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US Army Arctic Strategy: The Army in the Arctic

This next section summarizes the Army's strategic goals for its advancement in the Arctic. These goals build toward the Army's desired end state of being able to efficiently project multi-domain forces to fight and win in extreme cold weather.

Read the section on pages 20 - 29 here:

"A Strategic and Operational Framework

For the Army, the Arctic poses two challenges – as a place and an environment. It serves as a place where the Army, as part of the joint force, confronts our adversaries around the globe in competition. This requires us to adapt our posture to employ calibrated forces able to conduct multi-domain operations. As an environment, it poses additional challenge

from extreme temperature and terrain.

The Army will regain cold-weather and high-altitude dominance by adapting how the Army generates, postures, trains, and equips our forces to execute extended, multi- domain operations in extreme conditions.

Restoring dominance also mandates an inherently multi-component approach with significant contributions for the Army

Reserve and National Guard. The Army will implement integrated solutions that emphasis readiness for operations in extreme cold and mountainous environments and bolsters the resiliency of our people and our installations. The Army is committed to a Total Army approach to meeting Joint warfighter requirements in Arctic conditions around the globe.

This restored dominance provides options to the Joint Force Commander to employ decisive land capabilities in support

of operations.

This strategy lays out a strategic and operational approach for Army forces operating in the Arctic as part of the joint force and in conjunction with allies and partners. This is due to the efforts of great power competitors to build their capabilities in a region that is increasingly open for exploitation. However, reacting to challenges is not the only reason

for reexamining how Army forces operate in the Arctic. The adoption of multi-domain operations provides an opportunity the Army needs to exploit.

The tenets of multi-domain operations are the start point for examining how Army forces might operate in the Arctic in the future. Multi-domain formations, particularly those with extended ranges such as the Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF), have clear potential in the Arctic – an area of operations characterized by vast distances and where air and naval

avenues of approach are critical. MDTFs have significant potential to create anti-access/area denial challenges for competitors. For that potential to be realized, however, multi-domain formations must be able to converge their effects with the rest of the joint force and allies and partners. This is particularly difficult in the Arctic for both organizational

and technical reasons. The Arctic and sub-arctic incorporates portions of three combatant command areas of responsibility and network integration is difficult in extreme cold environments, high latitudes, and areas with little commercial infrastructure. Similarly, the exceptional logistical challenges posed by a remote, poorly developed, and extreme environment make calibrated force posture essential. The Army’s decision to place an MDTF in Alaska is the first step in setting the conditions for success. In Alaska, it will have the ability to take advantage of world-class training facilities and the presence of significant U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy forces to experiment and train multi-domain


The Army uses that analysis combined with an understanding of the operational environment, policy guidance including the Department of Defense Arctic Strategy, and demands from global and regional campaign and contingency plans, to articulate the strategic and operational approach for Army forces operating in the region:

• The Army will be able to project power from, within, and into the Arctic to conduct and sustain extended operations in

competition, crisis, and conflict from a position of advantage.

• The Army will employ calibrated force posture and multi-domain formations to defend the homeland and pose dilemmas for great power competitors.

• The Army will engage with and strengthen allies and partners to maintain regional stability.

There is also an additional institutional requirement:

• The Army will generate Arctic-capable forces ready to compete and win in extended operations in extreme cold

weather and high-altitude environments.

The Army will be able to project power from, within, and into the Arctic to conduct and sustain extended operations in competition, crisis, and conflict from a position of advantage."

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