Dedicated wargaming facility to boost operations and lived experience

Topic: Equipment and TechEquipment Storyline: Equipment

A dedicated wargaming facility used by the Royal Navy – and the wider UK Armed Forces – will help improve decision-making for both operations and sailors’ lived experience.

Just metres away from where the D-Day invasion and the liberation of Western Europe was directed exactly 80 years ago – is the UK Strategic Command Defence Experimentation and Wargaming Hub, a versatile space committed to running scenario-based wargames.

The building, based at the old Maritime Warfare Centre on the former HMS Dryad site in Southwick, Hampshire, has seen investment to become a site where personnel from units and formations can converge and play out the outcomes of different scenarios.

These can range from operational-based such as examining future command and control or people-based, like how changing certain aspects of Service life could impact retention.

Information and data gathered is then fed back to see how it could be used to guide future decisions.

The hub is designed for Defence-level wargames and bringing together single Service, Joint, Defence and International partners.

Head of Joint Warfare Development, Commodore Christopher Goodsell, said: “This hub is not an isolated entity but rather an integral part of a global network that brings together teams from diverse locations.

“This collaborative approach ensures a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives. The Hub is designed to evolve in tandem with the changing world, leveraging technological advancements to establish connections with academia, single Services, industry, government and allies worldwide.

“This integration enables us to conduct wargames, share analyses and derive insights regardless of geographical boundaries.”

Captain Eugene Morgan RN, who heads the facility, added: “Wargaming enables players to see how the outcome and sequence of events affect, and are affected by, their decisions and gives the opportunity for them to analyse, plan and make decisions in a controlled and safe-to-fail environment.

“Everyone can wargame and learn a new skill.  By participating people can grow confidence in decision-making as well as learn how to challenge; skills which can be applied more widely.”

It encourages critical thinking and can help develop insights into challenges the Royal Navy and wider Defence could face in the future and possible ways to overcome them.

And now, having a dedicated space with all the necessary kit means a wider variety of wargames can be held giving more personnel the chance to get involved. 

By participating people can grow confidence in decision-making as well as learn how to challenge; skills which can be applied more widely

Captain Eugene Morgan