NEWPORT, R.I. – Two game reports published by the U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) War Gaming Department were presented last week in San Francisco at the Small Vessel Security Threat Conference.
The two-day conference brought together more than 200 leaders and opinion makers from the maritime community’s public and private sectors to discuss implementation of the Department of Homeland Security's Small Vessel Security Strategy (SVSS). The intent of the SVSS strategy is to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks by small vessels through cooperation, partnership, effective operations, and technology while simultaneously protecting citizen’s use of the nation’s harbors and waterways.
"With the 34th America’s Cup scheduled to take place in San Francisco in 2012, it was only fitting that this event was hosted there,” said U.S. Naval War College Assistant Professor Walter Berbrick who presented the findings and analytic framework of the two games. “With thousands of small vessels descending on the bay area over the next couple years, the maritime community is rightly concerned and discussed potential security threats, planning factors and cooperative security technologies that could support the planning of a major maritime event like the America’s Cup.”
Woven into the tradition and legacy of the U.S. Naval War College’s 125-year history is a reputation of identifying national threats and devising courses of actions long before the first U.S. military forces are committed to combat. Last year, the Maritime Domain Awareness Operational Game and Global Maritime Partnerships Game were developed and executed by the college’s Center of Naval Warfare Studies on behalf of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). These games explored maritime security cooperation and information sharing among international maritime partners. As with many games conducted at NWC, final reports are prepared in both classified and unclassified versions and can benefit many interested government, educational and private groups.
“In my presentation, I emphasized how the observations and insights derived from game play could enhance coordination, cooperation, and communication between local and federal authorities, the private sector, as well as international partners in support of maritime domain awareness and maritime security,” said Berbrick.
According to Berbrick, those who attended his presentation were captivated by what the Naval War College’s War Gaming Department learned from these two games.
“I’m not sure everyone knew what the Naval War College’s mission was or to the extent we study these types of issues or problems for Navy leadership before I made my presentation,” said Berbrick. “But given the questions and comments I received afterwards, I suspect there is a much greater appreciation for what the Naval War College does as well as the information we share afterwards.”