FORT SHAFTER, Hawai’i - The 3rd Multi-Domain Task Force (3rd MDTF) completed its first Joint Pacific Multi-National Readiness Center (JPMRC) rotation from October 25 to November 7, 2023.
A little over one year after its activation, 3rd MDTF deployed multiple multi-domain cells across the Indo-Pacific in order to deliver fires and effects in support of JPMRC. Teams were located on the Pohakalua Training Area (PTA) on the island of Hawai’i, Kwajalein Atoll, and the Republic of Palau.
The JPMRC is the Army’s newest combat training center (CTC) in the Indo-Pacific and is similar to the National Training Center (NTC) and the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC). What sets JPMRC apart from other CTCs is that it allows U.S. Army Pacific Soldiers to train with the joint force as well as allies and partners in the regions and environments in which they are likely to operate. 3rd MDTF generates readiness through JPMRC to certify combat-credible formations, which are then sent throughout the Indo-Pacific via Operation Pathways. These formations promote regional deterrence, strengthen relationships, and build interior lines for the joint force.
During JPMRC 24-01, 3rd MDTF Soldiers conducted deep sensing operations, non-kinetic effects delivery from Kwajalein and PTA, and executed two High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) live-fire exercises in the Republic of Palau. These activities were synchronized through an agile command and control and intelligence process linked together through long-distance communications.
“JPMRC provides a realistic training environment replicating the terrain, weather, and vast distances inherent in military operations in the INDOPACIFIC. Through JPMRC and Operation Pathways, we are able to validate the command and control systems and processes necessary to effectively execute our core mission - delivery of fires and effects,” said Col. Michael Rose, commander of the 3rd MDTF.
From Kwajalein Atoll and PTA, Soldiers from the 3rd MDTF’s Multi-Domain Effects Battalion (MDEB) employed sensors, emitters, and effects delivery equipment to validate equipment and processes. The MDEB consists of cyber, electronic warfare, intelligence, and communications units and is tasked with integrating these capabilities into the joint force.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Little, the 3rd MDTF, MDEB Commander highlighted the importance of the MDEB to the MDTF and multi-domain operations, noting capabilities specific to the battalion.
“One thing that makes an MDTF unique from other Army organizations is the MDEB. Being able to employ cyber, EW, space, military intelligence, and signal Soldiers and equipment from one headquarters, in conjunction with kinetic capabilities, is the key to future military operations in a multi-domain environment,” said Little “During JPMRC we were able to test out some concepts and employ some capabilities and discover what works and what doesn’t.”
While emerging technology and capabilities are important, the non-commissioned officers and Soldiers of 3rd MDTF are the real drivers of mission success, according to the command’s senior non-commissioned officer Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Slater.
“We have amazing Soldiers who come ready to go to work and get after tackling difficult problem sets,” said Slater. Adding, “JPMRC enabled our team to leave home station and test its ability to conduct expeditionary deployment operations across the Pacific.”
JPMRC also allowed 3rd MDTF to work with other Army and Joint enablers and deepen ties with regional partners. 17th Field Artillery Brigade provided the firing unit and the 25th Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade unmanned aerial system (UAS) coverage for the live fire exercise.
The Republic of Palau hosted the HIMARS live fire and provided support and coordination to ensure that the exercise was conducted safely. Representatives of the national and local governments of Palau were vital to 3MDTF operations.
“I am here to provide the link between local agencies and the U.S. Military so that we can work together more efficiently,” said Palau’s National Security Coordinator, Jennifer Anson.
According to Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Slater, the people of Palau provided a warm welcome and assisted the 3rd MDTF whenever it was needed, “we really appreciate the hospitality and willingness to allow us to train in their country.”
Training in Palau highlights the importance of maintaining relationships with regional partners.
As U.S. Ambassador to Palau, Joel Ehrendreich stated after viewing the live fire, “The security cooperation between U.S. and Palau is vital for safety and stability. Coming out today is a great chance to observe how we go about making our country safe.”