The Army wants to play an important role in the hotly contested Indo-Pacific region, an area more traditionally considered within the Navy. 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 together with cyber attacks, the Army chief of staff said on Friday. .
General James McConville acknowledged Friday that Europe is historically where the Army has focused its strategic attention. But, in an online discussion organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, he said that the Indo-Pacific is now “certainly a priority for us”.
“It’s really about people,” he said. “People reside in the domain of the land.”
The Indo-Pacific region continues to grow in importance as a result of the Department of Defense’s new emphasis on major power competitions from countries like Russia and especially China.
The Army says it has capabilities it can provide to Admiral Phil Davidson, the combatant commander in the Pacific. Support includes providing 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 precision fires long-range with a cyber domain.
Long-range precision fires are the number one priority in the modernization of the Army. The plan is for Army units to sink enemy ships and suppress enemy aircraft and missiles with advanced technology, such as long-range cannons and hypersonic weapons, officials said.
“We are in a major transformation effort in the United States Army,” said General McConville. “It is not just new equipment, but new doctrine.”
The sites for the proposed multi-domain task force in the Indo-Pacific Command region are still being worked on, officials said.
“There is a lot of experimentation going on. The concept is being developed, ”said General McConville. “We are bringing together elements of joint strength and ensuring that they can work together and carry out operations across multiple domains.”