Margaret-Anne Sytsma/ Mission Command Battle Lab
The Mission Command Battle Lab hosted concept developers from across the community of interest, joint partners, the Combined Arms Center, the Centers of Excellence, and U.S. Army Forces Command corps staff officers for the Echelons Above Brigade Limited Objective Experiment 22-02 (EAB LOE 22-02) March 14-24.
As part of the Army Futures and Concepts Center’s campaign of linked experimentation, EAB LOE 22-02 was designed to develop emerging concepts, capabilities and requirements using an operational war game in support of Army modernization. Participation from the concepts community of interest and Army Capability Development Integration Directorates enabled developers to evaluate the first draft of the U.S. Army of 2030 operational and organizational concepts at the corps level. During EAB LOE 22-02, developers focused on testing and refining concepts to support how future Army corps formations will organize and fight in large-scale combat operations within a 2035 multi-domain operational environment using technologies projected to be available in 2030.
The experiment enabled participants to identify operational and organizational concepts adjustments, familiarize the Operational Wargame System across the CDID community to support future experiments and increase understanding of corps task organization through collaboration from the Future Studies Program and the Training and Doctrine Command Proponent Office – EAB in their force designs. Key analytical discussions focused on reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance, fires and air interdiction convergence, sustainment, gap crossing reconnaissance and security, and contested gap crossing maneuver.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. David Hogg served as senior adviser and provided senior leader observations and insights to the analytic and concept development team.
“For this experiment we are using an OWS gaming system which is a low cost, low tech game that allows us to take a look at future structure and concepts along with objectives established prior to the experiment,” Hogg said. “It does a good job with allowing us to do the analysis necessary to inform our leaders.”
The Operational Wargame System uses a scaled map board and tokens to represent units or battlefield capabilities. The Blue Team represents friendly forces, while the Red Team represents enemy forces and capabilities. Blue and Red take turns moving tokens and executing effects based on a prescribed set of game rules, in an action-counteraction turn. Impartial adjudication is applied by a “white cell,” and the turn results are presented. The group then comes together to discuss lessons and observations resulting from the turn. Game play focuses on detect, decide, deliver, maneuver and assess while using multi-domain capabilities and enablers to increase the lethality of Army organizations.
Participants included representatives from the Futures and Concepts Center, the Air Force’s Air University LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education, I Corps (United States) and III Corps (US), special operations and representatives from each of the warfighting function concepts development centers and was facilitated by the Mission Command Capability Development Integration Directorate.
As the Army is modernizing, the results and insights gained from the experiment set the conditions that will allow the U.S. Army to be successful against not only peer threats in future large-scale combat operations, but to also maintain the flexibility needed to respond to limited contingency operations. These concepts advance Army development of capabilities and formations above brigade to meet the challenges of future operating environments through 2030 and beyond.