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NEWS | Jan. 16, 2024

The Army’s First Long Range Fires Battalion Activates Second MRC Battery

By Capt. Ryan DeBooy, U.S. Army Pacific

The 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, the Army’s first Long Range Fires Battalion (LRFB), conducted a ceremony on January 11, 2024, at the base to activate the second Mid-Range Capability (MRC) battery in support of Multi-Domain Operations.

“The activation of Delta Battery, 5-3 FA expands our Long Range Fires Battalion capacity to support our Joint Indo-Pacific Mission - providing a credible, land-based maritime strike capability. Elements of this battery are already projected to operate in the Pacific later this year, a testament to our Army's continuous transformation priority," said Brig. Gen. Bernard Harrington, commander of the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force.

During the ceremony, the command shared the unique history of the unit and outlined a vision for what the activation means for the future of Multi-Domain Operations.

"I always like to refer to the crest up here, the distinguished unit insignia, and one of the things you see on there is the dragon symbol. This is one of the few units in the Army today—and really across the Joint force—that’s got credit for a campaign on mainland China. And so that is not a reminder for us to try to get back into China. That’s a reminder that we never want to go there again," said Lt. Col. Benjamin Blane, commander of 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, underscoring the importance of the battalion’s mission to enable integrated deterrence in the Pacific.

“So ultimately, we strive to deter the next fight. But if this is unsuccessful, I know that this unit stands ready to complete its mission of providing counter maritime capability in the Pacific,” said Blane.

The new battery command team for the unit is Capt. Michael J. Geissler and 1st Sgt. Jeremiah O. Bosley.

"Throughout this year, this battery will face the challenges that come with forming a combat credible force in the Pacific with a new unit and a new weapon system. We will overcome and succeed through each of these challenges together to help us prepare for the greater challenges ahead," said Geissler.

The MRC uses the Navy’s SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles as part of the initial prototype. The system will incorporate future missile capabilities as they become available, expanding the effectiveness of MRC.

The 1st Multi-Domain Task Force is an Indo-Pacific assigned, theater-level unit. MDTFs are maneuver elements that synchronize long-range precision fires and effects in all domains to neutralize adversary A2AD (anti-access and area denial) networks.