WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army is sending two new units to Europe — a Multidomain Task Force and a Theater Fires Command — in a much anticipated move.

The two formations, making up about 500 soldiers, will arrive “in the coming months,” according to a statement from U.S. Army Europe and Africa released April 13. This will bring 750 family members to U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden in Germany.

The MDTF unit is set up to activate on Sept. 16 this year and the Theater Fires Command will activate a month later, the statement notes.

The Army has long talked about bringing an MDTF unit to Europe after the first of its kind continues to prove its utility in the Indo-Pacific theater and has been active in high profile exercises there. The first MDTF was set up to experiment with the Army’s warfighting concept Multidomain Operations and now the Army has determined such units will be useful in an operational capacity and has plans to set up an MDTF in the Arctic, a second one in the Pacific and a third one that will deploy where necessary.

Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa called earlier this year for such a unit as well as a Theater Fires Command.

“The Multi-Domain Task Force-Europe will be comprised of field artillery; composite air and missile defense; intelligence, cyberspace, electronic warfare and space; aviation and a brigade support element. The Theater Fires Command will improve readiness and multi-national interoperability by integrating joint and multi-national fires in exercises and operations, in support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa,” the statement reads.

“The Theater Fires Command and Multi-Domain Task Force in Europe will enable U.S. Army Europe and Africa to synchronize joint fires and effects, control future long range fires across all domains and will create more space, cyber and electronic warfare capabilities in Europe,” Col. Joe Scrocca, the spokesman for U.S. Army Europe and Africa, said.

The Army in Europe will also retain three sites “previously scheduled to be returned to the German government due to growing operational requirements in the European theater.”

President Trump had plans to drawdown U.S. troop presence in Europe against the advisement of military leaders, lawmakers and defense and national security experts.

The sites that will be retained are Mainz Kastel Station and Mainz Kastel Housing in Mainz-Kastel, and Dagger Complex in Darmstadt, according to the statement.

“Our operational requirements are outpacing facility construction and renovations as we continue to work through setting facility conditions for the new units we expect to receive as Army approves the structure. We are thankful for all of our host nation employees, without whom we could not accomplish our important mission,” the statement says.

“New strategies and a continuously changing operations environment requires more capacity to ensure we have the necessary infrastructure for increased capabilities to support our Allies and partners,” Maj. Gen. Chris Mohan, commanding general for 21st Theater Sustainment Command, said. “We’ve worked closely with German officials to come to an agreement on retaining these sites and are very appreciative of their continued support.”

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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