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Developing warfighting concepts, tactics, and technologies

NPS Warfare Innovation Continuum leverages classroom projects, theses, and research in advancing naval concepts, assessing new technologies, and developing tactics while enhancing our students’ educational experience and sharpening their combat skills.

Cross-Campus, Cross-Curriculum Effort

The NPS Warfare Innovation Continuum provides a naval warfighting theme of interest to naval leadership for NPS capstone classes, student and faculty research projects, CRUSER research threads, wargaming events, and workshops to rally behind.  Traditionally involving over 400 sponsors, faculty and students, past themes include distributed maritime forces, warfare in contested littorals, undersea warfare, and the integration of unmanned systems in naval operations.
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From Quantitative Assessments to Design

By synchronizing class and research efforts, a concept or technology’s benefits and risks are better explored.  For example, while the Joint Campaign Analysis course quantifies the value of distributed operations, the wargaming class will develop red’s response, the JC4I class will develop a distributed command and control system, and WIC Workshop propose new technologies to employ.

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Leveraging an Academic Year

The Naval Postgraduate School’s academic disciplines and research range from sound waves to strategy, from fluid dynamics to data analytics, and from robotics to acquisition.  Leveraging this talent and our operationally experienced students to provide a broad look at employing new warfighting concepts or emerging technologies provides a robust assessment for Navy sponsors.  The Warfare Innovation Continuum topics are introduced in July of each year which begins research threads lasting up to two years. The WIC’s products are an executive summary of each classroom and research product.

Annual WIC Workshop - generating ideas and developing concepts

The Warfare Innovation Continuum Workshop each September explores a problem space of particular interest to the Fleet and Force. Small teams of junior officers and early career engineers are facilitated through a rapid design process using tools of user-centered design to address a design challenge posed through a near peer near future conflict scenario to create concepts of operations and employment around emerging technologies. Each team presents their best three or four concepts on the final day of the three and a half day workshop, and these ideas are then developed by NPS researchers, students, warfare centers, and industry, academic, and allied parters.

The next WIC Workshop titled "Hybrid Force 2045" is scheduled for 20-23 September 2021, and will be held concurrently on the NPS campus in Monterey and on the NPS "Virtal Campus" on Teams to accommodate remote participants. Registration opens 15 July via the NWSI homepage.

Please visit the WIC Workshop Archive of final concept reports posted via the CRUSER website by clicking the button below, or email nwsi@nps.edu for more information on the next WIC Workshop.

WIC Workshop 2020 overview

The September 2020 Warfare Innovation Continuum (WIC) Workshop "Resurrecting War Plan Blue" gathered over 130 participants from NPS, the Fleet and Force, industry, academia and allied partner nations on the NPS "Virtual Campus" to address a design challenge around national resilience. Small teams of junior officers and early career engineers were facilitated through a rapid concept generation process using tools of user-centered design, and the final report linked here includes the ideas the teams presented on Thursday 24 September 2020.

Some concepts generated in workshops move on to concept development - such as an idea generated in the September 2020 "Resurrecting War Plan Blue" workshop where a policy idea became a pilot program proposal titled "A Strategy for National Resilience - Common Sense for the Common Good" (linked here to a three page proposal summary posted in the NWSI Collection in the NPS Dudley Knox Library digital archive Calhoun). This idea also resulted in a short article by Ms. Rana Foroohar in the 26 February 2021 issue of the Financial Times!

Interested in getting involved?  Opportunities exist to sponsor specific topics under the WICs theme through the NPS Naval Research Program, participate in the annual Warfare Innovation Continuum Workshop, or introduce technologies for assessment in campaign analysis, wargaming, and workshops.  Contact Prof. Jeff Kline at jekline@nps.edu or call 831.656.7946.