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New Army unit at Fort Shafter will focus on Pacific theater

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U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Christopher Smith
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Col. David A. Zinn uncases the 3rd Multi-Domain Task Force colors at the 3rd MDTF activation ceremony Sept. 23, 2022, on Historic Palm Circle at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The activation of a MDTF is part of a long standing plan to increase Multi-Domain Operations capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region and is not related to any current events. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Christopher Smith)

A new unit focused on the Pacific theater will support the U.S. Army’s operations.

The Army’s 3rd Multi-Domain Task Force was activated at Fort Shafter on Oʻahu on Friday.

During the activation ceremony, U.S. Army Pacific Commanding General Charles Flynn said the unit is equipped with air defense, intelligence and other strategic capabilities.

“This region of the world, the Indo-Pacific Theater, is the most important region for the future of the United States,” he said. "It is where the geostrategic weight of the world rests for this century.”

This is the third in a series of theater-specific models. The first was established at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state covering the Pacific, and another in Germany covering Europe.

The soldiers in this task force may utilize networks of sensors to collect data on adversary targets. After analyzing that data, they can decide whether or not to attack using lethal and nonlethal capabilities.

The multi-domain aspect takes into account land, air, space, water and cyber operations.

“Through years of repeated wargaming, experimentation, and now exercising and training, a real tangible formation is producing a distinct warfighting advantage for the joint force,” Flynn said.

Col. David Zinn will serve as the 3rd Multi-Domain Task Force first commander, having previous experience in Hawaiʻi and Korea.

“We bring increased capacity and complimentary capability to the joint force in the Pacific,” Zinn said. “Our formation will provide capability to synchronize long-range precision effects with long-range precision fires, providing increased freedom of action for the joint force.”

The creation of the unit isn’t related to current events. It’s expected to be fully functional in fiscal year 2023.

Sabrina Bodon is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact her at sbodon@hawaiipublicradio.org or 808-792-8252.
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