AFRL breaks ground for $6 million wargaming and simulation lab

AFRL image of the The $6 million, 10,685-square-foot Wargaming and Advanced Research Simulation (WARS) Laboratory. AFRL art.
Caption
AFRL image of the The $6 million, 10,685-square-foot Wargaming and Advanced Research Simulation (WARS) Laboratory. AFRL art.

Ground was broken recently on the Air Force Research Laboratory’s $6 million, 10,685-square-foot laboratory that will help the Air Force advance wargaming and simulation.

The building, on Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, will be part of AFRL’s Directed Energy and Space Vehicles Directorates located on Kirtland Air Force Base. AFRL is headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“We in the Department of Defense are concerned about competition with our adversaries across all domains of warfighting,” said Col. Eric Felt, director of the Space Vehicles Directorate. “The WARS Lab will advance three strategies AFRL is pursuing to deter conflict, which we call ISP — innovation, speed and partnerships.”

Felt in an AFRL release said that innovation is key to beating our adversaries and that speed is essential.

Ground is broken for the 6 million, 10,685-square-foot Wargaming and Advanced Research Simulation (WARS) Laboratory in New Mexico. AFRL photo
Caption
Ground is broken for the 6 million, 10,685-square-foot Wargaming and Advanced Research Simulation (WARS) Laboratory in New Mexico. AFRL photo

“With digital engineering we can explore more concepts faster, without waiting for the “real thing” hardware,” Felt said. “This lab will promote the use of digital engineering, saving time and money, and will provide the opportunity for partnerships within AFRL, with industry and our allies. We are better working together.”

The WARS Lab will feature an auditorium with more than 90 workstations for concepts experiments that will allow collaboration with agencies across the Department of Defense, said Teresa LeGalley, Directed Energy’s program manager.

“I am excited about our vision of a virtual range becoming a reality,” LeGalley said. “We are asked to determine military utility of directed energy, which means we need to insert high energy lasers and high powered electromagnetics into a battle space, to determine how they can be used to complement the weapon systems operators already have.”

The AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate will occupy about 450 square feet of the building to conduct modeling and simulation work.

The WARS Lab is expected to be ready for occupancy in the spring of 2023, and will replace a facility that has been in use since 2005.