Air Force Global Strike Command recently concluded its first
command-sponsored and developed wargame—codenamed “Strategic Vigilance”—at
Barksdale AFB, La. The four-day war game was assembled under a directive from
US Strategic Command to renew emphasis on nuclear wargaming across the
command’s components, as well as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh’s
call to renew focus on nuclear table top exercises to enhance strategic thinking
in the Air Force on nuclear strategy. The game was designed to explore AFGSC’s
ability to conduct operations across the stages of nuclear conflict, said Maj.
Andrew Smith, the chief of war gaming and strategic studies for AFGSC. The
exercise involved participants from USSTRATCOM, USAF Headquarters, and the
LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education at Maxwell AFB, Ala. New
and emerging nuclear armed adversaries, modernization of nuclear weapons
systems across the world, and the concept of deterrence against hostile
regional actors are all part of AFGSC’s strategic challenges today, command
officials said. Gaming out scenarios helps the command understand its
environment and successfully execute the nuclear mission, said Brig.
Gen. Clinton Crosier, AFGSC’s strategic director of plans,
programs, requirements, and assessments. “This ‘first’ for the command is
indicative of the command’s commitment to constantly [improve] the nuclear
enterprise,” said Crosier.
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