Red, commanded by retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, adopted an asymmetric strategy, in particular, using old methods to evade Blue's sophisticated electronic surveillance network. Van Riper used motorcycle messengers to transmit orders to front-line troops and World-War-II-style light signals to launch airplanes without radio communications.Millennium Challenge 2002 was the last unscripted wargame the Pentagon allowed. The reason? A Marine Corps legend, General Van Ripper, took a pet project of the SecDef and totally eviscerated the concept (sorta like ISIS is doing today).
Red received an ultimatum from Blue, essentially a surrender document, demanding a response within 24 hours. Thus warned of Blue's approach, Red used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of Blue's fleet by the second day of the exercise. In a preemptive strike, Red launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles that overwhelmed the Blue forces' electronic sensors and destroyed sixteen warships. This included one aircraft carrier, ten cruisers and five of six amphibious ships. An equivalent success in a real conflict would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 service personnel. Soon after the cruise missile offensive, another significant portion of Blue's navy was "sunk" by an armada of small Red boats, which carried out both conventional and suicide attacks that capitalized on Blue's inability to detect them as well as expected.
At this point, the exercise was suspended, Blue's ships were "re-floated", and the rules of engagement were changed; this was later justified by GeneralPeter Pace as follows: "You kill me in the first day and I sit there for the next 13 days doing nothing, or you put me back to life and you get 13 more days' worth of experiment out of me. Which is a better way to do it?" After the reset, both sides were ordered to follow predetermined plans of action.
Why do I bring this up?
Simple. F-35 advocates are using the scripted exercises "validating" the planes performance as an indication of how well it will do in combat.
I say bullshit.
But its worse than that. Company Landing Teams? Validated by fraudulent, scripted exercises. Regionally Aligned Army Brigades? Ditto. LCS? Much the same.
The list goes on. If you're testing to a desired outcome then its not a test, its a coronation of a pet project. Our military and our nation deserves better.
Confidence is not high.