Statement of Chairman Jim Saxton
Joint Economic Committee
Wednesday, February 25, 1998
Radio Frequency Weapons and Proliferation: Potential Impact on the
Good morning. Thank you very much, everyone, for being here.
On June 17, 1997, the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) held a hearing called,
"Economic Espionage, Technology Transfers and National Security," in which
it heard testimony from Lt. Gen. Robert Schweitzer about a new class of
weapons, radio frequency weapons (RF), and the impact of these new weapons
on the civilian and military electronic infrastructure of the United States.
Since the General talked about a terrorist threat and a proliferation
threat, the JEC has continued to investigate these potential threats.
I am pleased to welcome to the Committee an extremely knowledgeable group
of panelists. Let me introduce them.
Dr. Alan Kehs is with U.S. Army Laboratories and will discuss the
overall RF threat. Dr. Kehs has a BS and a MS in Electrical Engineering,
and a MS and a PhD in Physics from the University of Maryland. He is a
recognized expert on the generation and use of intense relativistic electron
beams for the production of high-power microwave radiation. Recent assignments
include Chief of the Source Physics Branch and Chief of the Nuclear and
High Power Microwave Technology Office. Dr. Kehs chaired the 8th national
conference on HPM in April 1997 and currently chairs the tri-service HPM
technology coordinating committee.
Mr. James O'Bryon is the Deputy Director of Operational Testing
and the Director of Live Fire Testing with the Office of the Secretary
of Defense at the Pentagon. He has received a BS in Mathematics, and he
also has graduate degrees from George Washington University in Operations
Research/Management Science and from MIT through the Electrical Engineering
Department. The Director will discuss the role of Live Fire Testing and
how it may play a role in testing our military equipment with RF weapons.
Mr. David Schriner is the Principal Engineer directed energy studies
with Electronic Warfare Associates and a recently retired engineer with
the naval weapons testing facility at China Lake. He has numerous patents,
has received superior service awards, and given technical presentations
over 42 years of civil and military service. He will discuss the difficulty
in building a RF weapon and the terrorist threat.
Dr. Ira Merritt is with the Missile Defense Space Technology Center
in Huntsville, Alabama. He has more than 25 years of experience in developing
advanced technologies, systems requirements, system designs, and test
capabilities for ballistic missile defense systems. He has a Bachelor
of Science in Chemical Engineering and advanced degrees in Nuclear Engineering.
Dr. Merritt will discuss the proliferation of RF weapons primarily from
the former Soviet Union.
I look forward to the enlightening testimony from our panelists.