The Army wants to have a major role in the hotly-contested Indo-Pacific region, an area more traditionally thought of as within the Navy’s domain. The service is looking for potential locations to base long-range precision weapons that would be used by one of its new units combining the power of cannons and missiles along with cyber attacks, the Army Chief of Staff said Friday.
Gen. James McConville acknowledged Friday that Europe is historically where the Army has focused its strategic attention. But, in an online discussion hosted by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, he said the Indo-Pacific is now “certainly a priority for us.”
“It’s really about the people,” he said. “The people reside in the land domain.”
The Indo-Pacific region continues to grow in importance as a result of the Department of Defense’s new emphasis on great power competitions from nations like Russia and especially China.
The Army says it has capabilities they can provide to Adm. Phil Davidson, the combatant commander in the Pacific. The support includes providing him with an organic Security Force Assistance Brigade — a specialized Army unit formed to train and advise military units from allied and partner nations — along with its new multi-domain task force, which combines long range precision fires with a cyber domain.
Long-range precision fires is the Army’s number one modernization priority. The plan is for Army units to sink enemy ships and suppress enemy aircraft and missiles with advanced technology such as extended range cannons and hypersonic weapons, officials said.
“We’re in a major transformational effort in the United States Army,” Gen. McConville said. “It’s not just new equipment but new doctrine.”
The locations for the proposed multi-domain task force within the Indo-Pacific Command region are still being worked out, officials said.
“There is a lot of experimentation going on. The concept is being developed,” Gen. McConville said. “We’re bringing together joint force elements and making sure they can work together and conduct multi domain-type operations.”
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