South by Southwest
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AUSTIN, Texas -- U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley, Deputy Commanding General, Army Futures Command, delivered the keynote during South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas March 8, 2019.

This special keynote address was designed to introduce the Army's future Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), which describes how the U.S. Army, as part of the Joint Force and combined operation, can counter and defeat a near-peer adversary capable of contesting the U.S. in all domains, in both completion and conflict.

The Army is preparing to create what it deems as necessary, and major, organizational changes to its force structure within the next five years.

"You don't change for change sake," said Wesley. "There is going to be a fundamental change in the organizational structure to fight the way we are describing."

The new doctrine addresses how the service plans to operate in the future against adversaries that have learned to engage in provocative behavior in a gray area that doesn't quite classify as conflict, and who have studied U.S. capabilities, developing equipment and operating concepts that threaten the U.S.'s long-standing capability overmatch.

"Over the past 15 years, the Army has relied on counterinsurgency operations with Brigade Combat Teams [BCTs]," says Wesley.

But now, with a new focus on large-scale ground combat operations anticipated in the future operating environment, Wesley says, "that will require echelons above brigade, all of which will solve unique and distinct problems that a given BCT can't solve by itself."

Strategic challengers like Russia and China are synthesizing emerging technologies with their analysis of military doctrine and operations. They are deploying capabilities to fight the U.S. through multiple layers of stand-off in all domains -- space, cyber, air, sea, and land.

"If you don't dominate in all domains, you have to align them all the time, so you get a greater output than the separate parts," says Wesley.

"This idea of convergence means that we must be able to constantly advance the different domains throughout a campaign, which poses a test as many of these domains are controlled by other services or much higher echelons."

Synchronizing or creating convergence allows the joint force to create overmatch, Wesley added.

The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations, 2028 is the first step in our doctrinal evolution. It describes how U.S. Army forces, as part of the Joint Force, will militarily compete, penetrate, dis-integrate, and exploit our adversaries in the future.

The Army Futures Command hosted guests at the Defense Innovation Lounge as part of SXSW on March 8-12, 2019 at the Capital Factory in Austin, Texas.

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