US Army aims to complete multidomain task force structure by FY28

US Army aims to complete multidomain task force structure by FY28

The U.S. Army plans to complete its multidomain task force structure by fiscal 2028, according to an internal service document obtained by Defense News.

While marked “predecisional,” which means decisions and plans described may change, the document lays out the service’s recent Total Army Analysis and its proposed force structure plans across the board.

The service’s first MDTF was experimental, but since then the Army has operationalized its first MDTF unit and will ultimately build four more. The Army established that initial one at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state around 2018. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command theater exercises with MDTF participation helped inform the Army’s Multi-Domain Operations warfighting concept, which has now evolved into doctrine.

The Army then established another MDTF in Europe in 2021, and another in Hawaii in 2022. The units are designed to operate across all domains — land, air, sea, space and cyberspace — and are equipped with the Army’s growing capabilities, including long-range precision fires.

According to the Army’s document, the service will consolidate Mid-Range Capability and Long-Range Hypersonic batteries under a Long-Range Fires Battalion (LRFB) headquarters and complete programming of the remaining Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC) battalions over the next five years. The Army also plans to convert all brigade support companies to battalion design and complete stationing decisions for all MDTF formations in that same timeframe.

The first MDTF at JBLM, according to the document, will be fully established this fiscal year with a Multidomain Effects Battalion (MDEB), an IFPC Battalion, a Brigade Support Battalion and Long-Range Fires Battalion.

The most important part of the MDTFs are the Multidomain Effects Battalions that serve as the targeting brain, bringing together all source intelligence across domains and spectrums to share information with the joint force to enable targeting, U.S. Army Pacific Command’s commander Gen. Charles Flynn told Defense News in an interview last fall.

The second MDTF will be headquartered in Germany with an MDEB and also partially stationed at Fort Drum, New York, with an IFPC Battalion, a BSB and an LRFB, the document lays out. The MDTF will be fully established in FY25 with the addition of the LRFB in FY26. That MDTF will focus on supporting the European theater.

The third MDTF, headquartered in Hawaii with an MDEB, will also have a portion stationed at JBLM – an IFPC battalion, a BSB and an LRFB – by FY26.

Stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, but focused on the Pacific theater, the fourth MDTF will be established in full by FY27.

And the 5th MDTF will be stationed at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, where it will concentrate on regions as determined. The last MDTF will be fully operational by FY28.

Putting an MDTF at Fort Liberty, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George said during an April 18 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, “is critically important” because it will bring lethal and non-lethal targeting along with other capabilities like long-rage fires and indirect fire protection to support the joint force and the rapid response capabilities resident in the 18th Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne Division.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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