U.S. NAVY CWO CRYPTOLOGIC TECHNICIAN (CT) HARD SHOULDER BOARDS

In 2003, the Electronic Warfare Technician (EW) rating was changed to the Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT) service rating. But this is most definitely a case of “a rose by any other name,” because while the tasks of CTT Sailors have expanded beyond the scope of those of Electronic Warfare Technicians, conducting Electronic Intelligence, or ELINT, is still one of their primary missions.

The basic premise behind ELINT is that knowing the locations of enemy electromagnetic transmissions (and receptions) and the types of transmissions that are being sent is not only extreme complementary to decoded/translated communications intelligence, but a powerful too in its own right. By tracking the emission of radar waves, for instance, commanders can determine what type of detections and defensive systems an enemy has deployed.

In another example, tracking and compiling radio transmissions can be used to triangulate the position of enemy units who have been receiving those communications—and while it obviously is of great value to know what is being said in the communications, just knowing the terminal points of the communication is a boon to those planning kinetic strikes or electronic warfare attacks. When you consider how effective basic triangulation techniques were in detecting the locations of German U-boats during World War II—and how many lives were saved by sending convoys on alternate paths away from the waiting danger—you can only imagine the atomic granularity in positional, geo-spatial data that is like to be uncovered using 21st century sensors and transmitters.

By analyzing the source and type of enemy traffic in the electromagnetic spectrum, commanders are able to make informed decisions on which countermeasures will be most effective and when their use will provide optimal results with a minimum risk of detection and the subsequent use of jamming or other similar countermeasures by the enemy.

All four jobs in the CT Technical service rating—Electronic Intelligence Analyst and Electronic Warfare Operator, Maintainer, and Planner—are involved to one degree or another in the area of Electronic Intelligence.

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