Joint Warfighting Center History
of Joint Warfighting
By the end of
World War II, the American military realized that interoperability
of force capabilities was vital to success. However,
formal “joint” (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and
Coast Guard) doctrine that integrated communications, procurement
programs, tactics and training was overlooked during the next three
decades of sporadic conflict. War fighting doctrine continued to
be published by the individual services.
Need for Joint Doctrine & Joint Training
1983, forces in Operation Urgent Fury successfully rescued American
medical students, removed the communist-led government
and restored the legitimate governor in Grenada.
general operational success, a Congressional investigation revealed
services were hindered by inability to integrate during the operation,
suggesting a need for joint doctrine. The Senate Armed Services
Committee recommended the establishment of a joint warfighting
center to develop joint doctrine, tactics and procedures and
to exercise joint operations through extensive simulation. Within
18 months, sweeping changes profoundly affected the way the Armed
Forces conducted joint operations.
April 1986, the Joint Warfare Center (JWC) was commissioned as
part of the
United States Readiness Command at MacDill AFB,
Fla. The mission of the JWC was to support the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and all combatant commanders’ joint
exercises and training programs with computer simulations.
Joint Planning & Training
In October 1986, the Goldwater-Nichols National Security Act centralized
operational authority of the armed forces through the chairman,
as opposed to the service chiefs. This streamlined command authority,
moving it from the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to combatant commanders. This encouraged joint
assignments for officers; thereby creating a professional cadre
that understood the requirements for joint operations.
1987, the first Joint Staff director for operational plans and
interoperability (J7) was appointed. The Joint Staff’s
J7 assumed responsibility for war plans of all unified commands
and provided for improved interoperability among the services.
This new directorate created a means to analyze joint mission-essential
tasks, which became the basis for the yearly joint exercise programs,
and implemented a formal joint doctrine program.
In September 1987, the Joint Warfare Center (JWC) relocated to
Hurlburt Field, Fla., under the operational control of the office
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (OJCS) with U.S. Army Forces Command
(FORSCOM) overseeing all JWC activities.
Creating the Joint Warfighting Center
The 1990-1991 Gulf War in Southwest Asia provided valuable lessons
learned towards formulating this new joint doctrine. A separate
agency, distinct from service control, was required. Thus ensuring
joint analysis of lessons learned, with the goal of applying this
information towards training of U.S. forces in joint operations.
Additionally, a command needed to ensure integration of this joint
training. In 1991, JWC became fully integrated into the Joint Staff
by the signing of a charter. The charter established the JWC as
a separate agency under the supervision of the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff reporting directly to the Joint Staff J-7.
In early 1993, Congress approved the fiscal year 1993 authorization
bill that allowed the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to
establish the Joint Warfighting
Center, combining the old JWC at
Hurlburt Field, Fla., with the Joint Doctrine Center at the Norfolk
Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Va. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff approved Fort Monroe, Va., as the new home for the Joint
Warfighting Center (JWFC).
operational on October 1, 1994, as the centerpiece for joint
doctrine, lessons learned, improvements in computer war
gaming using modeling and simulations (M&S), and theater commander
Creating a Joint Vision
October 1993, the secretary of defense designated the U.S. Atlantic
(USACOM) in Norfolk, Va., as the joint force provider,
trainer, and integrator of the vast majority of continental U.S.
(CONUS) based general-purpose forces. USACOM’s director for
joint training (J7) was responsible for
coordinating the training of these forces.
same period while the JWFC and USACOM were developing their roles
and responsibilities, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff developed a roadmap for the improvement of joint operations. “Joint
Vision 2010” was developed as part of the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff’s desire to assist the president and
secretary of defense in providing for the strategic direction of
the armed forces.
The vision was designed to provide a common direction to harmonize
service views, guide force development efforts and advance joint
warfighting capability as intended by the Goldwater-Nichols Defense
Reorganization Act. Joint Vision 2010 represented a conceptual
template for how the Department of Defense would channel the vitality
of its members and leverage technological opportunities to achieve
new levels of effectiveness in joint warfighting.
Over the next
several years, there was dramatic development in the way exercises
were conducted to support the continued development
of joint warfighting. In April 1994, USACOM sponsored exercise
Agile Provider, which tested these emerging concepts in one of
the largest field events held on the U.S. East Coast. At the same
time, USACOM combined U.S. Navy and Marine Corps readiness exercises
to form a “joint” package for biannual deployments
to the Mediterranean area of operations. Joint Task Force Exercise
95 (JTFEX 95) was the first iteration of this exercise series,
which continues to this day.
95 was not conducted the way planners initially intended, since
the bulk of the Joint Task
Force (JTF) staff were diverted to form the cadre for JTF 180 during
Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, September-October 1994. The
success of that operation indicated that the Joint Staff, JWFC,
and USACOM were on track towards providing a quality joint warfighting
While 1994 provided an important benchmark in joint training development,
the expense of large field training programs indicated a need for
a more inexpensive solution to train joint staffs in JTF operations.
Training with Modeling & Simulation
Computer war gaming had been used successfully since the early
1980s by the Army and provided potential cost-savings strategy
for training joint staffs. To that end, USACOM established the
Joint Training, Analysis, and Simulations Center (JTASC) in Suffolk,
provide the infrastructure and support for high-level computer
war gaming using state of the art modeling and simulation
The USACOM J7 utilized this facility to develop the Unified Endeavor
series of exercises. Designed to train a JTF commander, Unified
Endeavor only required the JTF staff and representatives from each
of the services. Actual forces in the field were simulated.
The first Unified
Endeavor, a “joint” activity of
the JWFC and the JTASC, was held in 1995, and established a program
for JTF commander training, which continues to this day. The cost
savings are astronomical. Previous exercises, similar to Unified
Endeavor, cost in excess of $37 million. Unified Endeavor 95 cost
By 1996, USACOM J7 had moved to JTASC, and was joined by Joint
C4ISR Battle Center (JBC), a Joint Staff analysis center that identifies
improvements in joint interoperability. From 1996 to 1998, the
Coherent Defense exercise series targeted component staff training.
This series specifically focused on theater missile defense in
an effort to address interoperability issues as a step towards
Based on the success of USACOM joint training programs, the Joint
Staff expanded the roles and responsibilities of that command to
include control of the JWFC. In October 1998, control of both JWFC
and JBC were transferred from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff to USACOM.
JWFC commander would also serve as the USACOM J7. Most elements
of the Fort Monroe-based JWFC moved to USACOM J7 at JTASC.
The new JWFC now supported theater commander training and enhanced
JTF commander training, joint interoperability training, and North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Partnership
for Peace (PfP) training as part of its overall curriculum.
1999, the changing roles and missions of USACOM were acknowledged
by a change to the command’s name.
The new name, U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), accurately
captured the command's role to lead the transformation of the U.S.
armed forces and to meet the security challenges of the 21st century.
The JWFC provides both the faculty and the campus to meet these
Training & Transforming the Forces
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and emergence
of the global war on terrorism, transforming the military was put
on a fast track. One important change was the creation of the office
of force transformation within the department of defense, and the
creation of new policies to guide critical decisions.
In 2002, USJFCOM
was directed through the Unified Command Plan 2002 to “…focus
on its exceedingly important mission to help transform our military,
including experimentation; innovation;
improving interoperability; reviewing, validating and writing joint
doctrine; preparing battle-ready joint forces and coordinating
joint training simulations and modeling.”
USJFCOM responded to the call for action through reinforcing the
rigor of future concept development and experimentation, as well
as enhancing joint training efforts. This new emphasis on transforming
training is designed to sharpen warfighting capability development.
It also is designed, through the transformation of training, to
broaden and deepen the joint training environment.
The heart of
this training transformation is the joint national training capability,
an initiative being developed and implemented
through USJFCOM’s JWFC. This enhanced training capability
is one of three focal points in the secretary of defense’s
Training Transformation Plan. It covers the full spectrum of warfighter
decision-making – from the strategic and operational to tactical
levels of war – and helps the Department of Defense identify
and correct potential gaps and seams before real military operations
This enhanced training environment creates joint warfighting conditions
through a collection of networked training sites linked to real-world
command and control systems. It involves a mix of live, virtual
and constructive tools to provide the most realistic joint mission
experience possible in a training situation.