2nd Meeting for MSG-SAS-178 on Using Simulation to Better Inform Decision Making for Warfare Development, Planning, Operations, and Assessment

Wednesday, 18. December 2019 until Thursday, 19. December 2019 08:00 - 16:30


Among the tools that allow successful representation of dynamic situations in warfighting, Modelling and Simulation (M&S) has advantages over other methods such as wargaming, live exercises, man-in-the-loop experiments and demonstrations. Currently, within the NATO Command Structure, the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) uses the Joint Theatre Level Simulation (JTLS) and the Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) uses the Joint Combat And Tactics Simulation (JCATS) for training purposes. However, the simulations are often not used to their full capacity because they are focused on training and exercise objectives. Although M&S has been used within the NATO analytical community in the past, it has become less common for NATO to use simulation to support warfare development, defence and operations planning.

The evolving security environment has revived the need for better understanding of the outcomes of complex situations and this has created new demands on NATO’s M&S capabilities. Some of the most noteworthy characteristics of this evolution are these:

• Wargaming. Wargames are analytic events that simulate aspects of warfare at the tactical, operational, or strategic level. They are used to examine warfighting concepts, train and educate commanders and analysts, explore scenarios, and assess how force planning and posture choices affect campaign outcomes.

• Advance Planning. The Alliance conducts advance planning for potential situations that may arise.

• Operations in a more interconnected world. It is increasingly common for NATO planners to have to consider the entire range of Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, and Infrastructure (PMESII) means in order to achieve NATO’s goals.

• Capabilities-based planning. Through the NATO Defence Planning Process, NATO plans for capabilities which it needs in the medium and long-range future. These capabilities are used to tackle emerging issues, M&S would assist to better understand the complexities and provide insights to planners.

• Capability Development. Emerging operational needs translated into capability requirements will need to be assessed on their operational effectiveness and risks, and proposed solutions will need to be analyzed to determine they meet requirements and are viable and feasible options for further development.


Modelling and Simulation fulfill a crucial need in the conduct of Operations Research and Analysis to support and enhance decision making. While NATO’s reliance on M&S in some form or another has been going on for the past decades, its M&S capabilities have not kept pace with the new demands arising from rapid changes in security environment.

Generally, an M&S capability comprises the model, data, and expertise. NATO recognizes that it is unlikely that it can develop a comprehensive M&S capability for all situations and questions, particularly given the likely resource implications. However, NATO nations have models, data, and expertise, so leveraging those would seem to be an effective mechanism for the organization to acquire these capabilities.


The key objectives and expected achievements are:

• Develop an action plan for NATO to identify solution across the DOTMLPFI spectrum to allow NATO to better support decision making.

• Identify what new activities other than training are taking place and need M&S support

• Identify use cases for the use of M&S in support of NATO these activities

• Build a catalogue of national/industry assets that can be used to address the new requirements

• Investigate the mechanisms necessary for nations to share their M&S capabilities.


The activity will produce a technical report that provides recommendations for how NATO should best use M&S to support decision making across its enterprise. These should be illuminated by example use cases. Furthermore, the study should identify appropriate mechanisms for NATO to access and employ national M&S capabilities.


The 2nd meeting of MSG-SAS-178 on “Using Simulation to Better Inform Decision Making for Warfare Development and Conduct of Operations” will take place on 18-19 December 2019 at the CMRE facilities, in La Spezia, Italy.

If you plan on attending, please confirm your attendance by sending your name, surname, nationality, affiliation and email address to your POCs: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than 10th November 2019.

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