National Defense University is directed by the Officer Professional Military Education Policy (CJCSI 1800.01D - OPMEP) to “apply current technology, modeling, simulation and wargaming to accomplish the synchronization, employment, support and transportation planning of the joint force.” This guidance is reinforced by General Dempsey’s CJCS Joint Education White Paper (dtd 16 July 2012): “Collaborative, context-based problem-solving events will have great appeal and consequently greater effect in achieving educational outcomes. Joint educational approaches must adapt to stay relevant to how students learn best, while balancing "tried and true methods" with new techniques.”
Operating from the Congressman Owen Pickett Wargaming Center, the Center for Applied Strategic Learning implements a large portion of the University’s M&S program through a series of wargaming exercises supports the JPME Phase II curricula. The exercise wargames give the students hands-on experience in a constructive combatant command headquarters. NDU, with contractor support, developed the Advanced Joint and Combined Operations Model (AJCOM) in 1998. Modeling and simulation capabilities have evolved over time in response to curriculum requirements, and developing warfare requirements. The NDU M&S program is being updated to reflect this evolution of requirements and national security challenges. The models and simulations are designed to reflect the capabilities of automated tools joint staff officers encounter during actual operations.