The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska (NU) has welcomed Allen Geist as director for electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO) programs.
In August 2021 U.S. Strategic Command was tasked with charting the course for EMSO, which is essential to all Department of Defense operations. As USSTRATCOM’s DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Center, NSRI has placed a priority on contributing research and technology development within the space.
A qualified electronic warfare officer for his entire 25-year military career, Geist’s assignments immediately prior to his retirement January 1, 2022, were division chief for global integration USSTRATCOM/J84 and commander of the U.S. Air Force’s only EA-18G squadron. He brings a unique perspective and experience on EMSO having flown strike, fighter and EA aircraft across two services and advocating for joint EMSO as part of USSTRATCOM’s staff.
“We know we have the technical capabilities at NSRI and NU to support the command in the EMSO arena, and we needed to ensure strategic leadership to use those assets efficiently and effectively,” said Maj. Gen., USAF (Ret.) Rick Evans, NSRI executive director. “Given Al’s years of operational experience and reputation within this specialized community, we are confident we found the right person to connect NSRI and the university to USSTRATCOM in a way that will provide efficient deliverables and long-term mission success."
Technology in EMSO is moving faster than perhaps any other mission area, Geist said. In the age of software-defined radios and printable apertures, the opportunity to maneuver within the spectrum has never been easier or more critical. The need to research and develop technology to enable spectrum dominance is vitally important to the great competition the U.S. faces today.
“All of this is foundational to how we handle and maintain deterrence,” Geist said. “We must be able to dominate the spectrum to ensure our strategic deterrence capabilities can move data and communicate while denying the adversary’s ability to do the same.
“We need to be offensive in EMSO to ensure we can operate in the pieces of the spectrum we want to operate in, while forcing the adversary to pieces of the spectrum that provide us advantage."
Geist’s unique experiences at the tactical, operational, strategic levels can provide a critical perspective that will enable a synchronization of the efforts and resources required for USSTRATCOM to further its EMSO role.
Geist received his commission through the South Dakota State University ROTC program in 1996. Throughout his career he served as commander of the 390th electronic combat squadron, division chief for global integration for USSTRATCOM J8, director of operations for the 390th electronic combat squadron and director of operations for the 436th training squadron.
He earned his master’s degree in military operational arts and science from the Air Command and Staff College. Among his many professional awards and decorations, Geist earned the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters.
"NSRI’s desire to grow in the EMSO mission space with USSTRATCOM and one of the best university systems in the country has provided me a great opportunity to continue work in an area that I not only have a lot of professional experience in, but a great personal interest,” Geist said. “I look forward to forging the new relationships across academia, industry and the DOD needed to help enable our country’s dominance in EMSO."
Learn more about NSRI’s strategic deterrence and nuclear program support at nsri.nebraska.edu/nuclear.
About the National Strategic Research Institute
Through the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska leading scientists deliver innovative national security research, technology, product and strategy development, training and exercises, and subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. One of only 14 DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers in the country, NSRI is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats. Read about our mission.