The War Gaming Department conducts various operational and theater strategic level student games in
support of the College’s Joint Professional Military Education. Two Joint Military Operations
CAPSTONE Exercises are conducted annually, one for the Intermediate Level College and one for the
Senior Level College resident students as the culminating event of their trimesters. These CAPSTONE
Exercises are the largest and most resource intensive events played, with more than 300 students
participating in each. War Gaming also provides a wide range of gaming support to various courses,
departments and organizations within the Naval War College and on Naval Station Newport to
include: Maritime Advanced Warfighting School, Maritime Staff Operators Course, Joint Forces
Maritime Component Course, Senior Enlisted Academy, Officer Training Command Newport, and the
Surface Warfare Officer School.
War Gaming Theory and Practice is one of three NWC electives that make up the Joint Analysis for the
Warfare Commander Elective Program. This course provides students with an in depth understanding of
the role of War Gaming in strategic thinking and operational warfare and analysis, sufficient to make the
student an intelligent and critical consumer of war games. The course addresses war gaming theory and
principles as they relate to the practical issues of designing, executing and analyzing war games through
readings, discussion, and war game play. Students design a war game to deal with a set of
operational/strategic problems chosen during the course under instructor guidance, and test their design
by playing and analyzing it both during the session and during the week between sessions.
The curriculum's design centers on the key policy and organizational design problems that future military
leaders are likely to confront in Homeland Security/Homeland Defense and the analytic skills they will
need to meet those challenges. Each class requires students to master the core issues, principles and
problem-solving approaches for the topic in question, and apply those fundamentals to the specific
challenges. The sequenced classes will strengthen the overall cohesion of the curriculum, and enhance its
effectiveness as professional education.
The War Gaming Department has a rich history of providing support and exchanging ideas with several
prestigious educational institutions in order to assist in the development of realistic experiential learning in
national security issues conducted at the strategic and operational level. Some of these institutions
are: Naval Post Graduate School, Army War College, Air Force Warfighting Institute, Marine Corps
War College, National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Intelligence
University, Tufts University, and Middlebury College.
The War Gaming Department teaches comprehensive war gaming concepts to enduring and emerging
international partners at the operational navy and war college levels. These countries include Canada,
Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Australia, Italy and India. These
partnerships affirm and support the Naval War College’s missions to strengthen global maritime
partnerships and educate and develop leaders, furthering the pursuit of global maritime security.