The U.S. Army is considering creating an ”Arctic-capable brigade” that would focus on Alaska to deter adversaries China and Russia and protect American assets in the Far North.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville said Tuesday that the brigade, a force of about 2,000-5,000 soldiers in three to five battalions commanded by a brigadier general or colonel, would be part of its recently completed ”Arctic strategy,” the Army said on its website.
The strategy also includes transforming an existing two-star command in the region into an operational headquarters and creating a ”multi-domain task force” — a relatively new concept that gathers various capabilities including long-range missiles.
”It starts with recognizing where our national interests are and we certainly have national interests in the Arctic,” McConville said Tuesday during a meeting at the Association of the U.S. Army, according to Stars & Stripes. ”As the situation changes up there and there is more freedom of movement, we certainly want to make sure that we protect our interests.”
The Army’s Arctic strategy follows the Navy’s release of its updated planning earlier this month and is to be released in a few weeks.
The Navy’s strategy includes more port calls in the ”High North” and more training for operating in icy conditions.
”In the face of increasing aggressive activity in the High North from both Russia, which is an Arctic nation, and China, which claims to be a near Arctic nation, we in the United States must maintain a favorable balance of power in this region for ourselves and for our allies,” Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said following the service’s Jan. 5 strategy launch.
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