The commander who oversees US Army operations in Europe and Africa is calling for more advanced warfighting capabilities for US forces stationed in Europe, including more long-range artillery.
Gen. Christopher Cavoli said on Wednesday that a new “Theater Fires Command” should be formed that would include what the Army calls a multi-domain task force (MDTF). MDTFs bring together cyber, space, and electronic warfighting capabilities along with long-range artillery.
Cavoli said the Theater Fires Command would “push away out of a close fight and be able to fight a little bit more at a standoff, so that when we do engage in a close fight, it would be under much more advantageous circumstances.”
The MDTF is a new US Army concept that is designed to face “near-peer competitors” like Russia and China, another sign of the US military’s shift away from counterterrorism towards so-called “great power competition.”
There is currently one MDTF in Washington state that focuses on the Pacific, and the Army has announced plans to develop one in Europe. “We are very eager to get capabilities like that over here,” Cavoli said at a virtual US Army Association meeting.
Cavoli also suggested that an MDTF could be set up in Africa. “Russia and China are extremely active in competing for influence and access in Africa,” he said.