Recently, I had the opportunity to travel along with various members of the Naval War College faculty and staff to Cartagena, Colombia, for the NWC Sixth Regional Symposium, co-hosted by the Colombian Navy. This event was held at the Colombian Naval Academy, with the theme of the symposium focusing on “Framework for Maritime Security: A Preview of the 2010 Global Partnership Game." One of the highlights of the events started with the keynote address given by Adm. Guillermo Barrera of the Columbian Navy (NWC Naval Command College, 1993). During his address, he eloquently discussed the distinct role war gaming plays in examining and evaluating the countless challenges to Maritime Security in the International and Regional Environments.
It was extremely impressive to observe an International Flag Officer elaborate on the value war gaming has particularly in an international context. Shortly thereafter, the President of the Naval War College, Rear Adm. Wisecup explained the role of the War Gaming Department in designing the 2010 Global Partnership Game. This presentation transitioned into two scenario-based table top exercises hosted by various members of the War Gaming faculty to include Professor Warren Wiggins, CDR Dave Ward and CDR Chris Gray.
War Gaming is an excellent tool for building strategic partnerships and a mechanism used to examine the full range of international maritime activities. The gaming process itself should be viewed as a feedback loop, with an open exchange of professional views, clustering exercises, plenary out-briefs, and post-event analysis all serving as vital and dynamic aspects in studying operational planning methods and fostering international collaboration, information sharing and cultural awareness.
Interacting with our international partners in events such as this, not only enabled the War Gaming Department to gather valuable data in preparing for the upcoming Global Maritime Partnership Game, but it also helped us engage with key partners as we continue to build that trust and confidence that is so important to make these same partnerships succeed.