MCCDC, MCSC hold AL war game

30 Aug 2005 | Mr. Bruce N. Scott

Thirty-five Marines, civilian Marines and eight support staff members launched into the year 2010 as they participated in a three-day Autonomic Logistics (AL) War Game Aug. 23-25, 2005 at the Wargaming Division, Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. 

The Marine Corps has a need to quickly process mission critical data from ground tactical equipment systems to support combat operations.  “AL uses a system comprised of sensors, software and communications networks to gather and transmit ground tactical equipment’s mission critical data to a centralized location so that it can be processed and delivered in real to near real-time in support of the warfighter,” said Eugene Morin, program manager for AL at Marine Corps Systems Command. 

“Through the use of Autonomic Logistics, we will sense the development of maintenance problems, and respond to them before they affect the mission,” wrote Marine Corps Commandant Michael W. Hagee in his publication A Concept for Distributed Operations.  AL will give commanders up-to-date information to use in making mission critical decisions.

Given the importance of Autonomic Logistics, the broad purpose of the war game was to assist in defining and documenting AL Operational Mode Summary / Mission Profile (OMS / MP) requirements as they apply to the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) and Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) M-23 7-ton truck, said Moran.  The results of the war game will be included in the AL Capability Development Document (CDD), which is scheduled for completion in October 2005.  Wargaming techniques are particularly suited to this type of investigation in providing a mechanism to rapidly assess concepts, decision alternatives, technologies, as well as identifying capabilities and deficiencies.  The AL War Game is expected to contribute to speeding up the process of getting the system operational and in the hands of the warfighter.

Game participants came from the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and the I Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Marine Forces Reserves in New Orleans.  Local area participants came from Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Headquarters Marine Corps Installations and Logistics, MCSC, and Direct Reporting Program Manager/Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.

Prior to the start of the game, Assistant Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps for Installations and Logistics Carla E. Lucchino thanked the war game attendees for their participation.   “It is crucial that we see where all the pitfalls are now using AL and plan for the future,” she said. 

“AL fits the concept of Total Life Cycle Management and helps us make the decisions that we need to make on such things as maintenance contracts and warranties,” she said.

The players made decisions concerning how data is collected.  They determined how often the various sensors report status information and rank the importance of the mission critical information.  Also, the game helped determine what types of data would need to be obtained manually for input into AL. This is an important area to look at because AL should not overburden operators with data entry.  The game can also help further define the parameters of AL and determine how it may overlap with existing and future systems.

“AL’s relationship to warfighter functions enables commanders to have better operational influence on the battlespace,” said Rick Kelish a MCSC contractor and the game sponsor’s representative.

“AL supports the logistic capability by providing the most current and accurate information available when needed to provide the status of the operational forces in order to sustain them in a manner that expands the tactical flexibility and operational reach of the Marine Air Ground Task Force,” he said.

AL will give commanders up to date and accurate data on position location information, fuel, ammunition, vehicle health, mobile loads and crew and passenger health. The game’s participants worked to refine the requirements needed to obtain this information. They ranked these mission critical elements and reviewed whether other elements needed to be included. Players also worked on determining how often these sensors need to be triggered.

“AL-05 is a two-sided open seminar war game with four different moves,” said William L. Simpson, Jr., a wargaming specialist at the MCWL and the game director.  The war game allows the ultimate users to have input into the development of AL.

For the first move, the players reviewed the CDD and the OMS/MP.  The OMP/MP is a document that is used to describe how a system will be used in wartime and/or peacetime, and provides a structured, quantitative picture of annual equipment usage.  The OMS/MP is required to support development of performance specifications and is based on Marine Corps scenarios and shows the climate conditions in which the system will operate.

For the second move, the players went through seven different vignettes and were asked specific questions in the context of the vignettes.  For the third move the players planned the war game, and for the fourth move, they executed the war game.

The Marine Corps AL program is the only AL program of record with interest expressed from other services.  It is currently in concept exploration (Milestone A).   Information gathered from the game, will be used to refine the AL CDD. System development and demonstration (Milestone B) is scheduled for FY 06.  Initial Operating Capability of the MTVR portion of AL is scheduled for FY08.

Marine Corps Systems Command