Learn the Art of Wargaming > Maxwell Air Force Base > Display
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Alabama —
The Center for Teaching and Learning is hosting a wargaming event with special guest Sebastian Bae, wargamer, research analyst and former Marine, to discuss the future of wargaming and its use in military education at the ‘Air University, August 29-31, 2022.
The event is part of a larger effort to bring people from across the Department of Defense together to collaborate and publicize the war game for educational purposes.
Sebastian J. Bae is a game designer and research analyst with the Games and Integration team at the Center for Naval Analyses. The ANC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the safety and security of the nation. His work primarily focuses on war games, emerging technologies, the future of warfare, and US Navy and Marine Corps strategy and doctrine. He has designed and directed several analytical and educational wargames for various US Government and DOD sponsors. Topics have included Force Design 2030, operational logistics, cyber warfare, future warfare, and more.
During his visit, Bae was giving a lecture as well as a demo version of a game. His lecture was given on wargaming and its application to DOD. Many of those present were from the academic circle of the Air University, including DOD civilians and military personnel.
Wargaming includes using games to help develop strategies, test tactics, plan logistics, and consider multiple perspectives. It is an operational and training tool that simulates real-world exercises and allows DOD members to gain experience in low-risk environments before applying lessons learned in actual operations.
“War is about decision-making. It’s about mental rehearsals and a problem. You never want the first time a staff officer sees an operational problem to be the first time lives matter. It’s the same with a sergeant in the field. You don’t want them to see the first tactical problem they have to face, and that’s the difference between success and failure in the lives of their troops,” Bae said. “Wargaming is about building institutional knowledge, creating a way to convey that institutional knowledge, and really cultivating what we call mental rehearsals and sets to a problem, so you can see different problems in different contexts and start to recognizing these patterns, but also sharing and developing skills, knowing which skills work where”.
The role of the TLC is to help faculty and staff develop skills in facilitating and evaluating educational games to ensure that students achieve learning outcomes. To that end, the TLC hosted an “Educational Gaming Community of Interest” with quarterly networking meetings and various special events such as the Workshop with Bae to promote collaboration and focus on skills. Currently, 26 different DOD organizations are represented.
“The Center for Teaching and Learning has partnered with the Air University Library for this event because we believe educational wargaming can be valuable for all types of military learners, regardless of their rank, specialty or skill,” said Dr. Megan Hennessey, director of Air University’s TLC.
The TLC also brings its educational research expertise to the wargaming conversation, helping the Joint Force better understand the effect of educational wargaming on short-, medium-, and long-term learning. and recommendations to leaders to improve learning outcomes and experiences for faculty and students. For example, they recently assisted the Air Command and Staff College with a pilot study looking at the comparative educational value of classified and unclassified war games.
“With the visit of Sebastian Bae, we are very happy to collaborate with one of the main leaders to bring the game to a new level in the learning process. And with participants from several professional military educational establishments, including the Naval Postgraduate School, Army War College, Marine Corps University and even our sisters and brothers at L’École de guerre in France… we have all contributed to forging an alloy of new ideas to improve our teaching practices”, said Dr. Mehmed Ali, Director of Academic Services.
To join the Educational Game Community of Interest, email Hennessey at AUTLC@us.af.mil.