In February of this year, 21 Electronic Warfare Regiment (21 EW Regt) deployed nine members on a Technical Assistance Visit (TAV) to Op REASSURANCE on Roto 20-01 to support training and evaluation of the enhanced Forward Presence Latvia Battle Group in Camp Adazi, Latvia. Though this is a routine occurrence throughout the year for the Regt, this TAV was different in that it was mounted by the Primary Reserve (PRes) squadron (sqn) held within the Total Force (Reg F) unit.
214 Sqn is one of five sqn within 21 EW Regt, a total force unit comprised of both Reg F and PRes members. 214 Sqn was tasked in early September of 2019 to mount the February TAV in support of the Combat Readiness Evaluation for the current enhanced Forward Presence Latvia Battle Group.
While some members of the TAV were placed on Class B (full time) contracts to prepare, others were in school or travelling for CISM sports before deploying. The tendency of 214 Sqn to keep its members operationally ready, even on Class A (part time) service, proved valuable and these members were able to jump from Class A service to an operational deployment with very little lead time.
While deployed, the TAV was tasked with developing the capability of Light Electronic Warfare Teams (LEWTs). Communications Research Operators, who made up the majority of the team, are not considered Subject Matter Experts on using different communications systems; rather, they look at how to exploit them. Despite this, the Communications Research Operators used their personal knowledge, skills, and determination to develop the employment of different communications systems, allowing this to be the first TAV to send all reports over data means instead of voice. The ability of the team to send and receive information with ease made them formidable on the battlefield.
Being a total force unit, PRes and Reg F members within 21 EW Regt are accustomed to working together; however, the Reg F component usually takes point on organizing and leading the TAVs to Latvia. Not only did the PRes component take on the organization and planning, they made up over 75% of the team; a first in the unit’s history. All of these reservists were on their first deployment, and adapted to the conditions spectacularly due to their consistent training at home before deployment.
The success found by the reserve-led TAV is certainly a milestone for the total force unit, and the members of 214 Sqn look forward to further increasing their presence in Op REASSURANCE.