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August 4, 2011
By Michael Brooke
THE RAN marked an important
milestone in the development of its
warfighting capability when a new
sailor category -- Electronic Warfare
-- was formed last month.
The pioneers of the new EW cat-
egory comprise 126 Combat System
Operator Above Water Warfare (CSO
A) specialists and 35 Cryptologic
Systems Operator Electronic
Intelligence specialists (CTS ELINT),
more than 40 of whom received their
new rate badge during a ceremony at
HMAS Watson on July 7.
The occasion also marked the cat-
egory name change from CTSSM to
EWSM for EW submariners.
The new category will provide the
RAN with a cadre of highly skilled
operators who will use the latest tech-
nologies to exploit, defend and attack
the electromagnetic spectrum.
Head of the warfare community
CDRE Ian Middleton said the new cat-
egory marked a significant step for-
ward for the RAN warfare community.
"The EW category will ensure the
RAN is equipped with a workforce
that has the skills necessary to employ
our new equipment and capabilities to
meet emerging threats and new tech-
nologies as we move toward Force
2030," he said.
Director General Navy
Communications and Information
Warfare CAPT Jeffrey Goedecke said
the name change of like trade subma-
riners to EWSM was also important,
highlighting core EW as a capability
across Navy regardless of platform.
One of the new EW sailors is
SMNEW Michael Sheard, who cut
the EW birthday cake with CDRE
SMNEW Sheard, like many
other new EW sailors, received his
new rating after completing the ini-
tial 17-week CTS course and the four-
week EW alignment course.
He said it was an exciting time
because of the new platform acquisi-
tions that will feature EW capabilities.
The EW rate badge was designed
by WO Dennis Walsh and CPO Ray
Sangster. It displays a trident, signify-
ing maritime warfare, and each prong
New era for EW CSO
By Michael Brooke
ELEVEN sailors recently quali-
fied as Combat System Operator
Underwater CSO(U) specialists
and have firmly fixed their sights
on future postings to the RAN's
Hobart-class AWDs and Canberra-
The 11 sailors graduated from
the six-month basic CSO(U) course
during a ceremony at HMAS Watson
on July 15.
The CSO(U)s will soon join the
fleet where they will be the "ears"
for warships to provide the all-
important detection of submarines
and other underwater threats.
Training Authority Maritime
Warfare CAPT Jay Bannister said
the CSO(U)s had a crucial job in
"This class is now ready to do
the job as CSO(U)s and make a sig-
nificant contribution to Navy's abil-
ity to meet operational commitments
to fight and win at sea," CAPT
He told the graduates it was an
exciting time to be joining the fleet
and beginning careers as CSO(U)s.
"Sitting here in this class there
are most likely future leading sea-
men and petty officers who will
commission Navy's new AWDs and
LHDs," he said.
SMNCSO Matt Gill was
crowned course dux with a score
of 96.82 per cent while SMNCSO
Belinda Porter was awarded
the Naval Warfare Community
SMNCSO Gill said he was
looking forward to exercises with
submarines because his career path
may eventually lead him to the
"I'm really excited by what the
future holds," he said.
The 11 graduates received their
CSO rate badge, framed qualifica-
tion certificate and sea-readiness
badge from CAPT Bannister, who
also thanked the sailors' families for
their support and the CSO faculty
instructors for their commitment.
represents the components of EW --
Electronic Attack, Electronic Support
and Electronic Protection. The orbs
and flashes indicate exploitation of the
The name change for CTSSM to
EWSM and the formation of the new
EW category is part of the Project
Phoenix initiatives aimed at the reme-
diation of RAN tactical EW.
The new category provides excel-
lent opportunities in the complex and
technologically challenging field of
More information is available on the
defence intranet at http://intranet.
under Project Phoenix.
Electronic Warfare category forms
NEW BEGINNINGS: From left, CAPT
Jeff Goedecke, SMNEW Michael Sheard,
CPO Ray Sangster, CDRE Ian Middleton
and CAPT Dave McCourt cut the cake at
the launch of the new Electronic Warfare
category. The new category marks a sig-
nificant step forward for the RAN warfare
community and will provide sailors with
excellent employment opportunities.
Inset: The EW rate badges.
Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind
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