The validation event for Multi-Domain Operations in Urban Environments Concept took place at Joint Force Command Naples, Italy between 7-16 February 2023 with the participation of 16 NATO entities and more than 120 participants.
NATO's Allied Command Transformation (ACT) has been studying urbanization and its military implications since 2014. The Multi-Domain Operations in Urban Environment concept – in close coordination with Allied Command Operations (ACO) – has now reached an important milestone, as it is undergoing scientific scrutiny in the form of a war game. The aim of the event is to validate ACT’s concept through the participation of the end users in a war game supported by independent analysis and modelling and simulation. The end users are the Joint Force Commands, Single Service Commands, Hungarian Defence Forces, HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and other operational staffs from across NATO. The end result of this event is to demonstrate with evidence that the concepts application improves the performance of NATO troops in urban operations.
The event has been designed by ACT’s Experimentation & Wargaming Branch (EWB), with significant contracted support from Cordillera Applications Group in order to provide ACT’s Operational Analysts (OA) with the opportunity to validate the concept on behalf of CNDV Branch. The event is supported by Joint Force Command Naples’ Senior Mentor, LTG Michael Lollesgaard.
Participants populate the staffs of the three parallel war-games Blue planning teams and form parts of the Green and Red teams. The three Blue teams are formed from:
- Joint Force Commands Naples and Brunnsum;
- Land Component Command;
- HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps;
- Hungarian Defence Force.
It was imperative to model and simulate the environment of urban operations so the experiment could reflect the real operating conditions. At the operational level, this was only possible virtually due to the scale and complexity of the urban environment and the military resources required for any live event. A simulation model called the "Expandable Wargaming Capability” was developed by the Calian consortium (SIM Front, Cervus and Cordillera) under the guidance of ACT’s simulation specialists. ACT Joint Force Development’s Modelling and Simulation and Learning Technologies Branch facilitated the design and delivery of the model, depicting the environment within which the war game ran. EWC is able to demonstrate military activities in all five operational domains and indicates the success of own forces (Blue) within the war game.
During the war game, three Blue operational planning teams plan the air, land, maritime, cyberspace and space operations of NATO corps, divisions and brigades in the urban environment in parallel, in order to support and protect the host nation (Green), while the enemy forces (Red) also plan their own counter-operations. The concept of operations developed by the three Blue groups are fed into the EWC simulation model, which simulates the events of the first 72 hours. The model provides data on the effectiveness of the plans and most importantly provides data on how military operations impact the resilience of the urban environment.
LtGen Stephen Kelsey (DCOM JFC Naples) as well as MajGen Tony Wright (DCOS SPP) and BrigGen Moschos Voudouris (ACOS JFD) took the opportunity on 15th February to observe part of the wargame and engage with participants.