NATO To Join U.S. For Wargames

For the past 10 years, US Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) has been hosting the Schriever Wargame (SW) series, which focuses on the employment of space and cyber in a future conflict.

Over the decade, the games have become more sophisticated, involving our partners in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, and increasingly delving into the space-cyber continuum as it relates to and impacts space.

For 2012, AFSPC has expanded the Schriever Wargame, resulting in the creation of Schriever Wargame 2012 International. The game is scheduled for 19-26 April 2012 and will include participants from NATO nations, Australia, and NATO organizations.

Key Events

  • SW12I Concept Development Conference in Fairfax Virginia, 7-9 Sep 2011
  • SW12I NATO Partnership Seminar in Colorado Springs, 4-6 Oct 2011
  • SW12I NATO ROE Workshop in Fairfax Virginia, 30 Nov – 01 Dec 2011
  • SW12I Strategic Conference in Brussels, 16-17 Jan 2012
  • SW12I Operational Conference in Brunssum, 18-19 Jan 2012
  • SW12I at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, 19-26 April 2012

Nine NATO nations (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States) and Australia will be participating in the wargame. In addition, NATO HQ, ACO, ACT, JFC Brunssum, and the JAPCC will be participating along with representatives from various US and European civilian organizations.


  • Explore how to optimize space efforts from participating allies and Australia in support of a notional NATO expeditionary operation
  • Identify ways to increase the resilience of space capabilities in a contested environment through expanded international and private-sector cooperation and coordination
  • Determine operational challenges associated with defense of space capabilities employed in support of the operation
  • Examine the operational integration of cyber into defense of the space domain
  • Expand understanding of the operational benefits of broader international participation in combined space operations


Potential Outcomes - Short Term

  • Enhanced space awareness and expertise in NATO
  • Increased national demand for the development of space expertise for NATO operations
  • Expanded scope of current NATO space training courses
  • Cooperation between Allies providing space capabilities or services to NATO
  • Coordination between the NATO entities involved in space-related matters based on clearly demarcated responsibilities
  • Identification of NATO’s current and future shortfalls and requirements
  • Identification of space capabilities-related vulnerabilities in support of NATO operations
  • Development of risk management options
  • Education and training on alternative processes and procedures for operations in a degraded space environment
  • Improved understanding of space related legal issues impacting NATO activities
  • An experiential foundation for the development of NATO strategic level guidance on space
  • An assessment of the desirability and suitability of a space policy for NATO

Potential Outcomes - Long Term

  • Shared space situational awareness
  • Mechanisms to coordinate the application of national and private space assets in response to emerging needs
  • Enhanced preservation of space access to all nations for peaceful purposes
  • Increased presence of space experts in NATO Command Structure organizations and Headquarters
  • Reduced impact to operations and core business resulting from an interruption of space services
  • Robust and relevant NATO research on space
  • A comprehensive space policy based on a thorough understanding of NATO’s needs for access to space, the consequences of the denial of that access, the capabilities of its members, and a realistic picture of the future space environment.