Over the last 25 years, land forces (armies) have been high-demand consumers of joint force capabilities, operating beneath an umbrella of air and maritime supremacy. If the joint force is to succeed, the land force must now give as well as receive and be a capable supporter of operations in other domains.
The US Army can use land-based M109 Paladin 155mm self-propelled howitzers or the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) truck-based rocket launcher to go after enemy ships, which he analogized as killing the enemy’s archer rather than dealing with the arrows when it comes to protecting ground troops ashore or naval forces operating in the littorals.
Army Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), said today at a panel at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting and exposition that simply using air forces to amplify the capability of ground or maritime forces is no longer sufficient.
“If we constrain ourselves (to two domains), the enemy can fracture us,” he said.
“If you take a look at what’s going on in Ukraine and other places, they are fracturing our way of war by using other domains. You can see separatist forces being able to gain air superiority via the land, without even an air force. We’ve seen them be able to take down large land forces with a combination of electronic warfare, cyber, autonomous systems, drones, et cetera – not with a close-in battle. So what we’ve said, what we have to do is come up with a very difficult-to-fracture concept.”