May 23, 2000


LIVERMORE, Calif.--A computer code developed by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for combat simulation is being honored today (May 23) with an award from the Defense Department's Defense Modeling and Simulation Office.

The code, the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation (JCATS, pronounced JAY-cats), has earned praise from users who have applied it and its predecessor codes for training, analysis, mission planning and mission rehearsal. The code has also been used to support actual military operations in places such as Panama, the Persian Gulf, Bosnia and elsewhere.

Dr. Alan Spero, Proliferation Detection and Defense Systems Division Leader at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, said, "We're very pleased to be honored by DoD's lead agency for modeling and simulation. JCATS is the product of a small, tightly-knit, highly professional team that delivered the code on-time and on-budget. We're quite proud of the code and its ability to meet the needs of the defense operational community. We look forward to continuing our long and satisfying relationship with DoD."

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Faith Shimamoto, JCATS Development Team Leader, described what the code can do. "JCATS models conflict on scales ranging from a handful of fighters in a security operation to battles between units of thousands with tanks, aircraft and submarines. It realistically recreates a wide range of three-dimensional military environments in varied terrain and under conditions such as concealment, fire, water, smoke, hostages and unconventional tactics. It is particularly effective at simulating urban warfare.

For realism, exercises using JCATS can be made to run for weeks and incorporate such real-life problems as supply breakdown, personnel fatigue, introduction of new forces and other military factors."

JCATS evolved from more than a quarter-century of conflict simulation efforts at Lawrence Livermore. Predecessor codes were developed in the Laboratory's D-division, which today forms part of Q-division of the Laboratory's Nonproliferation, Arms Control and International Security (NAI) directorate. Work in recent years has been sponsored by the Defense Department's Joint Warfighting Center (JWFC).

The code is used widely throughout the government to address a variety of security concerns. Commenting on the effectiveness of the code, Chris Christenson, Institute for Defense Analysis, a Defense Department contractor for studies and analysis, found "JCATS to be, hands-down, the model of choice for small unit urban operations. Nothing else comes close."

Traveling to Virginia to receive the award were LLNL's Mike Uzelac, Hal Brand, Greg Bowers, and Tom Kelleher.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national technology laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California, for the U.S. Department of Energy.