Ford Island, Hawaii – Ho’okele Mua means “Navigating the Future.” This was the apt name of the recent Climate Change Wargame co-hosted by the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM) and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy’s Arctic and Global Resilience team on Dec. 5-8, 2022. Ho’okele Mua brought together more than 30 individuals from various organizations including U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Army Pacific, Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Pacific Air Forces, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and U.S. Coast Guard stakeholders.
The game was designed by The Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) to address various scenarios that explored how INDOPACOM can best prepare for strategic and operational climate change impacts in the region.
“This game, and there have been many others across the DoD, was intended to examine the impact of climate change on key locations needed for both disaster response and for a potential high-end conflict,” said CFE-DM Director Joseph Martin. “INDOPACOM is susceptible to both operational scenarios and has the highest impact of climate change of any of the Combatant Commanders.”
As a result of the National Defense Strategy’s focus on climate issues, the Joint Staff ’s Wargame Incentive Fund dedicated funding specifically for the purposes of wargaming climate change. CFE was able to utilize that funding to work with CNA to develop a wargame that would allow them to explore INDOPACOM’s roles in addressing climate change impacts on the region.
“The game’s purpose wasn’t to test a certain asset or a certain type of capability,” said CFE-DM’s Climate Change Impacts Program Manager, Stephen Frano. “This was more to assess the value and process by which we bring this information together and how it works within the constructs of INDOPACOM’s planning processes.”
The wargame focused on scenarios set in the near future – five, 10, and 15 years out and challenged participants to prioritize actions that met short, medium, and long-term objectives with special considerations to infrastructure development and partnership building with partners and allies in the region.
“We learned that CFE had a particular focus on both infrastructure and engagement with partners and allies, so we designed the wargame with those considerations in mind,” said Christopher Steinitz, the game designer from CNA. “We felt this was very appropriate because these are two areas that are not only key to INDOPACOM’s mission, but also will be directly and indirectly impacted by climate change.”
Over four days of gameplay, individuals worked as teams to address how climate change considerations should be incorporated into INDOPACOM planning and how these decisions would affect partner-nations and investments across the region. Frano stated that one of the best parts of the game design was CNA’s ability to make complex and amorphous concepts into something tangible that participants were able to easily conceptualize. This allowed participants to become immersed in the scenarios and thus able to hold these conversations that allowed them to access problem sets and solutions.
The conclusions and discussions explored during this wargame will be recorded and incorporated into CFE-DM’s Climate Change Impacts Program’s future planning. The games were not intended only to benefit CFE-DM, but to also provide participants with the ability to frame these issues into how they fit into their various roles across INDOPACOM and beyond.
|Date Posted:||01.17.2023 17:55|
|Location:||FORD ISLAND, HI, US|