NEWPORT, R.I. – The War Gaming Department conducted a Global Initial Planning Conference (IPC), Feb.16-17, to help develop and prepare its game design for the Global 2011 Title X War Game (Global ’11). The Global ’11 event will be held at the Naval War College (NWC) in July.
Navy Title X War Games are conducted for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) to assist Navy leadership in the execution of their Title X (Man, Train, Equip) responsibilities. In order to support the classified nature of the Global ’11 War Game, the IPC discussions and materials were executed at the SECRET NOFORN level.
“This Initial Planning Conference was held to solicit inputs from across the Department of Defense regarding key game issues and processes for Global ’11,” said Don Marrin, professor with NWC’s War Gaming Department and Game Director for the July event. “We held a concept development conference in December and we’re scheduling a mid-planning event this spring as well as a final planning conference in June.”
The 2011 classified Global War Game will focus on investigating the U.S. Navy’s ability to exercise sea control as necessary to support joint combat operations ashore via seabasing.The outputs from Global ’11 will help identify the operational concepts and resources that will be needed to successfully execute the U.S. Maritime Strategy (CS21).
“One of our objectives for this conference was to glean additional information from various organizations and commands within the Navy and the “Joint” community to help us develop a better game this summer,” said Marrin of the 35 outside personnel participating in IPC. “They helped us work through—put meat on the bone—the game design, support requirements and the critical issues that must be considered to execute a quality game.”
Participants reviewed the original game design during the first day of the conference. They broke into four groups that focused on maritime, land, air, and cyber issues. Their recommendations will help determine the eventual inputs, outputs and requirements for the July event.
“On the second day, we assembled four different groups to discuss Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and logistics issues as well as game adjudication and data collection responsibilities required to support Global ’11,” Marrin added. “We’ll combine all this data and information and roll it into our overall game design going forward.”
The War Gaming Department invited personnel from various commands and agencies including representatives from the OPNAV staff, Fleet Forces Command, Fleet Cyber Command, U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Strategic Command and the staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense as well as the military services and U.S. Coast Guard.
During the conference, War Gaming received positive feedback—from a design perspective—on two different levels.
“We were able to communicate our game objective to a wide audience who will ultimately be supporting the event, such that they now understand the scale and scope of the proposed game in order to manage expectations,” said Peter Pellegrino, senior military analyst at NWC and Game Designer for Global ‘11. “Through the various break out groups we were also able to understand the levels of complexity within the various warfare areas and domains which may influence our sea control problem. From this broader perspective we'll narrow our design such that we'll focus on those areas which will most likely shed the most light on our sea control investigation.”
The conference also met one of its challenges by helping to identify the right personnel to participate in the upcoming Global ’11 game.
“Since the event concluded, we’ve had representatives from various commands tell us they’ve already identified the appropriate ‘players’ to send to the War College this summer,” Pellegrino said. “Getting commitments like this early on is one of the keys to a successful game.
“This planning conference was important to us because the Naval War College is the lead organization for planning and executing the Global War Game Series,” Marrin said. “By bringing these people to the War College, we’re able to leverage their expertise that will help determine the concepts, issues and analytical requirements that are essential to Global ’11.”
By David Reese, Naval War College Public Affairs