The US Air Force has begun the annual space wargames

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The United States Air Force Space Command began conducting the 13th Schriever Wargame at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama yesterday, September 4, where this year’s focus involves defense strategies over the U.S.-European Command Area of Responsibility (AEO).

On its 13th year, the wargame scenario is set in the year 2029. It explores critical space issues and examines the integration activities of multiple agencies associated with space systems and services, Air Force officials said.

Through exposing these different agencies in these different and unique scenarios, the United States Air Force Space Command hopes will be able to form effective strategies for real-life instances.

Particularly, this year’s Schriever Wargame will comprise of roughly 350 military and civilian experts from more than 27 commands and agencies around the country, as well as four international partners — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom — are taking part.

The Schriever Wargame 19 team is conducting this wargame on behalf of Air Force Space Command, which is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Schriever Wargame 2010: Senior Leadership Seminar involving military, civil, and industry leaders
Source: The United States Air Force Space Command

According to the Air Force Space Command, this iteration of the wargame is centered on the following objectives:

(1) Inform people, processes, and technologies to advance USSPACECOM’s joint/combined operational missions,

(2) Explore opportunities and challenges of national, commercial, and coalition architectures to synchronize effects that protect and defend the space enterprise,

(3) Examine unity of command/effort to seamlessly integrate space operations and authorities across multiple classification and organizational levels,

(4) Advance a shared understanding of responsible behaviors in the space domain and impacts on national and coalition decision-making, and (5) Investigate whole-of-government(s) and coalition options to control escalation across all domains.”

A national space architecture, which the Schriever Wargames will attempt to manage and work around with as they try to address space conflict. Source: Space Development Agency

Also, this year, the Schriever Wargame’s scenario depicts a notional peer competitor seeking to achieve strategic goals by exploiting multi-domain operations particularly amid U.S.-European Command Area of Responsibility (AEO).

“It will include a global scenario with the focus of effort toward the U.S. European Command area of responsibility,” the release states. “The scenario will also include a full spectrum of threats across diverse, multidomain operating environments to challenge civilian and military leaders, planners and space operators, as well as the capabilities they employ.”

Additionally, the scenario also includes a full spectrum of threats across diverse, multi-domain operating environments to challenge civilian and military leaders, planners and space system operators, as well as the capabilities they employ, Air Force officials said.

Essentially demonstrations or Wargames such as this one helps shape military leaders in the instance that they are needed in real-life scenarios.

As quoted from Rear Admiral Jon Hill, deputy director for the Missile Defense Agency, “Venues like this are incredibly important, where we bring together the operators and leaders with the necessary perspective and experience to shape the materiel solutions to combat the future threat,”

Furthermore, aside from familiarizing military personnel about the nature of different problems that may arise from space conflict, the Schriever Wargame also becomes a way for different sectors of the country’s defense team to learn how to work amongst each other and create positive systems in creating strategies and solutions.

Official seal of the freshly minted U.S. Space Command that will oversee defense strategies against threats resulting from space.
Source: U.S. Space Command

Last year’s Schriever Wargame, which also took place at Maxwell Air Force Base, lasted two weeks where the scenario depicted a notional peer space and cyberspace competitor seeking to achieve strategic goals by exploiting those domains.

However, last year’s Wargame mainly included a global scenario with the focus of effort towards the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) Area of Responsibility.

Agencies that participated included: Air Force Space Command, Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Naval Fleet Cyber Command, the National Reconnaissance Office, Executive Agent for Space Staff, Air Combat Command, Office of the Secretary of Defense, USINDOPACOM, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Northern Command, the Intelligence Community, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Department of State and Department of Commerce.

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