The Electronic Warfare Technician (EW) rating was born in 1971 when the Radarman (RD) rating was disestablished and Sailors serving in that capacity were moved to the existing Electronics Technicians (ET) rating, the newly formed EW rating, or were assigned to one of the new established positions of Operations Specialist (OS). In 2003, the Electronic Warfare rating was merged with the Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT) service rating, creating a community of around 3,000 technicians schooled in a variety of Electronic Warfare techniques.
Just as with any type of warfare, Electronic Warfare can be waged either offensively or defensively. Examples of offensive Electronic Warfare include radio jamming (flooding a frequency with another transmission, for instance) radar jamming (degrading radar signals through the introduction of deceptive decoys or “noise” that renders the device useless). Defense measures employee many of the same principles used in offensive electronic warfare.
Determining just how advanced electronic warfare capabilities have progressed is nearly impossible because of the security measures understandably taken to keep such information classified. While the U.S. military has stated it does not have a working electromagnetic-pulse weapon capable of a focused, targeted attack, warfighters across all branches are trained in the doctrines of EMP weaponry.