Warfighters gather for missile attack training

by Tom Mahr
Joint National Test Facility Public Affairs

12/20/00 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFPN) - More than 350 players, analysts and observers converged on the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's Joint National Test Facility here Dec. 11-14 to think about and practice responding to a limited missile attack on the United States. They participated in Command and Control Simulation 2000, the nation's premier annual national missile defense war game.

The simulation was co-sponsored by the National Missile Defense Joint Program Office and U.S. Space Command.

For the ninth time, this simulation brought national missile defense warfighters and developers together to evaluate the human-in-control operational decision process and to gather data about key performance assessments.

This year's scenario was jointly developed by USSPACECOM and U.S. Strategic Command to investigate the fundamental command and control elements of national missile defense and National Command Authority control. While USSTRATCOM has participated in past command and control simulations, this is the first time a focused, full-range military response scenario has been exercised.

Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, welcomed the opportunities the simulation provided. Eberhart is commander in chief of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command, plus commander of Air Force Space Command,

"This game is important to developers, testers, operators, policy makers and decision makers - in short, all those affected by this operation," Eberhart said.

The simulation consisted of two days of training followed by two days of scenario-driven exercise play. It assumed a national missile system in place, and used six scenarios of possible threats the United States might face to examine various components of missile defense doctrine and operational procedures.

Key military players participating in the simulation were: Eberhart; Adm. Richard W. Mies, commander in chief of U.S. Strategic Command; Canadian Forces Lt. Gen. George E. C. Macdonald, deputy commander in chief of NORAD; Army Lt. Gen. Edward G. Anderson III, deputy commander in chief of U.S. Space Command; Lt. Gen. Robert C. Hinson, deputy commander in chief of USSTRATCOM; and Army Lt. Gen. John Costello, commanding general of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

The goal of the simulation was to exercise the entire missile defense operational chain from the president and secretary of defense down through the junior officers and 9noncommissioned officers) in the Fire Direction Center, said Army Maj. Gen. Willie B. Nance Jr. Nance is the National Missile Defense Program executive officer and system program director for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, and co-sponsor of C2 Sim 00. "In the process, we wanted to look at a variety of concepts and procedures from both the operational requirements and the concept of operation points of view.

"The real value of this simulation, though, is that it allowed us to get operator feedback early in the development process," Nance said.

"I liked the exercise because it gave me a chance to validate the procedures I would use as an NMD operator," said Army Maj. Greg Bowen, an Army National Guardsman from North Dakota currently assigned to Army Space Command headquarters. "Another real benefit of C2 Sim is that it brings the entire NMD command and control structure together to examine and improve the nation's NMD tactics, techniques and procedures." (Courtesy of AFSPC News Service)