Army’s Greatest Inventions: Electronic Warfare System Provides Greater Protection for U.S. Military

Mr. Ramon Llanos and John Masco (left to right) of CERDEC I2WD accept the AGI award during a ceremony, Nov. 29, at the Army Science Conference. (Photo: CERDEC)

Mr. Ramon Llanos and John Masco (left to right) of CERDEC I2WD accept the AGI award during a ceremony, Nov. 29, at the Army Science Conference. (Photo: CERDEC)

The top 10 Army’s Greatest Inventions were announced Nov. 29, in a ceremony during the 2010 Army Science Conference. Candidates were assessed and chosen by Soldiers based on importance and impact. Three of these technologies came from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center (CERDEC).

Mr. Ramon Llanos of CERDEC’s Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD) joins us to discuss one of these technologies: the Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (CREW) Duke V3. Ramon is the chief of I2WD’s Electronic Warfare Systems Ground Branch. He is responsible for Science and Technology programs involving the development of advanced radio frequency countermeasures for U.S. Army Ground Systems and has been part of CREW since the onset of this type of technology.

The DoD is devoting significant resources such as equipment, personnel, tactics, training and procedures to defeating improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Additionally, the research and development efforts at CERDEC I2WD, in conjunction with Product Manager CREW, have produced the CREW Duke V3 system which is currently the U.S. Army’s most widely fielded CREW system. To date, over 40,000 Duke systems are fielded on Army combat platforms operating outside the wire in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

Our job is to make sure we get our service members back from theater alive. CREW systems such as Duke V3 enable spectrum dominance through force protection of vehicle convoys against the radio controlled initiation of roadside bombs. The Duke V3 systems have played a significant role in reducing the insurgents’ employment of radio-controlled IEDs as a weapon of choice. The net result has been a dramatic reduction in deaths and casualties due to Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIED).

The CREW Duke V3 was chosen by Soldiers as one of the Army's top 10 Greatest inventions for 2009. CREW Duke V3 has been instrumental in reduction in deaths and casualties due to Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices. (Photo: CERDEC)

The CREW Duke V3 was chosen by Soldiers as one of the Army's top 10 Greatest inventions for 2009. CREW Duke V3 has been instrumental in reduction in deaths and casualties due to Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices. (Photo: CERDEC)

It’s very sad when I watch the news and see a Soldier who has lost his arms, his legs or his life because of an IED. Because of these potentially tragic events, ensuring the protection of our nation’s service members from IED threats and defeating those threats has become a top priority for the Department of Defense and us at the CERDEC I2WD. My team of more than 60 people and I spend time researching, testing and evaluating in the lab and talking with the Warfighter trying to understand the IED problem in order to find solutions to counter current, emerging and future threats. Additionally, Duke V3 has been engineered to reduce weight, size and power requirements to provide simple operation with optimal tactical performance.

We’ve received numerous e-mails from the Warfighters in theater thanking us for spending our time on an effort that saved their lives. Doing our part to protect those who are protecting us is what drives my team to evolve and enhance these CREW capabilities for the Warfighter who is in the fight against RCIEDs.

It is a real honor that Soldiers in the field voted our CREW system as an Army’s Greatest Invention in 2005 and the follow-on system CREW Duke V3 as an Army’s Greatest Inventions of 2009.

Learn more about CERDEC’s other Army’s Greatest Inventions winners.

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