A Wargame Method for Assessing Risk and Resilience of Military Command-and-Control Organizations

by Brien Alkire, Sherrill Lingel, Lawrence M. Hanser

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Research Question

  1. How can one compare and contrast alternative command-and-control organizational structures in a given scenario?

Many recent wargames conducted by the joint community have examined alternative organizational structures for operational-level command and control (C2) in a scenario. However, wargames typically role-play and exercise the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of a prescribed C2 organizational structure in the scenario rather than compare and contrast alternative structures in a rigorous manner. This report provides a "how-to" guide for conducting a C2 risk and resilience (C2R2) tabletop exercise (TTX). The C2R2 TTX is a wargaming method that RAND researchers developed and can be used to compare and contrast alternative organizational structures for operational-level C2 in terms of associated risks to operational outcomes and the organizational structures' resilience to those risks. The method is an adaptation of the assumption-based planning methodology developed for the U.S. Army in the 1990s but conducted in a TTX format and using a retrospective futurology approach to elicit consensus from subject-matter experts. The steps involve preparing the materials, conducting a preparation session, evaluating risk and resilience metrics in a one- or two-day event involving 12 to 24 participants, and summarizing the results. This could be suitable for a multiday workshop conducted in parallel with and as part of a larger wargaming effort.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Background

  • Chapter Two

    How to Conduct a Command-and-Control Tabletop Exercise

  • Chapter Three

    How to Assess the Results of a Command-and-Control Risk and Resilience Tabletop Exercise

  • Appendix A

    Sample Game Materials: Organizational Structures

  • Appendix B

    Sample Game Materials: Scenario Description

  • Appendix C

    Sample Game Materials: Recommended Agenda for Command-and-Control Risk and Resilience Tabletop Exercise Capstone Event

  • Appendix D

    Sample Game Materials: Summary of Game Results

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was commissioned by Brig Gen Dirk D. Smith, Director of Air and Cyberspace Operations, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces and conducted by the Force Modernization and Employment Program within RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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