USMC Testing Scout Sniper & Electronic Warfare Concept

According to Stars and Stripes, The USMC has successfully experimented with pairing Marines from the Radio Recon Team with Scout Sniper Marines in a recent exercise in Norway. The Marine Corps, like the Army, is recognizing the changes on the contemporary battlefield and applying outside-the-box thinking pairing signals intelligence specialists with their Scout Snipers.

The pairing was part of the Marine Corps’ effort to field electronic warfare support teams, or EWSTs, to support combatants where electromagnetic signals play an increasingly important role.

The drill helped develop and test the use of dedicated electronic warfare specialists to help the sniper team track enemy targets, Marine spokesman 2nd Lt. Dan Linfante said.

The concept of pairing intelligence enablers to the small unit is not new, but builds on  organization that was previously limited to SOF operations targeting high value targets. If the goal of Intelligence is Exploitation, then pairing one asset with the hunter who’ll be making the kill only makes sense. In Afghanistan multi-function teams (MFTs) would be paired with us on the ground in that targeting role, with sigint normally being the first go-to. Its a task-and-purpose organization I’ve discussed on this blog and taught in several different classes, but specifically in the Sigint/LLVI course.

Where that concerns the prepared citizen, mutual assistance groups and militias is twofold. First, communications security begins with proper operations planning and practice. There is no technological solution to problems in tradecraft. Second, do what you can to mitigate what can be used against you. Again, this goes back to competent planning and actually understanding how your equipment works. Simply thinking because you spend more money than necessary on high tech buzzwords does not mean it cannot be exploited or, in most cases, shut down entirely with a capable adversary.

But most important is the realization that you can do this stuff yourself with training. It’s a heck of a lot better to be the hunter than the prey.

I’ll see you out there.


5 thoughts on “USMC Testing Scout Sniper & Electronic Warfare Concept

  1. F4N-4EVER

    A wide band scanner will pick up the carrier wave of encrypted coms. Then you just need a directional/aimable antenna.

  2. I was part of a MFT when I was with 504th BfSB, attached to 2-38 Cav in Afghanistan.

    I tell people that my time in Afghanistan was the pinnacle of my Army service. Well, my time outside the wire with 2-38 was the pinnacle of my time in Afghanistan.

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