Irregular Warfare Center Hosts IW Medical Resiliency Wargame & IW Logistics Resiliency Working Group Events

Irregular Warfare Center Hosts IW Medical Resiliency Wargame & IW Logistics Resiliency Working Group Events

The newly established Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) recently hosted two events including our first IW Medical Resiliency Wargame (Aug. 14-16, 2023) & IW Logistics Resiliency Working Group (Aug. 16-18, 2023) at the Henry Jackson Foundation in Bethesda, MD.

The IW Medical Resiliency Wargames featured more than 50 medical professionals from across the Department of Defense (DoD), academia, and industry who strategically challenged themselves in various scenarios encompassing medical care in denied and contested areas to identify gaps in doctrine and training and build current capabilities to improve prolonged casualty care in austere environments.

“This event provided an excellent opportunity to collaborate with different allies and partners to discuss ideas and gain different perspectives,” said Navy Lt. Cdr. Raymond Posey, United States Special Operations Command Surgeon’s Office. “The IWC has the ability to bring in a wide range of SMEs and practitioners that we might not have had the opportunity to talk to before. The Center has the connections and resources to facilitate these types of events in a collaborative environment with folks from all over the world. It was beneficial specifically because we had one wargame scenario we were tasked with that was unconstrained, which allowed ideas to flow freely within our small working group.”

The 3-day event featured three rounds of wargaming activities in both simulated real-world contested and denied scenarios (Round 1 Ukraine contested; Round 2 Taiwan denied; Round 3 Taiwan contested). Participants received briefings from IWC staff and IW SMEs to identify goals and objectives for the scenarios where they then dispersed in small working groups to craft a plan of action to work toward mission success. These simulated wargaming exercises are built to prepare and aid medical professionals during a variety of real-world situations.

“Whenever the IWC puts these types of events on they bring in many different entities and SMEs. This is very helpful, especially in small group settings, because we’re able to gain valuable perspectives from different viewpoints,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Joshua Peter, United States Special Operations Command, Deputy Command Surgeon. “I appreciate the Center’s willingness to host these events and bring us all in from different parts of the world. It’s extremely beneficial, especially to have the opportunity to gain a multi-national perspective.”

As the Center concluded the final day of the IW Medical Resiliency Wargame event, participants had the opportunity to discuss their wargame results while presenting key insights and recommendations to the IWC staff, IW SMEs, Ms. Julia Sokol, the Principal Director for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy) and MG(R) Ed Dorman.

“Everyone brings a different, unique perspective to the table. With partner nations I think it’s important to ask what training they need, what plans do they have and how do we fit into it,” said Richard Hines, Joint Special Operations Medical Training Group, Primary Instructor for Special Operations Medical Refresher Courses. “This will allow us to help better assist in furthering their goals. Working with other nations and having exposure to different perspectives, makes us better.”

The IW Logistics Resiliency Working Group featured more than 40 interested stakeholders and subject matter experts from DoD, interagency, industry, and other departments. The focus of the 3-day event was to discuss logistic authorities, policy, doctrine and TTPs and determine critical gaps and capabilities in order to operate, train and or educate partner & ally forces on logistic support to operations in denied and contested areas.

Day 1 & 2 featured a practitioners panel on Perspectives on Logistics Support Challenges in Future Contested and Denied Areas, various briefs on IW-related topics including the Ridge Runner and Ridge Sustainer programs, breakout-out sessions, group discussions and networking opportunities.

“The Center would like to extend a special thank you to all of the event participants, staff and distinguished visitors for playing a pivotal role in furthering the research and education of IW medicine and logistics,” said Lori Leffler, IWC Deputy Director & Chief of Staff. “The insights and perspectives shared by stakeholders and subject matter experts from DoD, interagency, industry, and other departments are invaluable in helping the IWC continue to serve and support so many facets of irregular warfare.”

The IWC serves as the central mechanism for developing the Department of Defense’s (DoD) irregular warfare knowledge and advancing the Department’s understanding of irregular warfare concepts and doctrine in collaboration with key allies and partners.

The Center’s foundation is built upon three Lines of Effort:

  • AMPLIFY and collaborate to build an innovative and adaptable global networked IW community of interest.
  • Strategically ILLUMINATE current and future irregular threats, crises, and obstacles.
  • ADDRESS current and future irregular threats to the US, allies, and partners by providing optionality to leaders.

Through these LOEs, the Irregular Warfare Center addresses current and emerging security concerns and challenges with world-class research, rigorous analysis, top-tier strategic education and training for U.S. and international partners.

The IWC recently hosted a variety of informative and educational irregular warfare-themed events including its inaugural event, The IW Medical Resiliency Workgroup (Feb. 2022), IWC International IW Week (March 2023), IWC IW Seminar at Georgetown University (March 2023), University Days (April 2023), and PME Day (April 2023), IWC Inaugural Colloquium (July 2023), as well as the facilitating Transformational Irregular Warfare Leaders Thought Courses (TILT-C) for the U.S. interagency (March 2023), U.S. Special Operations Command (April 2023), the intelligence community (May 2023), and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) (June 2023), and the National Resistance Application Course (NRAC) in conjunction with this year’s Ridge Runner planning conference (March 2023) and academic week (June 2023) and many other international programs with various allied and partner nations.