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Army, USJFCOM continue series of co-sponsored wargames with Unified Quest 04

Co-sponsored wargame participants have continued to stress and evaluate future warfighting concepts at Unified Quest 04 at the Army War College.

Unified Quest 04 imageBy Army Sgt. Jon Cupp
USJFCOM Public Affairs

(CARLISLE BARRACKS, Penn. -- May 6, 2004) - U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) and the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) are continuing their co-sponsored Unified Quest series of wargames this week at the Army War College here.

Unified Quest 04 explores concepts and capabilities of future forces in the years 2015 to 2016-an event which follows in the footsteps of Unified Quest 2003, USJFCOM's first-ever co-sponsored transformation wargame.

Marking the second time USJFCOM and the Army have co-sponsored the Army's premiere wargame, UQ04 focuses on the Joint Operations Concept (JOpsC), a living family of documents that forms the framework for future full-range military operations. The discovery experiment began here Sunday and continues through tomorrow.

“UQ04 seeks a unified approach toward solving future operational challenges,” said Bill Rittenhouse of TRADOC. “It is a disciplined exploration of future conflict and the underlying premise of the game is that there are more effective ways for services to function together as a joint interdependent team working with government agencies and coalition partner forces.”

“We're continuing a born-joint approach to concepts and capabilities,” said Army Lt. Col. Michael Winstead, a senior planner with USJFCOM's Joint Experimentation Directorate (J9). “This wargame (UQ04) will enhance the development of joint warfighting concepts and capabilities so we can move into the realm of true joint synergy and interdependency. It will allow us to move past deconflicting service capabilities.”

Nearly 500 participants from all military service components to include the U.S. Coast Guard, combatant commanders, industry, academia, U.S. Congress, governmental agencies including the FBI and CIA, all major U.S. Army commands as well as multinational partners to include 28 foreign military officers make up the training audience. Role players from 13 different nations such as the Philippines, Canada, Australia, France and Germany are participating.

In excess of 60 representatives from USJFCOM are on hand during the event to serve as observer trainers, for technical support and to play other key roles.

Participants from different remote sites to include the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., United Nations Headquarters in New York City, the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, and a joint interagency coordination group in Suffolk, Va. are receiving the distributed experiment from the Army War College through the Collaborative Information Environment (CIE).

During the wargame, the CIE, which is an information sharing tool working through a web-based computer network to allow players to share information and communicate although they may be separated geographically or by different time zones, provides players up to date situational awareness in real time. The CIE gives the players the ability to react to situations that occur on the rapidly changing battlefield.

According to Army Brig. Gen. Fastabend, director of TRADOC's Concept Development and Experimentation Futures Center, the wargame's scenarios focus on the blue protagonist force's ability to defeat a red opposition force that has lost much of its conventional capability and resorts to unconventional operations such as guerrilla warfare and terrorism and the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) employment.

The scenarios take place in a fictional theater of operations, and examine major combat operations, stability operations, transition to post conflict and the network enabled battle command in the years 2015 and 2016.

While dealing with the red forces in one region, the players must also deal with crisis situations throughout the world such as homeland security issues, insurgencies, turmoil and tensions in different geographic regions. As blue forces deal with the crisis in one nation, another fictional nation in another area of the world, threatens another region's stability.

Both red team players and blue team players said they have been working to keep the scenarios as realistic as possible.

“Right now, we're facing no conventional opposition,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Don Holder of TRADOC, role playing as the blue force leader in one of the fictional theaters. “We're isolating the capital city and trying to protect the infrastructure from any damage. We've been challenged by unmanned aerial vehicle attacks and we've stopped several red force attempts to deliver weapons of mass destruction (WMD). We've started a massive information campaign, spreading the word to the people that the war has been lost by the old government.”

“We're trying to take advantage of the blue forces vulnerabilities-their national will, logistics and trying to turn public support to our side and using that to our purposes,” said retired Army Col. Mike Sullivan of TRADOC who acts as one of the red force leaders opposing Holder's blue force. “We're using anti-access elements which makes it hard for them to enter the area of operations (AOR), disrupting their communications when they come ashore and planting mines in the sea. We're creating a situation to where the blue forces have no sanctuary.”

Officials said working with the Joint Interagency Coordination Group to assist in humanitarian assistance during the UQ wargaming series has been a major milestone.

“For the first time we had a doctor from the non-governmental agency (NGO) Doctors without Borders,” said Rittenhouse. “She has added to a wealth of insight that has contributed to the richness of this experience.”

Lessons learned from previous exercises, to include UQ03, are being examined and applied to this year's exercise.

“The process of co-sponsored games and thinking through the future together, building one game onto the other, building a body of knowledge, that will continue,” said Army Maj. Gen. James Dubik, director of USJFCOM's Joint Experimentation Directorate (J9).

Dubik added that previous joint context wargame findings and observations to include previous senior leader seminars form the starting point and analysis effort in the game, emphasizing that these wargames have moved beyond single service futures games to being “fully joint, interagency and multinational” games.

According to those involved in UQ04, the experiment will be of great benefit to the joint warfighter and provides a valuable learning opportunity for the training participants.

“This is not just an Army wargame, the Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard have experimental objectives set here,” said Dubik.

“The venues of thinking through this together is very, very powerful. The services can work together and say which of these joint capabilities do we need, which ones are we assuming together instead of each service figuring out what it needs and then, by the time it's produced, figuring out how to kluge it together at the end. That's a huge cultural organizational shift in just the past two years.”

“There's a synergy of groups and different perspectives that is just indescribable,” said Fastabend. “Time after time, you can write a concept and sit there yourself and imagine all the counters to it, its vulnerabilities, its weaknesses, but until you send it into a room of other people and until you hear the reactions of people from non-military organizations, it's just staggering the quality of the insights you can get that you just can't generate yourself.”

After the conclusion of the wargame, a senior leadership seminar will be held Monday in Washington, D.C. to examine insights and issues developed during the event, allowing participants to provide their initial analysis of the game to the senior leaders.

Unified Quest 04

Set in 2016, Unified Quest 2004 (UQ04) is the second U.S. Army/U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) series of seminars, workshops, and conferences that culminate in a co-sponsored joint transformation wargame.

UQ04 expands the power of coherent joint operations and explores concepts and capabilities that enable the Joint Operations Concepts (JOpsC).

The strategic setting for UQ04 is a global scenario that includes a major combat operation and a lesser contingency, with the potential for other crises in the homeland and elsewhere across the globe. The wargame is scheduled for May 2-7, 2004, at Carlisle Barracks, Penn.

Who will participate in the wargame?
Participants include senior military officials, interagency and multinational partners, research analysts, academicians, and media representatives—a broad cross-section of policy, strategy, industry, technology, and operational leaders, all with specific interest in joint transformation and the future force.

Their participation in the game will help to define joint and objective force concepts and capabilities, to identify key issues, insights, and implications, and to address Unified Quest issues.

In addition, through USJFCOM’s joint interagency coordination center, UQ04 will increase interagency participation and expertise to provide the link between military and interagency perceptions of the future national security environment.

What is the intent of UQ04?
The primary purpose of Unified Quest 2004 is to examine and assess joint and future force capabilities in a future global environment.

UQ04 will study joint and Army concepts and capabilities in a full spectrum of operations, enabling USJFCOM, the Army, and other services to better develop concepts that are integrated from their inception.

These “born joint” concepts will allow joint and service capabilities to be truly interdependent and synergistic and to meet other nations’ future security needs.

How will the wargame analyses be used?
UQ04 examines major combat operations, stability operations, transition to postconflict, and network-enabled battle command. Insights and analyses from the wargame will optimize joint, interagency, and multinational integration and interoperability, and will inform senior leaders of the strategic contributions of joint and Army forces.

UQ04 is a long-term analytical process, where:

• Pregame development and comparison of forces and development of the future operational and threat environment increase our understanding of both U.S. and potential adversary activities and the environment within which conflict might occur. This phase includes:

• Developing a possible environment. The Joint Operational Environment, Worldwide Scenario Overview, and scenario situations and dilemmas developed for Unified Quest provide a basis for game discussions and provide the overall context for the game and for adversary actions and activities
• Developing possible future adversary capabilities, concepts, and courses of action and their possible employment in the 2016 scenario
• Developing the employment of the joint and future forces, using the lessons learned from previous games and from ongoing work.

• Discussions during the wargame, supported by various gaming tools, lead to the development of issues and insights. Interactions among the players, within the game environment, identify and clarify issues and provide first-order insights.

• The post-game analysis process permits a more in-depth examination of the insights and issues developed during the game itself. This phase includes using game results:

• To review issues and insights during the senior leader seminar to be held in May 2004
• To develop an initial findings report that provides an overview of the initial results of UQ04
• To refine the joint and future force unit of employment concepts
• To analyze in detail joint concepts and Army transformation research issues and to address new issues that surfaced during the game, resulting in a published integrated analysis report after the wargame.