(en) Computer Wargame Explores 'War of the Future' (fwd)

Robert Cherwink (rc@vom.com)
Thu, 20 Nov 1997 21:34:27 -0800

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Company Press Release

Computer Wargame Explores 'War of the Future'

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Plans and operations staff people from throughout the military services and unified commands converged in Alabama Monday to look at the Air Force's new strategic vision and how it meshes with joint warfare.

Global Engagement '97 -- a computer-assisted war game -- began Monday and is scheduled to run through Friday at the Air Force Wargaming Institute at Maxwell Air Force Base. The players -- including 10 flag officers from the unified commands -- will deal with a simulated major theater conflict in the northeast Asia of 2012.

Throughout the week, the players will devise a plan to meet the challenge, put the plan in motion and make adjustments. The result will not be an all- encompassing solution for joint operations, says the game's director. Far from it. Success will come as players learn how Global Engagement would work and ask ``better questions'' about its effect.

Col. C. Parks Schaefer is the chief of resource management for the Air Force Studies and Analysis Agency and the Air Staff game director for Global Engagement '97. He drew a distinction between this war game and training exercises such as Ulchi Focus Lens held each year in Korea.

``Exercises are designed to train organizations and people on their mission and make them better at what they already know how to do,'' Schaefer said. ``A war game allows players to explore issues about which they do not have complete information.''

Global Engagement '97 thus gives players the chance to take strategic vision concepts -- the Air Force core competencies -- off the chalkboard and put them in motion.

For many players in the joint arena, this could be their first experience with how the Air Force employs its core competencies of air and space superiority, global attack, rapid global mobility, precision engagement, information superiority and agile combat support.

However, these concepts had their first in-depth look during Strategic Force '96 staged in November 1996 at the wargaming institute. That led to these warfare planning insights:

Crisis planning and execution under short warning are likely in future conflicts. Asymmetric force can be used effectively by adversaries as well as the United States. A strong, joint theater plan is the key to winning in short-warning conflicts. Air and space power provided the greatest degree of battlespace superiority available to the commander in chief. Air and space power can make up for deficiencies in other force areas for a limited time. This makes early availability of air and space assets particularly important in a short-warning war.

Global Engagement '97 steps off from the Strategic Force '96 findings. This year's games, according to Schaefer, will look at space, information operations, deployment and logistics operations.

``We know what issues we want to explore,'' the colonel said, ``and we use the vehicle of the games to tie them to our core competencies.''

No matter how thorough any war game, Schaefer explained, they do not offer broad solutions for strategies and tactics.

``The key to war games is that you can't replicate them,'' the colonel said. ``Human players make the decisions. If we give the same scenarios under the same conditions even to the same people, we could have different results. If you can't replicate, you can't draw conclusions any better than you would by betting on horses.''

This was why he emphasized the importance of forming ``better'' questions as the mark of a war game's success.

``If we ask better questions,'' he said, ``we can get better answers or see the need to do more work. We might need to ask our engineers for more hard data on an issue.

``If we ask high-quality questions and feel like we understand the issues, then we can turn war game results into a training issue. And until you understand the issue, you cannot employ your forces.''

Schaefer said the Air Staff wants to create a game that ``allows us to explore new issues and come out with a better understanding of that issue. Better understanding leads us to better capabilities training.''

----------------------- NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for research and educational purposes. -----------------------


Rob, Sector Air Raid Warden at Rob's Place http://www.vom.com/rc/home.htm A SITE DEDICATED TO SPIRIT, TRUTH, PEACE, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM /RENEGADE/ newsletter: http://fornits.com/renegade/ Robert Cherwink <rc@vom.com> Usenet: alt.thebird


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