FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- United States Army Pacific commander, Gen. Charles A. Flynn, constantly reminds people wherever he goes that the Indo-Pacific region is the most consequential theater for the United States this century. The Army was listening, and today activated its third multi-domain task force, the second such formation to be aligned to the Pacific.
On historic Palm Circle, the 3rd Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF) unfurled its colors in front of assembled leaders and Soldiers, and took its place among the other units that make up U.S. Army Pacific, a command region that stretches over half the world’s surface.
“While they may not have a distinguished and storied history yet, this unit is quite special and unique,” said Flynn. “The multi-domain task force is a perfect example of how the Army creates warfighting advantages for the Joint Force.”
Multi-Domain Task Forces are the signature formations for the Army’s transformation, and are theater-specific units that employ long-range precision effects, including cyber, electronic warfare, intelligence and long-range fires. The concept of the MDTF brings together existing lethal and non-lethal capabilities by integrating and synchronizing them across multi-domains — air, land, water, space, cyber — in order to overcome a specific target.
The first MDTF became operational in 2017 at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington state, focusing on the Indo-Pacific. The second MDTF is in Germany aligned with U.S. Army Europe and Africa. This third MDTF will call Fort Shafter home, and becomes the second specialty unit to operate in the Indo-Pacific, or what the Department of Defense has labeled, its “priority theater.”
“Our MDTFs are essential to building joint readiness, strengthens interoperability with our allies and partners, and denying adversaries key terrain,” said Flynn.
The unit’s first commander is Col. David Zinn, an officer with experience in the theater having served in Hawaii and in Korea.
“Our activation in Hawaii reflects the Army’s commitment to this theater as our nation’s priority. We bring increased capacity, and complementary capability to the joint force in the Pacific. Our formation will provide capability to synchronize long-range precision effects, with long-range precision fires, providing increased freedom of action for the Joint Force,” said Zinn.
U.S. Army Pacific has set a goal for the new MDTF to reach full operational capability in fiscal year 2023, and are currently evaluating opportunities for the unit to integrate itself with Theater Army exercises such as Operation Pathways, and to also work with allies and partners in the region.