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What Are Multi Domain Operations

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A Sailors Take On Multi

Multi-Domain Operations Prepare the Battlefield of Tomorrow

Warfighting concepts come and go. Reflecting the predominant concerns of their times, some will produce lasting reforms with historical impact, whereas others will be unceremoniously discarded as their champions retire. Still others will quietly fade into obscurity as their useful contributions are absorbed into practice, their bad ideas are forgotten, and a yet-newer concept captures the imagination. Multi-domain operations, a concept which has taken various forms since about 2016, could go any of the three directions.

Multi-domain is an evolving term utilized primarily by futurists associated with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. Expressed in noun form, multi-domain operations represent those futurists aspirations to improve integration of military forces across the operational domains land, maritime, air, space, and cyber through a combination of organizational reform and emerging technology. Excited commentators have called multi-domain operations everything from a conceptual successor to joint warfare to a 21st century analogue for the Apollo program. Likewise, skeptics have labeled the concept as a slogan laden with unrealistic ambition and self-congratulatory prose.

Multi-Domain Operations Today

Multi-Domain Operations are the Problem

Problems of Integration

Problems of Speed

Problems of Organization

Beyond Buzzwords

Image: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams

Vice President Multi Domain Operations Division

  • – Present3 years 6 months

    Queens County, New York, United States

    I was called to active duty service as an intelligence professional supporting Information Operations in July 2018. My focus during this period has been the development and validation of new intelligence methodologies to address emerging global challenges. As project lead for two distinct, yet mutually supportive initiatives, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with stakeholders throughout the Army while working with next generation capabilities. Over the course of two years I’ve had

    I was called to active duty service as an intelligence professional supporting Information Operations in July 2018. My focus during this period has been the development and validation of new intelligence methodologies to address emerging global challenges. As project lead for two distinct, yet mutually supportive initiatives, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with stakeholders throughout the Army while working with next generation capabilities. Over the course of two years I’ve had the opportunity to advance cutting edge concepts from R& D to real world testing and validation. It’s been an incredible experience, with a wealth of lessons learned.

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  • Shaping Nato For Multi

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    By Dr. Jeffrey M. ReillyDefense Technical Information Center, US Department of DefenseCourtesy of Air University Press

    Note: This essay is an abridged version of the article Multi-Domain Operations A Subtle but Significant Transition in Military Thought, published in The Air and Space Power Journal, Spring 2016.

    A Subtle but Significant Transition in Military Thought

    Multi-Domain Operations Are an Enduring Characteristic of Warfare

    The concept of cross-domain operations is not new. It has been an inherent part of military thought since antiquity. The disastrous Athenian campaign to conquer Sicily during the Peloponnesian War provides just one example. In 415 BC, Athens launched an ill-advised expedition to subdue Sicilys strongest state, Syracuse. The Athenian force led by Nicias consisted of approximately 6,400 men and 134 ships. The Athenians enjoyed early successes however, in 414 BC during the siege of Syracuse, the Spartan strategist Gylippus intervened and turned the tide of battle in favour of the Syracusan forces. Gylippus focused initially on the human domain, inspiring the Syracusan forces and galvanizing the support of their allies. He then embarked upon simultaneous attacks of the Athenian troops on the land and at sea. By 413 BC, the Athenians had been defeated.3

    Challenges of Future Technological Threats

    Changes in Adversarial Concepts and Strategies

    Implications for the Concept of the Battlespace

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    Army Commands And Army Service Component Commands

    See Structure of the United States Army for a detailed treatment of the history, components, administrative and operational structure and the branches and functional areas of the Army.

    The U.S. Army is made up of three components: the active component, the Regular Army and two reserve components, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve. Both reserve components are primarily composed of part-time soldiers who train once a month known as battle assemblies or unit training assemblies and conduct two to three weeks of annual training each year. Both the Regular Army and the Army Reserve are organized under Title 10 of the United States Code, while the National Guard is organized under Title 32. While the Army National Guard is organized, trained and equipped as a component of the U.S. Army, when it is not in federal service it is under the command of individual state and territorial governors. However, the District of Columbia National Guard reports to the U.S. president, not the district’s mayor, even when not federalized. Any or all of the National Guard can be federalized by presidential order and against the governor’s wishes.

    • Armored brigades, with a strength of 4,743 troops as of 2014.
    • Stryker brigades, with a strength of 4,500 troops as of 2014.
    • Infantry brigades, with a strength of 4,413 troops as of 2014.

    The Army Training And Doctrine Command Definition Of Multi

    ***OTH Anniversary*** Looking Beyond Your Service for ...

    MDO describes how the U.S. Army, as part of the joint force, can counter and defeat an adversary capable of contesting the United States in all domains in both competition and armed conflict. The concept describes how U.S. ground forces deter adversaries and defeat highly capable near-peer enemies in the 20252050 time frame. MDO provides commanders with numerous options for executing simultaneous and sequential operations using surprise and the rapid and continuous integration of capabilities across all domains to present multiple dilemmas to an adversary in order to gain physical and psychological advantages and influence and control over the operational environment.1


    Suggested Citation:Powering the U.S. Army of the Future

    Although the study was intended to be based on an Army MDO scenario, tangible scenarios were not available at the time of the study effort. In lieu of such scenarios, the study committee held a data-gathering session dedicated to understanding the Armys current thinking on MDO and the 2035 operating environment. The output of that meeting, combined with additional inputs, most notably from RANDs Arroyo Center, guided the committees assessment of power and energy systems. The committee chose to focus on maneuver operations of an Armored Brigade Combat Team , because it is a predominant combat formation and represents one of the most challenging scenarios from a P& E standpoint.2

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    Overview Of Total Energy Transported To The Field

    For an ABCT today, the vast majority of energy transported to the field is in the form of jet propellant 8 fuel, due to its volumetric energy-density superiority over every other source, except for nuclear. To put the relative power requirements in perspective, the energy usage for a 12-day ABCT mission is provided in Table 1.1.3

    The 514,000 gallons of JP8 estimated to be used by an ABCT would equate to roughly 18,800 MWh of chemical energy. Dividing this 18,800 MWh by the 288 hours in a 12-day mission results in an average power expenditure of 65 MW for an armored brigade over a typical deployment. Peak power demands during the thick of combat while on maneuver were not identified, but are, of course, significantly higher. As a rough comparison, the 69,046 batteries used by the same ABCT provide 2.5 MWh of electrical energy, a very small fraction of the brigades total energy consumption.4

    Connecting Every Sensor To Every Shooter

    Indeed, the network is key, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, and for multi-domain operations to work for the force of the future, the service today must build out that network and change its way of thinking around it.

    I dont actually know standing here today whats going to actually go in the bay of that B-52 or that X-37 or in the weapons systems of the future, said Goldfein, the Air Forces top uniformed official. Nor do we have to. Our job is to connect them. Our job is to build the network and to build the highway that these platforms and sensors and weapons are going to ride on to be able to do the work needed in the digital age.

    Donovan echoed that point: The key is not the individual platform. The key is connecting every sensor to every shooter.

    This will require the Air Force shift its thinking from platform-centric to network-centric, Goldfein said. The questions for us is can we look beyond the devices, can we look beyond the trucks, can we look beyond the platforms and actually focus on the highway weve built for the future?

    Recently, Goldfein traveled to Silicon Valley, where described himself to major tech companies as the chief of staff of a garage startup, he said. He continued that analogy this, calling the Air Force a hardware startup i.e. planes, weapons, sensors that needs to evolve into a software startup.

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    Stacie Pettyjohn explains the concept of multi-domain operations as part of a panel on Technology as a Battlefield Game Changer at the 2018 Roberta Wohlstetter Forum on National Security.

    The Chinese and the Russians have both have developed different but sophisticated anti-access/area denial systems that can strike U.S. forces at range and potentially prevent them from building up combat power in the region, closing in on them, and defeating them in a close fight. Pettyjohn discusses the idea of multi-domain operations as a way to penetrate these A2/AD networks and to deter or defeat aggression.

    Exploring The Foundation Of Multi

    Multi Domain Operations – Oct. 2, 2019

    Exploring the Foundation of Multi-Domain Operations

    Brandon C. Kasubaski

    Attaining one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the pinnacle of excellence. Subjugating of the enemys army without fighting is the pinnacle of excellence.

    –Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    The U.S is facing multifaceted challenges, including our adversaries, which it cannot favorably engage in competition and conflict. This requires creative solutions and responses from the entire Department of Defense. Last December, U.S Army Training and Doctrine Command released their capstone product TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1, The U.S Army in Multi Domain Operations 2028. TP 525-3-1 describes how the Army contributes to deterring and defeating our adversaries in both competition and conflict. Within TP 525-3-1 the Multi-Domain Operations concept drives the detailed solutions to problems posed by our adversaries.

    Defining Strategy

    Figure 1: The Strategy Process

    The military must continuously apply validity tests of its strategies to ensure desired national ends can be met by available military means . Four forms of strategy affect the military: grand strategy, security strategy, military strategy, operational strategy, and battlefield strategy .

    The Elements of MDO

    Linear operations. Linear operations are a relatively continuous line of contact separating well defined areas under either friendly or enemy control.12

    Figure 2: Linear and Non-Linear Operation Activities

    Strategy Convergence

    Better Defining MDO

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    Demonstrating The Future Today

    An enemy anti-satellite weapon is about to be launched. U.S. and Allied Forces have minutes to quickly coordinate and counter this threat using all the resources available across domains.

    In a JADO-enabled world, the data shared between systems will let commanders choose the right platform to deliver the right effects at the right time.

    Lockheed Martin has performed incremental demonstrations since 2013 to prove that aircraft can be modernized efficiently, and to demonstrate how advanced mission system capabilities can be rapidly added to an aircraft to increase capability.

    Through a series of four multi-domain command and control exercises, we have explored refinements to processes, concepts of operations and technologies to identify solutions for connecting systems across domains, enabling synchronized effects.

    European Allies In Us Multi

    Main Image CreditU.S. European Command hosts a Change of Command ceremony in Patch Barracks, Germany, 2 May 2019. Photo courtesy of US Army/Jason D Johnston

    This Occasional Paper outlines strategies for integrating European allies with the US Army’s Multi-Domain Operations operating concept.

    There are a large number of dependencies upon allies embedded within this concept of operations, from the permissions required to maintain a calibrated force posture, to critical expertise in order to effectively compete below the threshold of armed conflict. The US Army has taken a methodical approach to developing the concept, first engaging stakeholders within the Army, then across the Joint Force, before entering discussions with US allies. US allies have been developing their own operational concepts, however, and embarking upon much-needed modernisation efforts, in response to a growing threat from Russia. There is a risk that if the US does not engage its allies early, and maintain a dialogue about MDO, US capabilities will diverge from allied systems, making the level of integration necessary to achieve convergence unworkable. Given that the US Army does not anticipate gaining all relevant MDO capabilities by 2028, ensuring interoperability with allies is essential.

    The challenges to integrating allies with MDO outlined in this paper are not insurmountable, but they suggest that allies need to be engaged throughout the process as MDO is transformed from concept to doctrine.

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    What Is A Multi

    Lieutenant Colonel Heiner Grest is currently serving in the C4ISR+S Branch as a Space SME. In previous appointments he has been working in various positions in the area of Surface-Based Air and Missile Defence as well as in different national staff positions.

    Lieutenant Colonel Henry Heren is the NATO Space & Cyberspace Strategist assigned to the JAPCC. He is a Master Space Operator and a Fully Qualified Joint Staff Officer with more than 26 years active duty experience in the US Air Force.

    A Look at Differing Views on a Developing Concept

    The use of the term Multi-Domain Operations has increased in popularity over the past decade as military services, those of the United States, in particular, have sought to codify their approach to warfare beyond the traditional confines of land, sea, and air. The term is new enough that, while many in military circles within the US and NATO have heard and even used the term themselves, the term is yet undefined by most nations and by NATO. Moreover, much of what has been written in the past few years concerning MDO bypasses elaborating on or clearly defining MDO, instead focusing on Multi-Domain Command and Control . This paper will break from that approach and focus on addressing what can currently be said about MDO, from officially published guidance, and how it differs from previous concepts notably Joint Operations.

    1., assessed 24 Apr. 2019.
    7. See footnote # 6, page 3.

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    Anticipated Operating Environment Of 2035

    Perkins Multi

    To bring the joint force together in a focused, coordinated, and strategic way, enhanced battlefield awareness is critically important. Supporting this technology, there will be improved bandwidth communications, leveraging commercially available technologies , but with unique modifications for military use. These adaptations include


    2 While the U.S. Marine Corps has similar needs to the Army, the committee scoped the study to focus on the Army specifically. Furthermore, USMC requirements for mobility and transportation are different and the USMC has recently begun retiring their Abrams tanks, which are a major focus of this study. For these reasons the committee has chosen to focus on the Army.

    3 Volumetric energy density is considered to be a more important metric than gravimetric energy density because JP8 supply trucks cube out before they weigh out.

    4 Note: The Operational Logistics Planner is the main tool provided by Combined Arms Support Command to assess mission equipment and energy needs.

    Suggested Citation:Powering the U.S. Army of the Future

    37,876 pieces

    system-wide enhancements to accommodate terrain differences and the lack of fixed nodes.

    At the same time, new weapon systems now being developed, such as directed energy and cyberwarfare weapons, may add to the ever-increasing electrical power requirements of the future battlefield.


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