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Senior Leadership Examines Key Insights from Recent USJFCOM, Army Wargaming Effort

Senior Leadership Examines Key Insights from Recent USJFCOM, Army Wargaming Effort

Senior leaders gained valuble insights into the capabilities of future armed forces fifteen years from now during Unified Quest 04. By Army Sgt. Jon Cupp, USJFCOM Public Affairs.

Norfolk, Virginia -- (USJFCOM) -- July 9, 2004) - Senior leaders from all U.S. military services to include the Coast Guard, coalition military services, and various government and non-governmental agencies recently met in Washington, D.C. at a seminar held to examine insights from a U.S. Joint Forces Command and U.S. Army co-sponsored wargaming experiment.

The senior officials reviewed results yielded from Unified Quest 04 (UQ04), an experiment that teamed USJFCOM with the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) as they continued a series of wargaming efforts that explore "born joint" concepts and capabilities of future forces in the years 2015 and 2016.

"The game validated our wargaming process," said Army Lt. Col. Michael Winstead, a senior planner with USJFCOM's Joint Experimentation Directorate (J9). "By comparing UQ04 lessons learned with findings from real world operations, we discovered that they closely paralleled. This means that our wargaming process is pretty accurate because it is providing in a game construct what has proven to be true in real world operations."

"What we were trying to do in the game was to run our concepts to the breaking point and by doing this, we were able to find out where we have issues and difficulties and find out where we need to expand our capabilities or make changes," added Winstead.

"We learned that the size and scale of an operation is a limiting factor," said Bill Rittenhouse of TRADOC. "We must seek a balance between the simultaneous and sequenced application of force."

UQ04, which ran May 2-7 at the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Penn., focused on the Joint Operations Concept (JopsC), a living family of documents that forms the framework for future military operations.

The discovery experiment involved the participation of more than 500 players from the military service components, coalition service components and governmental and non-governmental agencies as they played in a scenario that took place in a fictional theater of operations.

During the game, players examined major combat operations, stability operations and transition to post conflict and the network-enabled battle command in the years 2015 and 2016.

"We learned through UQ04 that major combat operations and stability operations are not discrete, sequential phases, but rather occur simultaneously throughout the battle space," said Rittenhouse. "This insight led to the idea that we need an overarching, cohesive description of campaigning that includes major combat operations and stability operations within the context of operational art, for example, a revised JOpsC."

"Within battle command: information, understanding and decision making, the game indicated that information does not equal understanding; and situational awareness does not indicate situational understanding," added Rittenhouse. "Leader development, training and experience are equally important to prepare commanders and staffs to use information effectively."

Blue coalition forces in the scenario worked to defeat a red opposition force that had lost much of its conventional capability and resorted to unconventional operations such as guerilla warfare, terrorism and the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) employment. As blue forces dealt with the red forces in one region, they also worked through crisis situations throughout the world in other regions.

"The enemy was constantly changing his operational focus, his operational design and his tactical reactions," said Winstead. "We had to react to an enemy that, in some cases, has the freedom to act in areas because of his lack of commitment to human rights and standards of international conduct. He had the freedom to act in areas where we can't because we support international law."

"When you're dealing with an enemy that doesn't respect human rights, then you have to understand how to work in that environment against him," added Winstead. "We have to counter him and what that forces us to do is to involve other elements of national power such as the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security."

The Joint Interagency Coordination Group (JIACG) helped regional combatant commanders link to the elements of national power and experts in the groups helped advise military leaders on what other groups such as interagency groups, non-governmental organizations and international organizations were doing. This allowed military commanders to coordinate their activities to help in the theater of operations and not detract from what the other groups are doing.

During a confrontational analysis segment of the scenario, generated by USJFCOM's Project Alpha, a red player and a senior blue player participated in a back-channel negotiation.

The negotiations revolved around a particular part of a country in the theater of operations that wanted to lay down their arms, break away from the red forces and the blue forces and become a neutral province.

Neither of the negotiating players had received any confrontational analysis tools or training prior to the negotiation and according to Winstead, this was the first time in which off-line negotiations have taken place in this type of wargame.

"The purpose was to bring in complex negotiations that you can get into in real life that games don't frequently replicate well," said Winstead. "It showed us that we have a need for a formalized negotiation training process or methodology to be established for our senior leadership so they can better negotiate situations like this.

"It also showed that we needed political guidance and we tried to get that through our country team from an ambassador in said country," he added.

Another aspect of the experiment that senior leaders will continue researching is joint seabasing, a concept that assists warfighters with employment and sustainment during joint operations by providing a sea-based platform to gain access to anti-access and area of denial environments.

"If we're running our sustainment concepts to the breaking point then one of our possible solutions is growing the joint seabasing concept," said Winstead. "We realize the need to expand upon this on understanding it and the concept of it and how it might be one of the methods to help us support and sustain these high optempo and highly dispersed operations."

UQ04 provided a great opportunity for multinational partners to work as a coalition during the wargame, said Winstead.

"They worked well together," said Winstead. "But we realize we have a multi-level security issue that we have to get through. We have to improve our ability to share information with our multinational partners."

"We need to work on a multi-path approach to solve this problem which involves understanding the issues and working on solutions," he added. "Clearly each service and each branch of government and each nation had to do their own internal work on this problem. The solution cannot be done in a vacuum, it has to be worked out together and involves technological solutions, procedural solutions and policy solutions that we find both in real world operations and experimentation."

Wargaming efforts like UQ04 will continue to help the military services with their transformation through lessons learned, according to Winstead.

"We're going to have to continue to take our lessons learned from real world operations and our lessons learned from experimentation to help update our concepts and grow our concepts to maturity," said Winstead. "And we're going to continue to do this in an environment that is born joint."

"We're not only working with the services but with the international community, the interagency community and the multinational community to expand the comprehensiveness of our concepts, capabilities and other things that we need to continue in the process and to refine them," added Winstead. "We need to continue the process that we've established with these joint cosponsored wargames because the process in itself is transformational, not just the products like the capabilities and concepts that come out of it."

Insights gained from UQ04 will be applied to USJFCOM's future wargaming experiments, and plans for the next UQ experiment are currently underway.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).