War Gaming to underpin civil defence planning
About civil defence palnning: According to Swedish law, total defence is defined as the preparations and planning required to prepare Sweden for war. When the government has declared highest alert all societal functions are defined as total defence, which consists of military defence and civil defence. In accordance, the Parliament, the Government, government authorities, municipalities, private enterprises, voluntary defence organizations as well as individuals are all part of the total defence. In the beginning of this century Sweden ended most of its planning for raised alert and war. As a consequence, large parts of the previous total defence was decommissioned, not least on the civilian side. For many years, there has been no systematic planning or preparation for a decision of raised alert or wartime conditions. The Government has now decided this type of total defence planning resumed.
- Challenge: However, most government authorities, municipalities and private enterprises don’t know how to conduct this planning or where to start. Combitech can help in all aspects of this issue and one tool is to conduct exercises, or games, tor understand roles, responsabilities and challenges.
- Result: Combitech has supported and organized wargaming as part of civil defence planning for several customers in various sectors such as transport and defence industry, both private and public. The combination of Combitech expertise in method and the realities of war, as well as what it takes to be compliant with relevant legislation, with the customers deep knowledge about their own operation produced real value. Key staff increased awareness and engagement, while advancing planning and growing more confident in prioritizing.
- Solution: Gaming is a powerful tool for all organizations involved in civil defence and crisis management planning. It can be used as an explorative tool to enhance understanding of a complex issue, as a planning tool as well as to test and evaluate existing planning.
A typical wargame starts with a small educational module to ensure a common platform of knowledge and understanding among participants. A baseline is established, eg where an organization is physically present on a given territory, logistical flows, legal constraints etc. The organizations ability to maintain service delivery is subsequently tested by introducing various problems that may arise in crisis and war such as interrupted power supply, disruptions in transport or direct targeting by armed forces. By also offering the possibility to use physical maps and tokens, we can assure information security even if secured devices are unavailable. In addition, according to our experience a wargame based on physical maps is more intuitive and engaging for most participants.