Global Challenge 2013 one of many wargames at LeMay

special Courtesy of
LeMay Center Wargaming Directorate

6/17/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- The Air War College class of 2013 participated in Global Challenge, its military education capstone event designed to test the students' ability to synthesize the principles, concepts and processes taught in the AWC curriculum and translate national-level decisions into strategic and operational-level action.

The challenge was May 13-17 at the Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education.

Reduced operating budgets make wargaming, such as Global Challenge, a highly sought after tool as a means to train war fighters in every level of warfare.

"Wargaming has long been a cost-effective tool to educate and train our future leaders for the operational and strategic challenges they may face, and we will continue transforming the way we conduct wargames at our Wargaming Institute by using the most modern technology and simulations," said Maj. Gen. Walter Givhan, LeMay Center commander. "Air Force wargaming at the LeMay Center is and will continue to be a centerpiece of education and training for future generations of defense leaders."

The LeMay Center expanded its customer base outside of the Air University by hosting chief of staff of the Air Force's Title 10 wargames and supporting the air forces of the United Kingdom, Australia and The Netherlands. Its staff is currently working with Air Force Global Strike Command to develop and execute its first-ever wargame to specifically support their unique mission.

Preparation for a wargame is a year-long process, which begins with reviewing lessons learned from the previous year's wargame, updating scenarios, improving software and hardware and collaborating with the wargame's sponsor, whether an Air University school, joint or international customer. At the same time, wargaming personnel design, implement, test and maintain multiple hardware and software systems required for game facilitating, communications and the display of common operational pictures. Much of the software used is developed and maintained in-house and is in high demand by the respective Army and Navy schools, as well as foreign militaries.

Ensuring the success of those events is a team effort. While one wargame is in execution, the staff is simultaneously developing, updating and preparing for other upcoming wargames. The Wargaming Directorate makes this possible by using lean programming and operational processes, employing air power professionals with decades of experience across a multitude of Air Force platforms, and the top computer hardware and software technicians.

The LeMay Center Wargaming Directorate hosts wargames for the Officer Training School, Squadron Officer College, Air Command and Staff College, AWC and the Judge Advocate General Corps, as well as many joint and international wargames.

The LeMay Center Wargaming Institute is a 56,000-square-foot facility inside Maxwell's academic circle and is the largest facility of its kind in the Air Force. The internal building layout is rapidly reconfigurable by the support team to accommodate any size wargame and can even simulate an air operations center. It also hosts its own cutting-edge computer network and phone system, features internal and external secure video teleconference capability, has TV production capability, supports multiple classification levels and is used year-round to support more than 40 different wargames, exercises and training seminars.