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Marines to build 100,000-square-foot wargaming center in Virginia

U.S. Marines play a game of Memoir 44’ -- a war-themed strategy board game based on historical World War II battles -- on Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan, in December. The Marine Corps has announced plans to build a 100,000-square-foot center focused on wargames in Quantico, Va. Photo by Timothy Hernandez/U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Marines play a game of Memoir 44’ -- a war-themed strategy board game based on historical World War II battles -- on Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan, in December. The Marine Corps has announced plans to build a 100,000-square-foot center focused on wargames in Quantico, Va. Photo by Timothy Hernandez/U.S. Marine Corps

Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The Marine Corps announced plans Tuesday to break ground on a new wargaming facility in Quantico, Va., next year.

The 100,000-square-foot facility will, according to the Marines, house more than a dozen wargames each year -- including two large-scale, 250-person exercises intended to offer a realistic representation of future operating environments.

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The facility will include an auditorium, gaming classrooms, a conference room and other spaces in support of wargaming needs.

"The true value proposition of wargaming lies in the construction of a competitive framework allowing the thinking enemy to confront and thwart his opponent and thereby challenge concepts, capabilities and force design," William J. Lademan, technical director for the Wargaming Division at MCWL, said in a statement.

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"Constructing this framework produces the added benefit of being able to investigate hypotheticals, concepts and technologies in a timely and cost effective manner," he said.

The resulting wargames will provide data and analytics to inform decisions that would affect force development, force management, system functionality and service functionality, officials said.

"In order to stay ahead of peer competitors, it is vital that the Marine Corps conduct constant wargames," said Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, deputy commandant of Combat Development and Integration. "The data that comes from such wargames enables us to more rapidly determine which capabilities we will need for future fights."

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Smith also said locating the center at Quantico "ensures that these wargames take place at the home of Combat Development, the Warfighting Laboratory, Marine Corps University and our Acquisitions Command."

The location also makes sure "that this purpose-built facility is easily accessible for all those in the National Capitol Region who similarly need this capability," he said.

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