Marine Lt. Col. Wynndee Young, program manager for the Marine Corps’ Program Manager Wargaming Capability (PM WGC), led a brief that gave attendees of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Florida, an update on the Marine Corps’ efforts toward enhancing wargaming efforts to improve future training, Nov. 29.


PM WGC seeks to enhance the Marine Corps’ existing wargaming capability with a modernized, flexible facility. Its intended focus includes providing a comprehensive environment conducive to full-spectrum wargaming, as well as a capability ensuring that wargames are data-enabled, leading to defensible positions based on insights and analytical findings.


“This is a very complex program,” Young said. “It consists of various capabilities, not just the wargaming software, but also a building and the personnel who will run the building.”


Young explained that the Marine Corps needs to be able to take operational plans and concepts of operation, and put them into a digital system that will produce analytics and use modeling, simulation and other technologies to create a capability that will validate its use of resources to develop the future force.


The Gen. Robert B. Neller Center for Wargaming and Analysis (or “Neller Center”) is a facility currently under construction at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Upon its completion, the Neller Center will be a two-story venue covering approximately 100,446 square feet, dedicated to Marine Corps wargaming at any time, at any security classification. Currently, the Marines must borrow space and resources, and request support, from other organizations when scheduling such training events. Young said this facility will eventually be capable of conducting wargaming exercises on the same network with offsite staff – for example, with participants located simultaneously in Quantico and Okinawa.


“Wargaming gets a lot of billing, but it’s not the only thing that contributes to redesigning the Marine Corps for the future,” said Marine Col. George Shreffler, director or the Warfighting Division at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. “There’s an entire campaign of learning that involves wargaming, concept writing, live and virtual experimentation, and studies that are conducted within the Marine Corps, across the joint force, and with our allies and partners. It’s going to dramatically enhance wargaming, but it has tie into all the other activities that contribute to force design, force development and force employment.”


Shreffler said that once the Neller Center is fully operational, his organization will expand into additional use cases including science and technology, senior leader engagement, as well as training and education. As this capability evolves, it will contribute to live and virtual training and education across the services, and according to Shreffler, that’s already occurring, as evidenced by Project Tripoli that is “giving our Marines the tools they need to train better and more realistically.”

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