An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

JBSA graduates first cohort of Saudi electronic warfare officers

  • Published
  • By Andrew C. Patterson
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

In a milestone for military partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia, the first class of Royal Saudi Air Force officers completed an intensive electronic warfare training course March 5, 2024, in San Antonio, Texas.

“We are very proud of you and on behalf of His Royal Highness for the Saudi Air Force Commander, I congratulate you,” said Maj. Gen. Fahad Al-Julaihim, Royal Saudi Air Force Deputy Director for Air Force Training. “We are looking forward to you resuming your duties and mission.”

The 13 Saudi officers received their Electronic Warfare Officer training graduation certificates during a ceremony attended by senior U.S. Air Force and Saudi military leaders.

The course entailed more than three-and-a-half years of training consisting of 4,400 hours of instruction. The entire training program covered four phases, 34 courses, several exercises and simulations. According to Ken Pullen, Air Force contract liaison, these students are among the best trained electronic warfare and cyber experts in the world.

"You are the beneficiaries of a one-of-a-kind training course tailored specifically to support the Royal Saudi Air Force,” said Col. Casey Pombert, U.S. Air Force Security Assistance and Training Squadron commander. “I wish each of you great success and in all your future endeavors."

Electronic warfare involves the strategic use of the electromagnetic spectrum in military conflicts. It encompasses tactics like jamming (electronic countermeasures) to hinder enemy information exchange by overriding radio transmissions or misleading radar detection.

Additionally, eavesdropping (signals intelligence gathering) intercepts enemy communications for intelligence purposes. In response to jamming, electronic protective measures are employed. One common technique is frequency-hopping spread spectrum, where frequency channels rapidly switch based on a predetermined pattern known only to friendly forces.

"Four years of instruction were really required to get your arms around it, and to really become a self-supporting team,” said David Zurn, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Testing Engineering Division chief. “Now your team can do autonomous programming for the Royal Saudi Air Force. That’s a great accomplishment."

The next electronic warfare cohort graduates in FY 2025.