“Wargaming is an invaluable method used to assess new ideas, question existing
practices, stimulate innovation, and develop new operational concepts in a risk-friendly
environment,” wrote Secretary of the Navy in a memo to the department May 5.
Wargaming exercises inform national policy, prepare warfighters for successful combat operations, and contribute to the development of Sailors and Marines as professionals and as strategic thinkers.
The wargaming approach can be used at all command levels and across every mission area in the Department of the Navy, according to Mabus.
The secretary advised that the department must evolve its approach to wargaming so that it contemplates the future challenges Sailors and Marines will encounter, and the types of decisions they must make.
In order to do so, Mabus directed the Navy and Marine Corps to:
- Establish a virtual community of practice for Sailors, Marines, and Civilians with
an interest in wargaming to further develop and expand this competency across
- Conduct a series of smaller, iterative analytic games in FY 2016-17 to better inform naval strategy development, campaign analyses, and fleet experimentation. These events will include key leaders and junior officers from across the DON.
- Ensure wargaming influences the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution System process.
- Reestablish the Office of Naval Research Technology Innovation games.
- Incorporate emerging technology, probabilistic models, and data analytics into gaming techniques.
- Establish a mechanism to share actionable insights from wargames across the department, with a particular focus on cross-event and longitudinal analysis.
“Diversity of thought is fundamental to game design and execution. Using the inventive thinking of the DON workforce — from all ranks, backgrounds, and professional and academic communities — we will create solutions to complex problems and significantly enhance the outcome of games,” Mabus wrote.
The services will develop an integrated, detailed implementation plan, reviewed and approved though the Naval Board, to the Under Secretary of the Navy no later than
Sept. 30, 2015, per the secretary’s memo.
The DON Wargaming memo can be accessed from the DON Innovation website: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/innovation/Pages/Home.aspx or by going directly to: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/innovation/Documents/2015/05/WargamingMemo.PDF.