Defence’s Electromagnetic Warfare Program received a major boost last month with the official opening of the Pitt-Johnston Electromagnetic Warfare Research Centre.
On September 30, Chief of Joint Capabilities Lieutenant General John Frewen officially opened the world-class facility, which is named in honour of the outstanding contributions of Wing Commander Mark Pitt and Group Captain (retd) Wayne Johnston to the joint electromagnetic warfare capability.
Wing Commander Pitt said that the new centre, located at the Edinburgh Defence Precinct, is the face of a developing joint electromagnetic spectrum survivability capability that will help protect ADF personnel in future combat.
“Like all complex capability developments, it is the culmination of a lot of team effort across the whole of Defence,” he said.
“We now enter a new chapter with a truly joint approach, which includes the maritime, land and airborne environments.”
For Group Captain Johnston, the naming of the building is special to him, but he said the opening ceremony meant even more to the people in the unit: the real heart and soul of the building.
“You can easily sense the deep pride these folks have in what they have created over the previous three years or so,” Group Captain Johnston said.
“They have taken what their Canberra-based forerunners developed as a basis of capability, constructed a building in the electromagnetic warfare precinct and shaped its systems into a first class capability.”
The purpose-built facility boasts a highly-secure environment with world class laboratories, workspaces and high-end information technology to test the survivability of Defence platforms in the context of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Development of this capability has been a collaboration between Joint Capabilities Group, the three Services, Defence Science and Technology Group, Capability Acquisition Group and Defence Industry.
Lieutenant General Frewen said the facility demonstrates the strong nexus between operations, technology, science and Industry required in modern warfare.
“The location of this facility was carefully considered to optimise the contribution of science and technology, while leveraging the operational experience within co-located units and the Defence Industry hub in Adelaide,” Lieutenant General Frewen said.
“Industry support and collaboration has also been instrumental in the facility becoming operational and our industry partners remain essential to operating a number of the systems housed in the research centre.”
image Group Captain (retd) Wayne Johnston, left, and Wing Commander Mark Pitt at the opening of the Pitt-Johnston Electronic Warfare Research Centre at the Joint Survivability Tactics Validation Unit. Photo: Sergeant Murray Staff