Army’s next multi-domain task force will be ‘linked’ to the Indo-Pacific

The U.S. Army Multi-Domain Task Force operates out of the Tactical Command Post as part of their first appearance at Valiant Shield 2018 on Sept. 20, 2018. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Danica M. Sirmans/US Navy )

WASHINGTON: The US Army’s third multi-domain task force will be “linked” to the Indo-Pacific, according to a senior Army official, although it’s unclear exactly where it will be based.

The Army’s fiscal year 2023 budget request showed its five-year budget funds a third multi-domain task force, but did not specify what it would focus on. Army Chief of Staff James McConville provided additional details Thursday.

“It’s going to be related to the US Army Pacific. The final parking decision has yet to be made,” McConville said during a panel discussion hosted by the Defense Writers Group. “It really depends on what it looks like. But we are defending that.

Army Multi-Domain Task Forces are theater-specific units that employ long-range precision effects, including cyber and electronic warfare capabilities designed to counter anti-access/area denial systems of the Army. China and Russia. The first MDTF was created in 2017 as an experimental unit at Joint Base Lewis-McChord – also focused on the Indo-Pacific – and later codified as an official unit. The second Europe-focused MDTF was created last year.

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While the final decision on the base has yet to be made, McConville said Hawaii could serve as a prototype testbed.

The commander of the third unit will be Col. Dave Zinn, who currently works on McConville’s staff.

The Army is planning five MDTFs in all. Units will be equipped with some of the Army’s new priority modernization systems, including the mid-range sinking capability and the long-range hypersonic weapon. The first MDTF at Joint Base Lewis McChord received its first hypersonic battery last year.

The MDTFs also include Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare and Space Battalions, also known as I2CEWS. The Army’s top uniformed IT official said last year that the task force would experiment with the tactical cloud in 2022, which will enable an additional degree of connectivity in multi-domain operations.

“[Tactical cloud] will be anchored to multi-domain working groups so that we can increase the number of reps and sets, and quite frankly increase our learning opportunities as we really work on how to enable data at the edge so that we can dramatically increase our ability to see, feel, understand, decide and act and achieve the decisional dominance we will need for a multi-domain capable force,” said Lt. Gen. John Morrison , Army G-6.