Articles by Robert Densmore
Robert Densmore was awarded a bachelor of arts in political science from Amherst College, Massachusetts in 2000. That same year he joined the officer ranks of the US Navy. He subsequently qualified as a Naval Flight Officer and went on to Fleet Replacement Squadron VAQ-129 where he qualified as an Electronic Countermeasures Officer in the EA-6B Prowler. Following completion of training, he was assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron VAQ-134, a Prowler Expeditionary Squadron. During this time, Mr Densmore participated in multiple air exercises and large scale airborne training evolutions including Red Flag Exercises at Nellis Air Force Base. In 2004, he deployed with VAQ-134 to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and participated in Task Force Iron. Operational duties included EA support roles and Counter-RCIED strikes. In addition, his Prowler crews performed alert tasking in theatre, supporting special warfare forces on the ground. Collateral duties included assistant operations designations.
The EA-6B Prowler remains the only operational Electronic Attack Aircraft in the US inventory. It counters the enemy by degrading, disrupting and destroying ground and air based weapons and communications networks in order to provide sanctuary to US and allied strike aircraft and ground forces whilst simeltaneously neutralising enemy forces. Many of the Prowler's roles and capabilities remain classified.
Following his naval career, Mr Densmore became a freelance foreign journalist and, in 2006, he returned to Afghanistan to cover civilian and military issues. There he participated in combat operations as an embedded journalist, deploying with both British and American forces, to include the 10th Mountain and 82nd Airborne Divisions. In 2007, he completed a series of published interviews with Taliban commanders in the borderlands near Kandahar.
In 2008, Mr Densmore was awarded an MSc from King's College London in War and Psychiatry and is currently completing research on mental health issues among private security contractors in Afghanistan. He now serves as Editor for Defence IQ.
Professor Peter Sommer, cyber security lecturer at the London School of Economics and author of the seminal 1980s guide, ‘The Hacker's Handbook’, speaks with Defence IQ Editor Robert Densmore on the legal quandaries presented to us by the cyber domain. Densmore: Okay, we talked about the state-on-state aspect. When cyber law comes down to focus on...Full Article »
During the first week of NATO air strikes in Libya, Defence IQ’s own Senior Editor, Robert Densmore, reflected on his experience as a US naval officer in the EA-6B, and considered the likely use and evaluation of the EA-18G in Libya, as the new generation of electronic fighters takes up its first combat outing. Sweating and buzzing with adrenaline-fuelled reflexes, my pilot and I climbed...Full Article »
According to Defence Secretary Liam Fox, the United Kingdom is no longer safe. In a speech delivered to defence industry juggernauts from around the globe, Dr Fox outlined in extraordinary detail the imminent cyber threat that his department, and the country at large, faces day in and day out. For over a quarter of an hour, the minister spoke in grave tones of the daily cyber attacks –...Full Article »
Douglas Barrie serves as the senior fellow for military aerospace at IISS, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. In this interview, he describes full spectrum NTISR, or Non Traditional Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, as deployed as an extension of air power worldwide. In a period of retracting economies and declining defence spending, we examine the real...Full Article »
Gerard Lapierre is the Radio Spectrum Project Officer for the European Defence Agency . Previously, he worked as an engineer for Spectrum Planning and International Affairs at ANFR (French Radio Spectrum Assignment Authorities). In this interview, he discusses the EDA's advances in the realm of tactical communications. Can you give us some insight into your role at the European Defence...Full Article »
In this interview, Defence IQ Editor Rob Densmore speaks with Dr Al Emondi, Chief Technology Officer for SPAWAR – US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command-Atlantic in Charleston, South Carolina. R Densmore : Can you give us some background on your areas of expertise and how you came to be involved with SPAWAR? Dr Emondi : I have worked in the area of software defined radio for most of...Full Article »
In recent weeks, we have been subjected to an unrelenting chain of seismic shifts in current affairs – and, particularly in the international security arena. With the almost transparent consensus that NATO should withdraw from Afghanistan in the near term, we have seen hard exit dates set by the US and the UK. The end of Afghanistan This seems to follow on the tail of announcements...Full Article »
Nigel Inkster is from the International Institute for Strategic Studies and has served in the British Secret Intelligence Service, focusing extensively on transnational issues, and eventually taking the post of Assistant Chief and Director for Operations and Intelligence. Nigel now serves the IISS in the role of Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk. Here he...Full Article »
As dawn breaks, Norwegian tanker MV Green Sea makes its way around the southern tip of the Horn of Africa. The night has passed quietly and the officer of the watch scribbles the last entry into his logbook as the captain makes his way through the hatch leading to the bridge. With a fresh cup of coffee in hand, the skipper dismisses the watch keeper and navigator and fresh watch standers begin...Full Article »
The news never saw it coming. Social media developments have accelerated news reporting and analysis in such a way as to change reporting permanently. Firstly, the power of reporting and news generation now lies firmly in the hand of the end user. Twitter (and Facebook to some degree) force news writers to deliver relevance succinctly and with greater speed than ever before. ...Full Article »Events of Interest