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Multi-domain Warfare

The Army some months back introduced the concept of multi-domain warfare.

What is multi-domain warfare?

The concept envisions the military — every service and every capability across the entire spectrum of capabilities—naval submarines and destroyers unpiloted air vehicles, cyber, artillery and maneuver forces, and of course strategic and tactical air forces— working together to overwhelm the enemy at a defined location and time within the battled space to gain a opportunity to deliver critical attacks against the enemy’s center of gravity.   Would come from all domains: land, sea, air, space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum. These activities would be synchronized, as mentioned in time and space, to create a window of opportunity for decisive actions.

Where are we going?

Each of the military services seemed to have endorsed the concept in general terms and are now trying to figure out how to make it a reality.  How can the Army link its air defense systems with those of the Navy?

The Air Force has suggested a global command and control system based upon its Combined Air Operations Centers (CAOCs).  The Air Force sees the CAOCs as the logical center of multi-domain synchronization.  The Air Force Chief of Staff has argued that the CAOC is “the one operational level headquarters that actually brings all the components together in a way you can integrate fires and effect.”

This suggestion would seem to have the Air Force CAOC assuming the responsibility of a Joint Force Commander whose job it is to synchronize all of the service component forces that he has been assigned.

This proposal could become the basis of some intense inter-service scuffles in the future.


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