Army searching for windows of opportunity with multi-domain tactics

| November 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

Story and photos by
Sean Kimmons
Army News Service

ARLINGTON, Va. — One tactic the Army is now considering as part of its drive to achieve windows of domain superiority in future battle is the strategic deployment of artillery along coastlines to sink enemy warships.

In these windows, created from a mixed use of land, air, sea, cyber and space domains, U.S. military units would be able to maneuver freely to penetrate and defeat enemy strongholds.

“If the Army can provide capability to the maritime domain, that really starts to change the equation there,” said Gen. David Perkins, commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, at an Association of the U.S. Army breakfast discussion Nov. 9.

Gen. David Perkins, commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, addresses a crowd during an Association of the U.S. Army breakfast discussion in Arlington, Va., Nov. 9, 2016. Perkins spoke about how multi-domain tactics can be used to open up windows of domain superiority in future battlefields. (Photo by Sean Kimmons)

Gen. David Perkins, commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, addresses a crowd during an Association of the U.S. Army breakfast discussion in Arlington, Va., Nov. 9, 2016. Perkins spoke about how multi-domain tactics can be used to open up windows of domain superiority in future battlefields. (Photo by Sean Kimmons)

This spring, U.S. Pacific Command aims to conduct a multi-domain battle exercise to test maritime missions using Army assets. U.S. Europe Command is also projected to hold a multi-domain exercise on that continent sometime next year, according to the general.

“We’re starting to put together these multi-domain battle exercises in the real domain to replicate some of these capabilities,” he said.

Last month, Army leaders officially announced a shift to the multi-domain battle concept that will help the service stay ahead of potential adversaries around the world. To help guide the concept, TRADOC planners pinpointed eight capabilities for the Army to concentrate on.

Along with cross-domain fires, the capability areas to lead the Army into the future include combat vehicles, expeditionary mission command, advanced protection, cyber electromagnetic, future vertical lift, robotics/autonomous systems, and Soldier team performance and overmatch.

In autonomous systems, for example, Perkins said they could perform breach operations without risking the safety of Soldiers.

“I want the ability to conduct an autonomous breach with robots, (and) never have a manned system in there probing for mines,” he said, adding an electromagnetic field could be used to prevent enemies from interfering with the robots.

Army leaders also want to find ways to diminish emerging anti-access/anti-denial capabilities, like long-range fires and precision munitions. That way, Soldiers would face fewer difficulties moving around contested territory.

“If the U.S. Army and/or military get a foothold in your area of operation, you’ll never get them out,” Perkins said.

Once inside a contested area, the U.S. military’s superior ability to pick up and move quickly could then help it land a knockout punch against an enemy.

“When the U.S. military maneuvers, that’s a very difficult dilemma to deal with,” he said. “Our people are better trained. We can jab much better.”

Relying on multiple domains to open windows on the battlefield can also present protection and sustainment challenges when those capabilities disappear.

If communications go offline due to enemy influence, for example, well-trained leaders will be needed to keep operations on the right path.

“When and if they lose communications, they’ll still understand the commander’s intent and can operate for periods of non-connectivity,” he said. “(They) have to be very comfortable not having continuous communications, yet a continuous understanding of the battlefield.”

(Editor’s note: Follow Kimmons on Twitter: @KimmonsARNEWS.) 

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Category: Army News Service, Leadership, News, Safety

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