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US Army awaiting ‘diplomatic' stationing decision for Indo-Pacific MDTF

The US Army is moving forward with plans to gain a better footing in Asia, in part, by building out a multi-domain task force (MDTF) outfitted with land-based, deep strike capabilities. Past service leaders had floated the idea that the uninhabited, Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, known in China as the Diaoyu Islands, would be a prime spot for some of these soldiers and weapons, but Army Chief of Staff General James McConville said more diplomatic work is needed before a decision is finalised.

Right now, the service is standing up one MDTF in the Indo-Pacific region and is eyeing a second one, the four-star general told reporters during an 11 March virtual Defense Writers Group.

“It’s an organisation that’s going to provide long-range precision effects and long-range precision fires capabilities … that could range anywhere from hypersonic missiles to a mid-range capability to Precision Strike Missiles (PrSMs) to penetrate the entire anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environment,” he said.

“They have a capability in the future to sink ships and also, there may be some type of air missile defence capability,” Gen McConville added, noting that these task forces also have intelligence, information, electronic warfare, cyber, and space components.

Although the service has begun using the MDTF in the Indo-Pacific region, and its current capabilities, the service has not determined where these soldiers will ultimately be stationed, Gen McConville said.

A US Army UH-60 Blackhawk flies in formation over Yamaguchi Bay, Japan during Orient Shield 2019. The service is standing up a multi-domain task force in the Indo-Pacific region but hasn’t announced where soldiers will be located. (US Army )

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