Air Weapons: November 16, 2002


BDA, Battle Damage Assessment, is one aspect of air warfare that is rarely wargamed. Yet it is the only aspect of air warfare that the USAF has not been dominant in for the last 60 years. From the Strategic Bombing Survey in the late 1940s, to the press reports of successful Serb Kosovo deceptions in 1999, those clever people on the ground have consistently defeated American BDA efforts. Thus the longtime need for a BDA simulation, with emphasis on letting American air force officers get a realistic experience of what it's like to be on the ground and trying to avoid death from above. Creating such a wargame has never been hard, but the air force has never shown any interest. There's plenty of historical situations to simulate, which would enable the game developers to perfect the gaming system used. As the old saying goes, "if you can't predict the past, you can't predict the future." Once the gaming system works with past situations, you can confidently wargame future bombing campaigns. It's never too late to figure out how to do BDA when you haven't got people on the ground to confirm what really got hit, and what didn't (as was the case in Afghanistan.)


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