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UK launches Defence Experimentation and Wargaming Hub

The Defence Experimentation and Wargaming Hub (top) and a table-top exercise in progress (above): Images: UK MoD, Crown Copyright

The UK Ministry of Defence’s Strategic Command unveiled the Defence Experimentation and Wargaming Hub at Southwick Park, near Portsmouth. The facility, developed in partnership with the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl), will be the centre for experimentation and wargaming in Defence.

Strategic Command’s Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General Tom Copinger-Symes, formally opened the Hub. It will help Defence respond to the evolving global threats faced by UK forces face. The need to constantly learn and adapt at pace has never been more important, says the UK MoD.

The hub’s wargaming capabilities offer a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between military doctrine, technological innovation, and academic expertise says the Department. Through simulated scenarios and tabletop exercises, personnel can explore alternative futures, assess the effectiveness of different courses of action, and anticipate emerging threats – thereby enhancing preparedness and resilience in an increasingly complex security environment.

In his opening address, Lieutenant General Tom Copinger-Symes emphasised the facility’s roles as a centre for research, experimentation, and strategic thinking: “The hub will be the epicentre for strategic brilliance and tactical innovation, and will enable evidence-based decisions to be made at an increased pace.

“By fostering a culture of experimentation, collaboration, and forward thinking, it seeks to ensure that Defence organisations remain agile, adaptive, and responsive to evolving threats and opportunities.”

As the Defence Experimentation and Wargaming Hub matures, it will progress its offering to include:

  • at-readiness rapid wargaming service
  • +500m² reconfigurable wargaming facility
  • a repository of wargaming data, tools and scenarios
  • wargaming advice, and design from an experienced team of professionals

The establishment of the Defence Experimentation and Wargaming Hub is not just the opening of a physical facility, Copinger-Symes added, but the start of a new era in Defence strategy and innovation. With its focus on experimentation, collaboration, and foresight, the facility embodies the culture of innovation essential for safeguarding national security in an uncertain world.

“The launch marks not the culmination, but the commencement of a journey towards shaping the future of Defence and engendering a culture of experimentation, wargaming and development across Defence,” said Lieutenant Colonel Tom Ellen, Chief of Staff Defence Experimentation and Wargaming Hub.

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