A procedural comparison of combat tactics: a simulation approach

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Naval operational planning is complex because it is dependent on uncertain future combat conditions. Effective decision making is directly related to the validity of assumptions regarding future combat scenarios and the appropriateness of selected procedures.

A two phase procedure for comparing multiple combat tactics is developed in this thesis. In the first phase of the procedure, simulation models are developed to replicate combat under each tactic. The models generate data for performance measures that are relevant for comparing a wide range of tactics. In the second phase of the procedure, the data for the performance measures are analyzed using the sign test or the Wilcoxon signed ranked test. The applicability of simulation modeling, appropriateness of the performance measures, and the use of sign test to compare combat tactics with any degree of complexity is established in this study. An application of this procedure is illustrated using two hypothetical tactics.