Jamming is one of the more glamorous (and dangerous) jobs in Electronic Warfare(EW). Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) involves monitoring, disrupting, and detecting the location of enemy radio transmissions while doing your best to prevent the enemy from doing the same to you. Of them all, disruption is best done close up. This means that a combat SIGINT unit has to operate in the field with the unit they are supporting to provide real-time intelligence and to disrupt enemy comms. An MI battalion is assigned to each division. (I was an EW/SIGINT Analyst myself during the early 80's in Germany during the Cold War. Sadly, Analysts were low in the intel pecking order because they didn't need a language.) Of all the tasks, the Jammers had the most dangerous job, hence the most respect.

A combat SIGINT platoon is usually composed of one or two Jamming Teams, an Intercept Team, and a reporting/analysis/command section. (Some special systems, like the Trailblazer radio direction-finding system, had an entire platoon dedicated to it.) Unlike the passive task of listening, in order to jam enemy transmissions you have to overwhelm their signal with a stronger one of your own. This means that a typical TLQ-17 "TRAFFICJAM" tactical jammer squad is broadcasting its position constantly, and therefore must be constantly on the move to avoid artillery attacks. (In our unit the team used an M577 armored vehicle, far superior to mounting it in a jeep as originally intended.)

Jamming not only disrupts enemy radio traffic, it can also aid in interception and monitoring. By selectively jamming a transmission, one can sometimes goad the enemy into thinking their encrypted comms are compromised, forcing them into talking in the clear. In addition, short jamming pulses reduce the danger of being detected.

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