Wargaming for OPFOR doctrine development?

Wargaming for OPFOR doctrine development?

Who says wargaming is only for fun or as part of the Military Appreciation Process?

Project GREENHAUS is the development of jungle fighting doctrine and tactics for the Olvanan People’s Army, as part of the ongoing enhancement of the regional pacing threat under the Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE).

Under Project GREENHAUS, the TASSC partnered with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) to implement wargaming into the Opposition Force (OPFOR) doctrine development cycle for the first time. In the wargame, a fictitious conflict erupted on the tiny island of Bougainville with Olvanan and Belesian forces fighting in a heavy jungle environment for the strategic control of the Panguna Mine. 

The TASSC was fortunate enough to be able to draw from the Subject Matter Experts (SME) from across the ADF and international partners from the US and UK. The inputs from the SMEs aided in the development of robust and detailed wargaming force compositions, scenario/vignette development and tactical theories. 

The execution of the wargaming activity was conducted in the final week of June with participants from TASSC, Battle Lab, Combat Training Centre – Jungle Training Wing, UK Royal Marines and US Army. DSTG deployed a team forward and ran the activity from Victoria Barracks Sydney and were instrumental to the functional application of the wargame from an impartial position. This enabled robust and detailed wargame scenarios to be played out with a wide range of inputs from SME adding value to the activity. 

The results from the activity enabled the participants to extract over 90 learning points from the wargame to implement in the OPFOR doctrine development. The applied testing structure of competing tactics within wargames enabled many assumptions to be tested, validated and disqualified as they were played out. The lessons learnt from this activity will be instrumental in building the depth and robustness of the Project GREENHAUS doctrine. 

The positive outcomes gained from the use of wargaming within Project GREENHAUS will help future projects, such as the development of an OPFOR Littoral Operations doctrine in the future. 

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Figure 1. No wargame is complete without dice