People and platforms a key focus for Information Warfare capability

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), Unknown (photographer)

Topic(s): RAN Tactical Electronic Warfare Support Section

Former Deputy Chief of Navy RADM Mike Noonan (centre) stands with members of the CT community after handing them an Individual Retention Bonus. (photo: Unknown)
Former Deputy Chief of Navy RADM Mike Noonan (centre) stands with members of the CT community after handing them an Individual Retention Bonus.

Navy’s ability to fight and win in a high-tech environment has received a boost with the purchase of specialised communications equipment.

The purchase comes as Navy’s Cryptologists are formally recognised by senior leadership for the important role they are playing in modern warfare.

Significant effort is being undertaken to update equipment capability through acquisitions over the next 12 months. Longer term, Navy is seeking to provide common scalable systems across the fleet to create more opportunities for common training, to reduce training overheads and to allow transportability of skills between platforms. 

The Director General of Navy Information Warfare, Captain Steve Dryden said the first system is expected to be delivered to the Navy’s Tactical Electronic Warfare Support Section (RANTEWSS) by mid-year. 

“Information Warfare remains a key priority of Plan Pelorus and Navy’s strategy, so this equipment is vital,” Captain Dryden said.

“As part of that Information Warfare effort, our Cryptologic members are highly respected within the RAN.” 

Cryptologists contribute directly to the war fighting capability of Navy and the ADF, through the provision of intelligence, enabling Command to make informed decisions both ashore and at sea. The workforce is divided into two sections; the Cryptologic Systems (CTS) and Cryptologic Linguists (CTL). Their efforts have recently been recognised with the granting of Individual Retention Bonuses, announced by then Deputy Chief of Navy RADM Mike Noonan at a forum of Cryptologic operators last month. 

Warrant Officer Cryptologic Systems Jason Russ was among those present when the announcement was made.

“The members took it very well,” Warrant Officer Russ said.

“As a continuously evolving capability, we have had our share of disappointments, but the Individual Retention Bonuses decision is widely seen as a positive development and this was a real boost to morale.”

Warrant Officer Russ said the payments along with the new equipment has definitely buoyed the spirits of Cryptologic personnel. 

“It’s extremely important.

“This will improve technical proficiency at sea and allow the operator the ability to better support the war fighter.”