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SPEECH | July 30, 2012

JEPAC Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

General Kehler: Thank you General Lofgren, General Biscone, distinguished guests, visitors, members of the JEPAC. Thanks for being here today.

This is a big afternoon for all of us and I must say that I am pleased to be here to be part of this ceremony. I will tell you that this is a great organization and it's an important organization and it's fitting, I think that it's here at Nellis… Given the "J" in the joint part of this, given that so much of what you all do is applicable across the board not only to all the operating forces but to all the Combatant Commands as well. So your work has become even more important and as we look to the future it's going to be a lot more important I think as we go forward.

Now some folks wonder what in the world Strategic Command is doing related to all of you or vice versa and what it is that Strategic Command is supposed to do with Joint Electronic Warfare. Well the Unified Command Plan which is the document that the President signs that assigns responsibilities to the individual Combatant Commanders is pretty clear that the expectation is that Strategic Command will have a central role in pulling all of the pieces together that will allow us to employ Electronic Warfare in Contingency Operations when that's necessary and of equal importance to be ready to deal with Electronic Warfare in Contingency Operations. And the way we do that is not only through the technical preparation but through Tactics Techniques and Procedures. And through the ability to have an organization that can actually take Electronic Warfare, bring it to the field, make sure we understand it and make sure we know how to operate in a contested electronic environment.

So your initial charter in 2007 I think set the stage for where we stand today and your inclusion into STRATCOM in 2010 adds you to a series of other organizations that Strategic Command has been given so that we can work Electronic Warfare together. If you will, I become the Combatant Commander who is responsible for Electronic Warfare advocacy as well. And so we finally have given to one Combatant Commander the flag if you will, to go out and lead this column called Electronic Warfare and we promise to do just that.

Your importance will go up. Just the other day I was given a briefing by the Intelligence Community of our expectation of what a future conflict will look like with any of the major adversaries that you can envision around the world and in every case, we expect that there will be a dense Electronic Warfare environment and that Electronic Warfare environment will not just be seen by forward operating forces but they will be seen by forces across the board and probably around the world. And as we look at the potential of Electronic Warfare and our Space Assets and Electronic Warfare and Cyberspace, I think you can begin to see that as we go to the future what you do will become more important to us each and every day and your ability to prepare us to operate in that kind of an environment will remain critical.

So, thanks very much for all of the hard work that you have done to date. And there's a good news bad news part of this… The good news is that you are a terrific organization with tremendous talent and everyone knows it… The bad news is that you are a terrific organization with tremendous talent and everyone knows it. You're going to get busier and we're going to be your greatest demand signal I believe but, but only for a short time… Once we put you together with the other elements of Strategic Command that do Electronic Warfare related activities and we are working to do just that now inside our J3.

We've just hired a Brigadier General to come in and run what will eventually become our Joint Electronic Warfare Office and that will be the focal point in Strategic Command to try to pull all the pieces together. We are going to put a demand signal on you. You're going to continue to have the demand signal from the field units that you have always had and I will encourage that even more so, but I believe that within the next six months to a year we will begin to realize the full potential of this organization and others like it.

As we begin to really get back into the hard core business of understanding and being able to deal with Electronic Warfare, I'm excited for all of you. I'm excited that you're able to go into a new facility. We were just talking on the way in that you're at the part of the base that used to be the prison. Somehow that's fitting. And in looking at this audience it's really fitting, I think… You all look a little shady. But that's the way Electronic Warfare people typically look… You're supposed to look a bit shady… And of course they're called Old Crows.

It's the way I think you all have always operated in the shadows at some level and yet, when the fighting starts and the bullets begin to fly I believe that what you do becomes…

Takes its rightful place beside every other part of our force and I would venture to guess that in the future perhaps the only bullets that will fly will be electronic bullets and that is your charter as well. So thank you again for what you do. I look forward to getting to know all of you better as we go forward. We are going to pay a lot of attention to Electronic Warfare in the coming months. We do have a charge to make sure that we are doing what we need to increase our preparation to meet the pace of the threat. And if you'll permit me a really bad pun… You are now on our radar screen.

Thanks very much.