gunships, needed to provide close air support for American commandos and U.S.-backed rebel fighters in Syria, were being "jammed" by "adversaries."

Calling the electronic warfare environment in Syria "the most aggressive" on earth, Army Gen. Tony Thomas told an intelligence conference in Tampa that adversaries "are testing us every day, knocking our communications down, disabling our AC-130s, etc."

When Army leaders in Europe needed advanced electronic warfare capabilities, they decided they couldnít wait for years under the current trajectory of the Armyís official program schedule.

Instead, they asked the service to develop a faster solution, one thatís now known as Raven Claw 1 and incorporates facets of the existing program called Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool. The latter is a command-and-control planning capability that allows commanders and soldiers to visualize what the effects of electronic warfare will look like in the field on a screen.

By responding to battlefield needs that pop up outside of the traditional acquisition cycle, the Army believes it can accelerate the development of the EWPMT program, and in the process, provide a road map for how the service might improve acquisition.

See also