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Australia’s ELINT “Commandos” Field Unit 12 Takes New Technology to War in the Southwest Pacific

Australia’s ELINT “Commandos”
Field Unit 12 Takes New Technology to War in the Southwest Pacific

Kevin Davies

From 1943 to 1945 a small unit of Australian soldiers, Australian Military Force Detachment, Field Unit 12, Section 22, General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area, deployed into the field to provide electronics intelligence (ELINT), in its infancy then, to the Southwest Pacific Area of the Pacific Theatre of Operations against the Japanese. Over time the detachment evolved into a commando unit and provided valuable support, including combat support, to US and Australian forces fighting in the theater.

Electronics Intelligence (ELINT), as defined by Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms is “technical and geolocation intelligence derived from foreign noncommunications electromagnetic radiations emanating for other than nuclear detonations or radioactive sources.” One of the most common sources of ELINT comes from the collection and analysis of radar signatures. By analysing the characteristics of pulses emitted by a radar (frequency, pulse repetition interval/ frequency, beamwidth, scan rate etc.), it is possible to identify radar types, functions, and locations. With that information, countermeasures can be developed.

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Posted: Oct 06, 2014 11:01 AM
Last Updated: Oct 06, 2014 11:01 AM