US Air Force Begins 2019 Space Wargame

The U.S. Air Force's 2019 Schriever Wargame kicked off Sept. 4 in Alabama.
The U.S. Air Force's 2019 Schriever Wargame kicked off Sept. 4 in Alabama. (Image credit: U.S. Space Command)

The United States Air Force Space Command began conducting the 13th Schriever Wargame at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama yesterday (Sept. 4).

The wargame scenario is set in the year 2029. It explores critical space issues and examines the integration activities of multiple agencies associated with space systems and services, Air Force officials said.

Roughly 350 military and civilian experts from more than 27 commands and agencies around the country, as well as four international partners — Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — are taking part in this year's edition of the annual wargame.

Related: Plans for Space Force Laid Out at National Space Council Meeting

Notional space architecture.

Notional space architecture. (Image credit: Space Development Agency)

Wargame objectives

According to the Air Force Space Command, this iteration of the wargame is centered on the following objectives:

"(1) Inform people, processes, and technologies to advance USSPACECOM’s joint/combined operational missions, (2) Explore opportunities and challenges of national, commercial, and coalition architectures to synchronize effects that protect and defend the space enterprise, (3) Examine unity of command/effort to seamlessly integrate space operations and authorities across multiple classification and organizational levels, (4) Advance shared understanding of responsible behaviors in the space domain and impacts on national and coalition decision-making, and (5) Investigate whole-of-government(s) and coalition options to control escalation across all domains."

Notional peer competitor

The scenario depicts a notional peer competitor seeking to achieve strategic goals by exploiting multi-domain operations.

Additionally, the scenario also includes a full spectrum of threats across diverse, multi-domain operating environments to challenge civilian and military leaders, planners and space system operators, as well as the capabilities they employ, Air Force officials said.

The Schriever Wargame 19 team is conducting this wargame on behalf of Air Force Space Command, which is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Last year's Schriever Wargame, which also took place at Maxwell Air Force Base, lasted two weeks.

Leonard David is author of the recently released book, "Moon Rush: The New Space Race" published by National Geographic in May 2019. A longtime writer for, David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook

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Leonard David
Space Insider Columnist

Leonard David is an award-winning space journalist who has been reporting on space activities for more than 50 years. Currently writing as's Space Insider Columnist among his other projects, Leonard has authored numerous books on space exploration, Mars missions and more, with his latest being "Moon Rush: The New Space Race" published in 2019 by National Geographic. He also wrote "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet" released in 2016 by National Geographic. Leonard  has served as a correspondent for SpaceNews, Scientific American and Aerospace America for the AIAA. He has received many awards, including the first Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History in 2015 at the AAS Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium. You can find out Leonard's latest project at his website and on Twitter.