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Philippine Sea. (March 1, 2024): With missiles flying in the Red Sea, the role of Navy  Cryptologic Technicians (Crypto Techs) has never been more vital. In this photo by MC1 Devin M. Moore, Cryptological Technician 3rd Class Hannah Apostol, from Waipahu, Hawaii, stands watch in the combat information center aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta. Crypto Techs use high powered jamming signals to defeat enemy missile attacks such as those currently being fired by the Houthi Rebels in Yemen against U.S. forces.

These highly skilled professionals are experts at radar signals, electronic intelligence, and receiving and direction-finding systems. Aboard ship, Crypto Techs operate and maintain electronic sensors and computer systems while collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence across the fleet. Most operate independently or are part of small groups working around the clock under extremely tense conditions. Their skill at detecting and jamming incoming missiles can literally mean life or death for the crew.

To become a Crypto Tech, recruits must pass Basic Training and complete twelve weeks technical training at Pensacola, Florida. Students study the fundamentals of radar systems, electronic intelligence analysis, and radio-wave modulation principles. They also learn how to operate specialized digital collection devices, radar analysis equipment, and automated data processing and reporting systems. Due to the sensitivity of their assignments, Crypto Techs must be eligible for a Top-Secret security clearance.

Upon graduation, Crypto Techs can expect to be assigned to duty stations throughout the United States, Europe, and the Western Pacific or to ships and aircraft squadrons. In these dangerous times, our Sailors and Marines will be ready to defend themselves when the missiles fly thanks to Navy Crypto Techs.