As the joint military exercise Talisman Sabre comes to a close, the U.S. Army’s 3rd Multidomain Task Force (MDTF) and 1st Multidomain Task Force (MDTF) have made significant contributions to the exercise. Talisman Sabre is a joint U.S.-Australian Pacific theater exercise that involves 13 nations and over 30,000 troops.
The 3rd MDTF, which was activated in September 2022, participated in its first operational deployment during Talisman Sabre. This task force had its initial exercise in February as part of Northern Edge 23 in Alaska. The exercise included France, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga.
Similarly, the 1st MDTF, which was activated in 2017, has been extensively deployed in the Philippines for the past six months. This deployment has also contributed to the Talisman Sabre exercise. The 2nd MDTF, based in Europe, is another significant task force within the Army.
The MDTFs are integral to the Army’s new doctrine, Multi-Domain Operations, which aims to integrate various domains and capabilities for effective warfighting. These capabilities include cyber, electronic warfare, intelligence, and long-range fires. The multidomain effects battalion within the task forces serves as the targeting brain and promotes interoperability and joint operations.
Furthermore, the Japanese and Australian militaries are adjusting their doctrines to embrace a multidomain approach, while other partners like Indonesia and the Philippines are considering similar strategies. This shift is driven by the need to counter Chinese military aggression and territorial disputes in the Pacific.
To support this effort, the Army conducts Operation Pacific Pathways, a rotation of Army units for in-country training with partner nations in the Pacific. The goal is to create joint interior lines of defense to deter Chinese military incursions.
Additionally, the Army’s Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center, a combat training center in Alaska and Hawaii, trains multinational forces and has an “exportable” combat training center model that has been deployed to Indonesia. Australia and Japan are also developing their own combat training centers.
The Talisman Sabre exercise sends a strong signal to China, showcasing the U.S. and its partners’ commitment to regional security. The scale and scope of operations should give the Chinese military pause and create doubt about their encroachment on partner nations’ territories.
In conclusion, the Army’s MDTFs and its collaborative efforts with partner nations play a crucial role in the Talisman Sabre exercise and demonstrate the growing importance of multidomain operations in modern warfare.