7 NATO Countries Joined U.S. in Schriever Wargame
Representatives from seven NATO countries joined the U.S. for the first time in a war game that focuses on space and cyber defense issues.
Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey took part in Schriever Wargame 2012 International Game beginning April 20.
The Space Innovation and Development Center conducted the war game at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., on behalf of U.S. Air Force Space Command, Colorado Springs, Colo. “The Schriever Wargame, set in the year 2023, will explore critical space issues and investigate the integration activities of multiple agencies associated with space systems and services. Schriever Wargame 2012 will also include international partners from Australia, Canada and the U.K.,” said a press release from U.S. Air Force Space Command.
“This is a significant development in what was predominately a U.S. event and reflects the need to cooperate and share information to develop future capabilities that benefit NATO collectively,” a NATO official said.
Developing capabilities for NATO is one of the alliance‟s priorities for the upcoming Chicago summit May 20-21. At the summit, heads of state and government are expected to lay the foundations for the alliance‟s future forces to 2020.
“In Chicago, we will take the next steps by approving a specific set of commitments and measures, and embracing the new approach we call Smart Defence,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen following a meeting of alliance defense ministers ON April 18.
The Smart Defence concept encourages nations to get the most capability from their defense spending by focusing on greater prioritization, specialization and multinational cooperation in equipment acquisition.
“The U.S. has been encouraging its European allies to invest more in these capabilities, and allowing them to participate in the Schriever Wargame provides an opportunity to work together on space-based systems that will be increasingly important to future operations,” the NATO official said.
The war game scenario depicts NATO counterpiracy operations around the Horn of Africa. Operation Jolly Roger is a notional NATO operation supporting a multinational task force charged with finding and stopping Horn of Africa piracy operations. These piracy operations are supported by — and are supporting — al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate in Africa.
The war game tasks were to:
- Examine options for optimizing space efforts from participating allies and Australia in support of a notional NATO expeditionary operation.
- Identify ways to increase the resilience of space capabilities in a contested environment through expanded international and private-sector cooperation and coordination.
- Determine operational challenges associated with defense of space capabilities employed in support of the operation.
- Examine the operational integration of cyber into defense of the space domain.
- Expand understanding of the operational benefits of broader international participation in combined space operations.
By JULIAN HALE