Navy-Marine war game puts their climate action strategy to the test

The Navy conducted a war game on Wednesday to assess how amphibious exercises in the Western Pacific will help manage the consequences of climate change, including in terms of deployed unit resources and logistics.

The objective was to test the service new climate action strategy and identify ways to become more resilient to these threats.

The war game featured a fictional scenario involving a Navy Amphibious Ready Group and an embarked Navy Expeditionary Strike Group who were about to conduct an exercise with a partner nation amid storms and a typhoon. Other disasters were also considered in the exercise to create as realistic a scenario as possible.

“Not only were the actors facing issues in the area of ​​responsibility, but there were secondary factors that impacted in their area of ​​responsibility,” Meredith Berger, assistant secretary of the Navy for the Navy, told reporters on Wednesday. energy, facilities and the environment. “An example of this is a wildfire in California affecting our logistics, which cut off supplies to a forward deployed force. So something like that is an example of a very timely and real world scenario.

Diversifying logistics to reduce dependencies was a key part of the war game, Berger said. The exercise also demonstrated that the negative impacts of climate change must be tackled head-on and taken into account when planning.

The war game included enlisted personnel and high-ranking officers, Department of Defense personnel, as well as Capitol Hill personnel and think tanks, Berger said.

In May, the Navy released its Climate Action 2030 strategy, which describes climate change as one of the “most destabilizing forces of our time” and warns that military bases are under threat as a result.

“If we don’t act, as sea levels rise, bases like Naval Station Norfolk and the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot on Parris Island will be strained in their ability to sustain their missions,” the report said. “If temperatures continue to rise, the oceans will warm, creating more destructive storms forcing our fleets and Marine Corps forces to increase their operational tempo to respond.”

The planning of the wargame coincided with the the development of Climate Action 2030 after Carlos Del Toro became Secretary of the Navy in August 2021, Berger said.

“So it was very intentional to immediately start practicing and exercising and challenging the things that we identified as the main drivers of our strategy,” Berger said.

The war game was set up in 2030 so that the service could move forward in terms of resources and logistical needs.

“We want to start thinking ahead so we can prepare for resources…and anticipate what’s to come,” Berger said. “That’s why action is in the title of our strategy, because to be prepared later, we need to anticipate and act now.”

“We’re going to take what we’ve learned and apply it across the continuum of conflict as well, because at every step we need to make sure we think about it, prepare for it, dedicate resources and that we anticipate what is coming in the very near future,” he said.


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Raymond I. Langston