Archive for October, 2009

Wargame results continue to shape future

October 18, 2009


Wargame results continue to shape future forces, doctrine


More than 180 participants from combatant commands, key coalition partners, and a broad range of government agencies gathered in northern Virginia earlier this year to examine how joint force operations will unfold in the future.

The results of that wargame in May and June led U.S. Joint Forces Command’s (USJFCOM) Joint Concept Development and Experimentation (JCD&E) Directorate to find the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO) a conceptually sufficient framework for the future of joint operations.

USJFCOM, the services, other combatant commands and the Joint Staff developed the CCJO as a guide to how joint forces will operate in response to an array of future security challenges. 

The CCJO as a whole held up to the scrutiny of the experiment’s participants. , At the same time, the experiment uncovered several other conceptual areas that need further development, said Navy Rear Adm. Dan Davenport, JCD&E director.

“The CCJO held up very well to all the challenges presented and was determined, through the rigorous evaluation of the experiment to be sufficient to guide future force development,” he said.  “We did find areas where additional concept development is needed to further flesh out the ideas in the CCJO, and those will be the focus of future work we do here at Joint Forces Command and across DoD.”

Davenport said participants in the experiment’s blue force confronted many challenges as they examined particular areas.

“Some of these challenges were recognized in the wargame as potential game changers requiring a versatile joint force that is able to understand and adapt to the situation,” he said.  “None were show stoppers, and all the objectives that the blue force had to carry out were achieved.”

The wargame generated detailed insights and recommendations in several areas of challenge for the joint force, including a “whole of nation” approach will be required to deal with a complex and uncertain future environment, keeping a well-defined balance between military tasks and those performed by other agencies, both inside and outside the government. 

The idea of “whole of nation integrates academia, industry and other elements that need to be brought to bear to really, fully deal with many of the challenges,” Davenport said.

Other insights and recommendations include:

  • Situational understanding goes beyond situational awareness.  It requires an ability to interpret the implications of events and conditions, according to experiment organizers.  Joint forces need better tools and processes to frame problems and develop courses of action in complex and dynamic environments.
  • Joint forces need to be better prepared to operate in degraded or denied network environments.  Future enemies will increasingly take the fight into the cyber domain, and two goals are imperative, Davenport said.  “The first is the need to improve the capability of our systems to be resilient and redundant in the face of cyber threats and the [second is the] need to regularly train our forces to operate in degraded or denied environments.”
  • A comprehensive, flexible, culturally informed strategic communication capability is critical to future operations.  “Our joint force commanders need an effective, coherent narrative – with words matching actions – to achieve success and maintain domestic, international and allied support,” Davenport said.

Davenport said that USJFCOM’s staff is maintaining its “bias for action” and is actively transitioning the wargame’s results into action.

“Joint Forces Command remains committed to turning the wargame recommendations into action,” he said.  “We’re working with leaders and organizations across DoD to transition the results to drive enduring change.  In many cases, the action is already underway. 


Jacob Boyer