KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – A team here is at the tip of the spear when it comes to Army Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA). Soldiers with Task Force CEASAR are leading the way by laying the ground work needed to perform in this new mission arena for the Army.
Task Force CEASAR is comprised of 10 Soldiers from multiple state National Guard (NG) and active duty commands and is sponsored by Headquarters, Department of the Army, Electronic Warfare Division at the Pentagon.
CEASAR stands for Communications Electronic Attack with Surveillance and Reconnaissance and is a device that was specifically built to conduct aerial jamming and other Electronic Warfare operations from two fixed wing aircraft, according to MAJ Ross Cline, Commander of the detachment and member of the Alabama Army National Guard’s 62nd Troop Command.
CEASAR is the Army’s initial response toward a large Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) capability and capacity gap within its ranks. The most prevalent requirement that became evident in recent years is the lack of a Beyond Line of Site (BLOS) jamming capability to support the land forces, Cline said. The Army is developing Electronic Warfare (EW) as a new mission area, training EW Soldiers and developing EW weapons and CEASAR is the first BLOS Electronic Attack (EA) weapon in the Army's arsenal.
“CEASAR is used to gain and maintain the advantage in the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) that supports the ground force commander’s scheme of maneuver,” Cline said. “In layman’s terms, CEASAR is a device that jams radio frequencies, denying the enemy the ability to coordinate operations at certain times and places while providing a tactical advantage to Coalition Forces," said Cline.
The unit arrived in Afghanistan in August of 2011 and has put in over 960 flying hours in support of over 300 combat missions in southern Afghanistan. Cline, a resident of Mt. Olive, Al, is one of the first Electronic Warfare Officers in the Army to receive the Basic Aviation Badge for his contributions as an Aircrew member. “This deployment has been both challenging and rewarding to me and it has been an honor to be a part of such a dynamic team” Cline said.
MAJ Cline has been involved in both Electronic Warfare and Cyber operations for the Army since 2006 so he is no stranger to the EW community at large. When not in uniform, MAJ Cline works for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a Senior Operations Analyst in support of EW and Cyber efforts at their Huntsville, AL office. “My employer has been very supportive to me as they are with all Service members supporting the war effort” Cline said.
Due to the tremendous success of the CEASAR project and the efforts of MAJ Cline and his team, it will remain at KAF and continue to support the Warfighter for the months and years to come. As MAJ Cline prepares to return home this Spring to his wife Vicki and daughters, Courtney and Caitlin, he can be proud of what he and his team accomplished in their time at Kandahar Airfield.
MAJ Ross Cline with Task Force CEASAR at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, and resident of Mt. Olive, AL, was selected to Command the Army’s first Airborne Electronic Attack unit and to be awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Basic Aviation Badge for his accomplishments.