NEWPORT, R.I. – The U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) War Gaming Department played a vital role in supporting the 2011 Maritime Infrastructure Protection Symposium
, in Manama, Bahrain, Sept. 20-22.
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) hosted the three-day symposium, which is held every 18 months. This is the fourth MIPS, and had more than 150 attendees from 20 countries.
The purpose of the symposium is to improve the collective understanding of regional and international maritime infrastructure protection to protect critical resources against all kinetic, natural and enduring vulnerabilities in the maritime environment.
As academic advisor and panel facilitator, NWC assistant research professor, Doug Ducharme, led a panel discussion made up of regional leaders, military commanders, and senior industry representatives who answered questions on the last day of the event. The panel addressed some of the biggest challenges in taking a multi-agency approach to MIPS vulnerabilities with the participants.
Similar to prior NWC support provided in 2009 and 2010, MIPS 2011 leveraged the War Gaming Department’s wide range of expertise. Ducharme directed the NWC team, which also included professors Hank Brightman, Terry Mahoney, and Cmdr. Dustin Martin.
In addition to developing educational productions designed to support the MIPS 2011 objective, the four War Gaming faculty performed as multi-session facilitators, panel moderators, and real-time qualitative and quantitative data analysts.
The symposium brought together experts and stakeholders and included presentations, discussions and working groups. The participants had opportunities to meet and discuss various concerns in person while fostering relationships to better execute infrastructure protection efforts.
“This is basic human relations,” said Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. “At the end of the day, you can surge troops and you can surge equipment, but you can’t surge trust.”
NAVCENT is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, parts of the Indian Ocean and 20 countries. U.S. Fifth Fleet’s mission is to conduct maritime security operations, defeat violent extremism and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.