Military News

Friday, December 11, 2015

Work: Wargaming Critical in Dynamic Security Environment



By Cheryl Pellerin DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2015 — Restoking the Pentagon’s wargaming engine will multiply ways to explore defense and national security futures, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work has said multiple times this year.

Work and Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, both have written about wargaming and how the Defense Department could revitalize the valuable practice, which would generate ideas and integrate new technologies into doctrine, operations and force structure.

In a May 8 memorandum to military department leaders and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Work laid out three initiatives that together, he said, would help align department decision-making and the wargaming enterprise.

“We are entering a critical period for the United States,” Work wrote in the memo, referring to resetting the joint force after 13 years of war, “[and] we must turn our attention to numerous emerging challenges to U.S. global leadership.”

In such a dynamic environment, he added, department leaders are making programmatic decisions to meet the challenges, and wargaming is an important way to inform those decisions and spur innovation.

Future Wars

More recently, Work and Selva wrote a Dec. 8 commentary on wargaming and the new initiatives -- titled "Revitalizing Wargaming is Necessary to be Prepared for Future Wars" -- for warontherocks.com.

The web-based publication on national security and foreign policy has contributors who are defense officials, former diplomats, military officers, noncommissioned officers, intelligence professionals and war scholars.

Work and Selva began the commentary with a historical look at the topic -- in this case the inter-war years of the 1920s and 1930s, when militaries around the world were adapting to new inventions like radar and sonar and rapid improvements in other militarily relevant technologies.

“To help navigate through this period of disruptive change, the United States military made extensive use of analytical wargaming,” Work and Selva wrote. “Wargames were an inexpensive tool during a period of suppressed defense spending to help planners cope with the high degree of contemporary technological and operational uncertainty."

Revitalizing Wargaming

With the initiatives he introduced in May, Work said he intends to revitalize wargaming, embed wargaming more firmly in DoD’s suite of analytical approaches, and do a better job of sharing wargame insights with senior leadership.

“This effort is part of our broader commitment to foster greater innovation within the department, make the most of increasingly constrained resources, and avoid operational or technological surprise in tomorrow’s dynamic security environment,” Work and Selva said in the commentary.

The first step, now underway, is for all services, combatant commands and wargaming centers to contribute to a wargaming repository that will help everyone better understand and guide current wargaming efforts and share insights across the defense enterprise.

The repository, which so far contains the results of more than 250 wargames, the defense officials said, offers a single place to access wargame results and insights and to learn about upcoming wargames and tabletop exercises.

The second step is to form a Defense Wargaming Alignment Group, or DWAG, to share senior-leader priorities with the wargaming enterprise and to help ensure that feedback and insights from wargames that align with department priorities are communicated to department leaders, Work and Selva said.

Including Partners, Allies

The DWAG will inventory wargaming capacity and capability department-wide, particularly among the services and combatant commands, and institute a regular series of senior-leader wargaming events, they added.

The third step, because the department relies heavily on allies and partners in almost everything it does, is for the department to examine better ways to include them in its wargaming efforts and how best to share results, they said.

Wargames are useful for exploring the integration of allied capabilities and helping develop cooperative concepts of operation, the defense leaders said, adding that wargames play an increasingly critical role in informing interagency partners about complexities and challenges the department would face in a high-end conflict against a great power.

“For example,” Work and Selva wrote, “we recently held a specific wargame on space that illuminated some of the challenges and opportunities we could face if a conflict extended into that domain.”

Going to School on Wargames

The department also will consider the value of using wargames that explore joint multidimensional combat operations in pursuit of joint professional military education goals, they said.

Today, wargaming courses are generally electives, Work and Selva explained, adding that building school curricula around wargaming might help spark innovation and give the joint force a better understanding of transregional, cross-domain, multidimensional combat.

Entering the force is a new generation of young men and women whose exposure to commercial multiplayer gaming is greater than that of any previous generation, they said.
“Should they be introduced to wargaming in their accession programs? We have not yet answered these questions,” they said, “but we are considering them, as well as other initiatives to reinvigorate wargaming across the department.”

Troxell Takes Over as SEAC



By Cheryl Pellerin DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2015 — Army Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell was sworn in as the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today during a change of responsibility ceremony hosted by the chairman, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr.

The event took place at Conmy Hall on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Northern Virginia. It included a ceremony honoring outgoing SEAC Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, who's scheduled to retire in April 2016 after nearly 36 years of service.

Presenting the flag to Battaglia was former chairman Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Dunford's predecessor and the one who chose Battaglia as his SEAC.

In the audience were Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commander of U.S. Africa Command, Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and United States Forces Korea, and other mentors, friends and family members of Battaglia and Troxell.

Leader, Warrior

When Dunford spoke he thanked Battaglia for all he has done on behalf of the nation’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and their families.

“Sergeant Major Battaglia, you're a leader, you're a warrior and you're a man of character,” the chairman said.

“Today, as you complete your active service you have what every leader would want to have,” Dunford added. “You have the admiration, the appreciation and the affection of your fellow Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen -- and that includes the Dunford family.”

Extraordinary Record

On Troxell’s assumption of the role of SEAC, Dunford said the department is welcoming another leader with an extraordinary record of service.

Three weeks ago a reporter asked Dunford about the criteria for selecting Battaglia's replacement.

“I said it's pretty straightforward. I looked for somebody with a wide range of experience and a proven track record as a leader, a teacher, a mentor and a warrior,” Dunford explained.

He looked for someone who could stand before soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and inspire confidence, and someone enlisted men and women would be proud to have represent them.

“I was looking for someone who'd provide advice with candor,” Dunford added. “And to be honest with you, I was looking for someone exactly like Sergeant Major John Wayne Troxell.”

Dempsey Reflects

In his remarks, Dempsey, who retired in September and moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, thanked Dunford for being the current chairman and the senior military leader of the armed forces.

“I didn't think [the job] could get any more complicated,” Dempsey said. “And then I left and I looked back and I said, 'Wow, it just got a little more complicated.' But you're the right man in the right place.”

About Battaglia, Dempsey said that for the last four years of Battaglia's career, "he was my confidant and my advisor. But he was also … the lead scout for the joint force, he was the champion of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, he was the coach of the senior enlisted leaders of our services, and he was the mentor of the senior enlisted leaders of our combatant commands."

Dempsey also mentioned the work of Army Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Gainey, the first senior enlisted advisor to the chairman, who served under then-chairman Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace.

“Gainey was the groundbreaker. He was the man who set the parameters, and we've all been working to sustain the office and to continue to make it relevant,” the former chairman said. “I know that Sgt. Maj. Battaglia did that and Sgt. Maj. Troxell will do it as well.”

Best Advice

In his remarks, Troxell thanked Dunford for having confidence enough to make him SEAC.

 “I do not take my duties lightly and will work tirelessly day in and day out to influence the entire joint enlisted force to assist in making your focus areas come to fruition,” Troxell said, “and to provide you and the secretary of defense my best military advice regarding our service members, families, civilians and veterans.”

To the service senior enlisted advisors and combatant command senior enlisted leaders, Troxell said he looks forward to serving with them and building a synergistic relationship based on “shared understanding, respect and trust as we aim to provide training, education, experiences and opportunities for our joint enlisted force.”

Troxell also thanked wounded warriors and Gold Star families for their service and sacrifice. “You are definitely our country’s treasures,” he said.

Many Mentors

Battaglia thanked the many mentors that have helped and shaped him across his career as a Marine, and he thanked Dunford, noting that they first crossed paths as Captain Dunford and Corporal Battaglia.

When Dunford became chairman, Battaglia said, he took on tough military issues “that could have been set aside for someone else to tackle, but bravely made bold and righteous decisions to take them on with the Joint Chiefs and orchestrate worthwhile and sensible solutions.”

Battaglia also thanked Dempsey for “having the trust in my abilities to make my small contribution and its value to the force.”

Face of Defense: F-16 Pilot Achieves Flying Hour Milestones



By Air Force Capt. Bryan Bouchard 455th Air Expeditionary Wing

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, December 11, 2015 — “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Two thousand years after Chinese philosopher Laozi recorded this phrase, Air Force Col. Henry Rogers reached his own “thousand-mile journey” milestones while deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, as an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot.

Rogers, the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group commander, not only surpassed 3,000 flying hours in the F-16 on Oct. 29, he then eclipsed 1,000 combat hours in the venerable jet on Nov. 6.

“When I was a lieutenant, the only guys with 3,000 hours were old guys that I honestly wondered how they could still meet the physical and mental demands of flying fighters,” he said. “I guess I am one of those guys now, even though I don’t feel that old.”

According to F-16 aficionado websites, Rogers joins the ranks of fewer than 300 F-16 pilots worldwide to reach 3,000 hours and just a handful who have reached 1,000 combat hours.

“Many pilots have flown other airplanes throughout their careers, but I’ve always been assigned to F-16 combat squadrons for my flying assignments, so that means I’ve deployed a lot,” he said. “But that’s what we’re here for.”

Upgraded Airframe

The airframe in which Rogers has flown since graduating from pilot training in 1994 continues to play a role in his success, even 40 years after it first started rolling off the assembly line.

“The F-16 today is nothing like the F-16 from its early years, but rather than producing a new airframe, the F-16 constantly upgrades its software, computing capacity, and weaponry,” he explained. “Today’s F-16 is an all-weather fighter loaded with technology -- night-vision, GPS, datalink, advanced air-to-air missiles, sniper targeting pod, satellite communications, and the Helmet-Mounted Cueing System. It’s an extremely capable multi-role fighter and will be crushing the enemy for many years to come.”

Rogers understands first-hand how capable the F-16 can be as he is currently serving his eighth combat deployment. He credits his family with always being there for him throughout his career and many deployments.

“My wife and now my two boys have always been beside me throughout my career and we have traveled this journey together,” he said. “Our definition of success is finishing with no regrets with my family by my side.”

Fighter Pilot Life Not Like Movies

The colonel said that a work-hard, play-hard approach is a common perception about his profession, but what people see on television and in movies is not always reality.

“Fighter pilots are often romanticized, or stereotyped, as guys who always push the envelope and maintain a college fraternity lifestyle,” Rogers explained. “The fact is that flying fighters is and has always been a dangerous business, and thus we all take our job extremely seriously.

“There is always a new tactic or weapon to learn,” he continued. “Fighter pilots prove their worth by how well they know their aircraft and tactics, their ability to complete the mission despite the obstacles and threats, and by being a professional officer and aviator -- not by the antics you always hear about or see in the movies.”

What is the same as the movies, however, is the closeness of those who are in the business of flying some of the world’s fastest and most advanced aircraft.

“All told, there is a special camaraderie within the flying community and especially amongst the fighter pilots who develop a bond of trust and mutual respect due to the responsibility we carry for each other and our personal actions,” he said.

When he was a lieutenant, Rogers said he was amazed at how many flying stories the older guys had. Over time, he’s amassed a lot of stories of his own.

He said, “Some of them are funny, from harmless mistakes that were embarrassing when told to the squadron the following Friday; some are sad from friends lost due to accidents; some frightening from being shot at by enemy surface-to-air missiles; and there are a few ‘There I was’ stories from combat or even exciting training stories still get my heart racing.”

But, the colonel explained, exciting stories and the people who’ve lived them aren’t exclusive to the flying community.

“Flying in combat is often called the ‘Tip of the Spear’ when considering all of the worldwide Air Force operations and activities,” Rogers said. “We highlight the tip of the spear because it is visible and exciting, but everyone at Bagram, plus many staffs and home-station airmen, all form the critical team necessary to get our airplanes in the air. Every airman counts.”

While no two people have the same career, he said, every path is interesting and unique.
“It’s our career diversity that makes us collectively a much stronger fighting force,” Rogers said. "We celebrate notable events such as 3,000 hours or 1,000 F-16 combat hours, but the reality is that every airman has an interesting story worth sharing. All airmen at Bagram are operating at the tip of the spear.”