U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet Hold Combined Wargame at U.S. Naval War College

U.S. Naval War College

NEWPORT, R.I. - The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) hosted the 15th annual Deterrence and Escalation Game and Review (DEGRE) and Global 18 wargame, co-sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT), onboard Naval Station Newport, April 22–26.

Designed to examine the dynamics of strategic deterrence, assurance, and escalation management and assess joint warfighting capabilities, the combined wargame provides U.S. government leadership, combatant commanders, and partners and allies with information needed to enhance interoperability and maintain competitive military advantage.

"Wargames like DEGRE and Global 18 offer senior leaders the opportunity to explore the top defense priorities expressed in the National Defense Strategy, including defending the homeland; deterring strategic attacks against the United States, allies, and partners; and building a resilient joint force," stated Capt. Michael P. O’Hara, Ph.D., chair of NWC’s Wargaming Department.

This year's iteration of the two wargames provided a forum for 300 participants from the Department of Defense, executive branch of government, intelligence community, research institutes, national laboratories, and select allies and partners to explore warfighting challenges at the Joint Task Force (JTF) level in PACFLT’s area of responsibility. The combined wargame will inform policy decisions regarding the role of nuclear weapons and deterrence approaches in achieving national objectives.

"This game provides U.S. and allied leaders substantial learning opportunities when presented with a challenging simulated conflict involving multiple nuclear capable adversaries," commented Capt. William Lawler (retired), game director, DEGRE 2024/Global 18 and associate professor, NWC.

Ideas presented and data generated at DEGRE/Global 18 will be used to inform decision-makers regarding future strategy and wider planning efforts, while also identifying areas needing additional research.

The annual DEGRE series was initiated following recommendations to develop nuclear wargaming to address the lack of strategic deterrence experts. USSTRATCOM sets the game objectives, and the U.S. Naval War College has designed, developed, and executed the DEGRE game annually since 2009.

The Global series, which supports U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s objectives to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, uses wargaming to assess the Navy’s roles and responsibilities in leading joint warfighting capabilities from the component to task group levels of command.

The mission of USSTRATCOM is to deter strategic attack through a safe, secure, effective, and credible, global combat capability and, when directed, be ready to prevail in conflict. The command enables Joint Force operations and is the combatant command responsible for Strategic Deterrence, Nuclear Operations, Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3) Enterprise Operations, Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations, Global Strike, Analysis and Targeting, and Missile Threat Assessment.

The world’s largest fleet command, PACFLT encompasses 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean. PACFLT consists of approximately 200 ships/submarines, nearly 1,500 aircraft, and more than 150,000 Sailors and civilians.

NWC delivers excellence in education, research, and outreach, informing today’s decision-makers and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The college provides educational experiences and learning opportunities that develop students’ ability to anticipate and prepare strategically for the future, strengthen the foundations of peace, and create a decisive warfighting advantage.

For more information, contact the U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs Office at 401-856-5061 or PAO@usnwc.edu, or visit usnwc.edu.

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Leisa Premdas, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
April 29, 2024

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