By professor Shawn Burns, U.S. Naval War College War Gaming Department
May 14, 2013

NEWPORT, R.I. – Sailors and faculty from U.S. Naval War College (NWC) War Gaming Department kicked off the 2013 Inter-American War Game (IAWG), May 6 at NWC in Newport, R.I.

Led by a multinational naval control group comprised of Colombian, Brazilian, U.S. Navy and NWC war gaming faculty members, the IAWG blends an initial on-line phase with a face-to-face analysis phase that allows for expanded interpersonal discussion of game lessons.

“The 2013 IAWG provides a valuable educational environment. It presents participants with multiple complex maritime challenges to solve and provides an opportunity to exchange perspectives of global challenges among partner nations,” said Capt. Jaime Garcia, Colombian navy, chief of the navy department, Escuela Superior de Guerra.

The IAWG has been held among western hemisphere war colleges for the past four decades. Participating countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

“We need to foster partnership and cooperation among our navies and work together to find solutions to problems in the region. [These] problems are addressed in the 2013 Inter-American War Game,” said Adm. Guillermo Barrera, former Colombian chief of naval operations and current CNO distinguished international fellow at NWC.

An innovation into the 2013 IAWG is the introduction of cyber threats, including exploration of how a multinational maritime force could respond.

“In our 2013 IAWG scenario, a failed state was menaced by a mix of transnational criminal organizations and one unfriendly nation-state,” said Cmdr. Dustin Martin, NWC war gaming game designer. “The failed state government requested U.N. assistance, resulting in formation of a multinational force.

“In game move two, the control group introduced a distributed denial of service cyber-attack scenario inject for players to wrestle with. Maritime leaders, and others, may be asked to help to contribute to reestablishing communications in environments subject to cyber-attacks.”

According to retired Capt. Archimedes Delgado, Brazilian navy, assistant coordinator war gaming center for Escola de Guerra Naval, distributed denial of service attacks against government communications is a real world threat.

“Although naval forces have limited capabilities to face these threats, it is very important that all our navies think about this issue,” said Delgado.

The 2013 IAWG will continue in August at NWC with the multinational, face-to-face game analysis phase.

Edited by Daniel S. Marciniak and Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl

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