US Army MDTF participates in first live-fire sinking at RIMPAC

25 July 2018 (Last Updated July 25th, 2018 11:50)

The US Army’s Multi Domain Task Force (MDTF) Tactical Command Post (TAC) has participated in a joint live-fire sinking exercise for the first time during the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

US Army MDTF participates in first live-fire sinking at RIMPAC
The JGSDF launched a surface-to-ship missile from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. Credit: US Navy.

The US Army’s Multi Domain Task Force (MDTF) Tactical Command Post (TAC) has participated in a joint live-fire sinking exercise for the first time during the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

The exercise was carried out by the 17th Field Artillery Brigade, a subordinate unit under America’s I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, together with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).

Following the launch of the naval strike missile as a land-based asset, the Apache AH-64E helicopters assigned to the US Army’s 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) and 16th CAB fired a decommissioned US Navy ship ex-USS Racine.

In addition, the JGSDF launched two surface-to-ship missiles (SSMs) in conjunction with the 17th Field Artillery Brigade’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) system.

17th Field Artillery Brigade and MDTF commander US Army colonel Chris Wendland said: “We are here to support the Navy and our other services, to show them what the US Army’s MDTF can provide to the fight.”

“We are here to support the Navy and our other services, to show them what the US Army’s MDTF can provide to the fight.”

Wendland added: “We are an asset the Navy and our joint services can utilise.

“What our maritime adversaries conducting this exercise are looking for are other ships or submarines as threats.

“What they are not looking for is the Multi Domain Task Force, our ground forces, who can acquire the target and fire upon it using land-based surface-to-ship missiles, then be able to move freely.”

The US Army Pacific designated the 17th Field Artillery Brigade as the pilot programme for the MDTF concept.

It is the first time that the brigade has worked under a naval commander instead of providing long-range artillery for I Corps during a military exercise.