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Joint Services Conduct Modern Day War Games

Joint Services Conduct Modern Day War Games

By Army Capt. Deanna Bague, Roving Sands Joint Information Bureau Public Affairs, June 21, 2000.

Fort Bliss, Texas (AFPN) -- Like a scene from a technological video game, today's Roving Sands 2000 has taken military strategies and defense plans to new heights.

Using high-tech computers in a world of cyberspace, Roving Sands 2000 has accomplished two main goals: plan, organize, and deploy an elite and diverse multinational defense entity using synchronized plans and strategies while saving taxpayers the cost of deploying and transporting thousands of troops across national boundaries.

Using the methodology of "inter-operability," utilizing the strengths of the four branches of the armed forces, the common goal of Roving Sands is simple: strategically evaluate the operability of these forces independently first, then combine their strengths into one simple, effective and coordinated mission.

The evaluation rests on the idea that each segment of the Armed Forces can be tested independently of each other, seeking their best-qualified strengths, and, finally, utilizing the resources of each into a single operational assignment that is monitored through a regional command center.

What sets this exercise apart from previous exercises of the past is that the battle is being fought in cyberspace. Using sophisticated computerized systems, military teams from different regions of the country are engaging in separate missions supporting the overall military objective. Not only is the battlefield a simulated target area, all of the missile systems and other "tools" of engagement are also simulated.

For example, in El Paso, Texas, Fort Bliss will combine its forces within a larger force that pinpoints "trouble areas" requiring military intervention in a location where ground forces cannot be deployed. Rather, an aerial strike can be coordinated through a system of interdependent computerized systems and satellites, allowing target areas to be attacked with a single air strike.

Like a prelude to President Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" vision, Roving Sands 2000 uses models and simulations to test unit readiness and coordinated efforts, decreasing the expenditures of using field troops and aircraft usage.

According to Jaime Boulet, a simulation integration engineer with U.S. Army's Forces Command, Roving Sands has "taken on a different twist" in that it now uses fewer ground forces and aircraft -- while utilizing simulation so that a smaller number of field troops can command a greater range of territory. With smaller military teams commanding regional areas, the combined effort leads to broader participation from units coast-to-coast.

Marine Maj. Mike Ferguson, modeling and simulations operations officer at the Joint War Fighting Center in Suffolk, Virginia, said these simulations can actually increase morale among troops by reducing the deployments of military members away from their families, while maintaining the high standards and training objectives the Defense Department seeks to uphold.

Another advantage of this type of training is the reduced cost to the American taxpayer. Ferguson also pointed out that tremendous savings can be seen when simulations, through joint coordination of various regional military teams, can reduce expenditures of troop and equipment deployment.

Related Site

* Roving Sands 2000


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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).