Task force

Last updated

A task force (TF) is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity. Originally introduced by the United States Navy, [1] the term has now caught on for general usage and is a standard part of NATO terminology. Many non-military organizations now create "task forces" or task groups for temporary activities that might have once been performed by ad hoc (designated purpose) committees.

Contents

The concept of a naval task force is as old as navies, and prior to that time the assembly of ships for naval operations was referred to as fleets, divisions, or on the smaller scale, squadrons, and flotillas.

Before World War II ships were collected into divisions derived from the Royal Navy's "division" of the line of battle in which one squadron usually remained under the direct command of the Admiral of the Fleet, one squadron was commanded by a Vice Admiral, and one by a Rear Admiral, each of the three squadrons flying different coloured flags, hence the terms flagship and flag officer. The flag of the Fleet Admiral's squadron was red, the Vice Admiral's was white and the Rear Admiral's blue. (The names "Vice" (possibly from advanced) and "Rear" might have derived from sailing positions within the line at the moment of engagement.) In the late 19th century ships were collected in numbered squadrons, which were assigned to named (such as the Asiatic Fleet) and later numbered fleets.

A task force can be assembled using ships from different divisions and squadrons, without requiring a formal and permanent fleet reorganization, and can be easily dissolved following completion of the operational task. The task force concept worked very well, and by the end of World War II about 100 task forces had been created in the U.S. Navy alone.[ citation needed ]

United States Navy

In the United States Navy, task forces are generally temporary organizations composed of particular ships, aircraft, submarines, military land forces, or shore service units, assigned to fulfill certain missions. The emphasis is placed on the individual commander of the unit, and references to "Commander, Task Force" ("CTF") are common.

History

In the U.S. Navy, task forces as part of numbered fleets have been assigned a two-digit number since March 1943, when Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet, Admiral Ernest J. King assigned odd fleets to those in the Pacific, and even fleets to those in the Atlantic.

The Second Fleet was assigned the Atlantic Fleet, with the Fourth Fleet being assigned to the South Atlantic Force, the Eighth Fleet being assigned to Naval Forces, Northwest African waters, and the Twelfth Fleet assigned to the Naval Forces, Europe. [2]

The United States Navy has used numbered task forces in the same way since 1945. The U.S. Department of Defense often forms a Joint Task Force if the force includes units from other services. Joint Task Force 1 was the atomic bomb test force during the post–World War II Operation Crossroads. [3]

In naval terms, the multinational (Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand) Combined Communications Electronics Board mandates through Allied Communications Publication 113 (ACP 113) the present system, which allocated numbers from 1 to 834. [4] For example, the Royal Navy's Illustrious battle group in 2000 for Exercise Linked Seas, subsequently deployed to Operation Palliser, was Task Group 342.1. [5] The French Navy is allocated the series TF 470–474, and Task Force 473 has been used recently for an Enduring Freedom task force deployment built around the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91). Task Force 142 is the U.S. Navy's Operational Test and Evaluation Force.

Designation

The first digit of a task force designation is that of its parent fleet while the second is sequential. A task force may be made up of groups, each made up of units. Task groups within a force are numbered by an additional digit separated from the TF number by a decimal point. Task units within a group are indicated by an additional decimal. For example, "the third task unit of the fifth task group of the second task force of the Sixth Fleet would be numbered 62.5.3." This system extends further to task elements, individual ships in a task group. This arrangement was typically abbreviated, so references like TF 11 are commonly seen. [6] Task units are sometimes nicknamed "Taffy", as in "Taffy 3" of Task Force 77, formally Task Unit 77.4.3. There is no requirement for uniqueness over time (e.g., the United States Seventh Fleet used TF 76 in World War II, and off Vietnam, and continued to use TF 70–79 numberings throughout the rest of the twentieth century, and up to 2012).

List

United States Marine Corps

See Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) for a description of the three standard combined arms task force organizations employed by the USMC.

Royal Navy

Earlier in the Second World War, the British Royal Navy had already devised its own system of Forces, they mainly assigned a letter occasionally a number some of the task forces are listed below .

Lettered task forces

Originally stationed at Malta took part in the Battle of Calabria [7] in 1940 it transferred Trincomalee and was a component of the (fast force) of the Eastern Fleet during the Indian Ocean raid April to May 1942.

Originally stationed at Malta, took part in the Battle of Calabria on 9 July 1940, took part in the Battle of Cape Spartivento, 27 November 1940, was involved in the First Battle of Sirte, 17 December 1941 it then moved to Trincomalee in March 1942 was a component (slow force) of the Eastern Fleet during the Indian Ocean raid April to May 1942.

Formed as part of a number of hunting task groups on 5 October 1939 as a prelude to Battle of the River Plate, 13 December 1939 and part of the South America Division after which it was stationed at, Gibraltar, took part in Operation Catapult, 3 July 1940, took part in Operation Rheinübung 19 May - 15 June 1941.

Part of a number of hunting task groups on 5 October 1939 as a prelude to Battle of the River Plate, 13 December 1939 based in Freetown it was then stationed at, Malta, took part in the Battle of the Tarigo Convoy, 16 April 1941, was involved in the First Battle of Sirte, 17 December 1941 then moved to Freetown in December 1941.

Numbered task forces

Formed to deal with the Tirpitz Sortie against convoys PQ 12 and QP8, 6–13 March 1942.

Formed 13 May 1945 and took part in the Battle off Penang - the Battle of the Malacca Strait. [8]

  • Task Force 57, later renamed Task Force 37 (USN-allocated names for a Carrier Battle Group of the British Pacific Fleet in 1945). [9]

Post-World War II

During Operation Corporate of the Falklands War in 1982 Royal Navy forces assembled as Task Force 317, often referred to in general use as "The Task Force", to achieve sea and air supremacy in the Falklands Total Exclusion Zone, before the amphibious forces arrived. [10]

French Navy

The French Navy uses the name Task Force 473 to designate any power projection by the sea. This Task Force can be composed of a carrier battle group articulated around the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, or it can be composed of an amphibious group articulated around a Mistral-class amphibious assault ship. [11]

Other

In Argentina, Navy Task Units of Task Group (Grupo de Tareas) G.T.3.3  [ es ] were responsible for thousands of instances of forced disappearance, torture and illegal execution of Argentine civilians, many of whom were incarcerated in the Higher School of Mechanics of the Navy detention center during the 1976–1983 military dictatorship. [12]

During the Falklands War in 1982 the Argentine Navy formed three smaller Grupos de Tareas (Task Groups) for pincer movements against the Royal Navy.

Army

In the U.S. Army, a task force is a battalion-sized (usually, although there are variations in size) ad hoc unit formed by attaching smaller elements of other units. A company-sized unit with an armored or mechanized infantry unit attached is called a company team. A similar unit at the brigade level is called a brigade combat team (BCT), and there is also a similar Regimental combat team (RCT).

In the British Army and the armies of other Commonwealth countries, such units are traditionally known as battlegroups.

The 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) was a brigade-sized formation which commanded Australian and New Zealand Army units deployed to South Vietnam between 1966 and 1972. [13] More recently, Australian task forces have been designated to cover temporary support elements such the battalion-sized force which operated in Urozgan Province, Afghanistan from 2006 to 2013, [14] and the Northern Territory Emergency Response Task Force. [15]

Government

In government or business a task force is a temporary organization created to solve a particular problem. It is considered to be a more formal ad hoc committee.

A taskforce, or more commonly, task force, is a special committee, usually of experts, formed expressly for the purpose of studying a particular problem. The task force usually performs some sort of an audit to assess the current situation, then draws up a list of all the current problems present and evaluates which ones merit fixing and which ones are actually fixable. The task force would then formulate a set of solutions to the problems and pick the "best" solution to each problem, as determined by some set of standards. For example, a task force set up to eliminate excessive government spending might consider a "best" solution to be one that saves the most money. Normally, the task force then presents its findings and proposed solutions to the institution that called for its formation; it is then up to the institution itself to actually act upon the task force's recommendations.

Business

In business, task forces are initiated similar to military situations to form an ad hoc group of persons that focus on a specific subject, which needs urgent addressing, resolutions or results. [16] Subject-specific task forces are very common. [17] NASA lessons contain information from different task forces. [18] This can be seen specifically in the COVID-19 crisis, but in many normal project contexts as well, where a dedicated group of experts investigates or takes on a specific request or problem and develops or translates it into results as quick as possible. It is important to know that a task force in project context should stick to certain rules, which have to be coordinated and controlled by a assigned task force leader or by the project manager. [19] Good leadership is a key element of the task force leader, as it is usually asking an extra effort from all resources involved. [20]

Other data regarding US task forces

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spanish Navy</span> Naval warfare branch of Spains military

The Spanish Navy or just and officially, the Armada, is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces and one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Spanish navy was responsible for a number of major historic achievements in navigation, the most famous being the voyages of Christopher Columbus to America and the first global circumnavigation by Magellan and Elcano. For several centuries, it played a crucial logistical role in the expansion and consolidation of the Spanish Empire, and defended a vast trade network across the Atlantic Ocean between the Americas and Europe, and the Manila Galleon across the Pacific Ocean between Manila and the Americas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Pacific Fleet</span> Theater-level component command of the United States Navy

The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is a theater-level component command of the United States Navy, located in the Pacific Ocean. It provides naval forces to the Indo-Pacific Command. Fleet headquarters is at Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Hawaii, with large secondary facilities at Naval Air Station North Island, California.

USS <i>Washington</i> (BB-56) Fast battleship of the United States Navy

USS Washington (BB-56) was the second and final member of the North Carolina class of fast battleships, the first vessel of the type built for the United States Navy. Built under the Washington Treaty system, North Carolina's design was limited in displacement and armament, though the United States used a clause in the Second London Naval Treaty to increase the main battery from the original armament of nine 14 in (356 mm) guns to nine 16 in (406 mm) guns. The ship was laid down in 1938 and completed in May 1941, while the United States was still neutral during World War II. Her initial career was spent training along the East Coast of the United States until after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, bringing the United States into the war.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Fleet Forces Command</span> Service component command of the United States Navy

The United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF) is a service component command of the United States Navy that provides naval forces to a wide variety of U.S. forces. The naval resources may be allocated to Combatant Commanders such as United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) under the authority of the Secretary of Defense. Originally formed as United States Atlantic Fleet (USLANTFLT) in 1906, it has been an integral part of the defense of the United States of America since the early 20th century. In 2002, the Fleet comprised over 118,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel serving on 186 ships and in 1,300 aircraft, with an area of responsibility ranging over most of the Atlantic Ocean from the North Pole to the South Pole, the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the waters of the Pacific Ocean along the coasts of Central and South America.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Sixth Fleet</span> Numbered fleet of the United States Navy

The Sixth Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy operating as part of United States Naval Forces Europe. The Sixth Fleet is headquartered at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy. The officially stated mission of the Sixth Fleet in 2011 is that it "conducts the full range of Maritime Operations and Theater Security Cooperation missions, in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other parties, in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa." The current commander of the Sixth Fleet is Vice Admiral Eugene H. Black III.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fast Carrier Task Force</span> Primary striking force of the US Navy in the Pacific War

The Fast Carrier Task Force, was the main striking force of the United States Navy in the Pacific War from January 1944 through the end of the war in August 1945. The task force was made up of several separate task groups, each typically built around three to four aircraft carriers and their supporting vessels. The support vessels were screening destroyers, cruisers, and the newly built fast battleships.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Seventh Fleet</span> Numbered fleet of the United States Navy

The Seventh Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy. It is headquartered at U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the United States Pacific Fleet. At present, it is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with 50 to 70 ships, 150 aircraft and 27,000 Sailors and Marines. Its principal responsibilities are to provide joint command in natural disaster or military operations and operational command of all US naval forces in the region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Russian Naval Infantry</span> Military unit

The Russian Naval Infantry, often referred to as Russian Marines in the West, operate as the naval infantry of the Russian Navy. Established in 1705, they are capable of conducting amphibious operations as well as operating as more traditional light infantry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Fifth Fleet</span> Numbered fleet of the United States Navy

The Fifth Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy. It has been responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean since 1995 after a 48-year hiatus. It shares a commander and headquarters with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) in Bahrain. Fifth Fleet/NAVCENT is a component command of, and reports to, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Second Fleet</span> Numbered fleet of the United States Navy

The United States Second Fleet is a numbered fleet in the United States Navy responsible for the East Coast and North Atlantic Ocean. The Fleet was established following World War II. In September 2011, Second Fleet was deactivated in view of the United States Government's perception that the potential military threat posed by Russia had diminished. On 4 May 2018, Admiral John M. Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, announced plans to reestablish Second Fleet amid heightened tensions between NATO and Russia. It was reestablished on 24 August 2018, with Vice Admiral Andrew "Woody" Lewis in command.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Soviet Navy</span> Maritime service branch of the Soviet Armed Forces

The Soviet Navy was the naval warfare uniform service branch of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy made up a large part of the Soviet Union's strategic planning in the event of a conflict with the opposing superpower, the United States, during the Cold War period between the two countries. The Soviet Navy played a large role during the Cold War (1945-1991), either confronting the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in western Europe or power projection to maintain its sphere of influence in eastern Europe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of the Coral Sea order of battle</span>

The Battle of the Coral Sea, a major engagement of the Pacific Theatre of World War II, was fought 4–8 May 1942 in the waters east of New Guinea and south of the Bismarck Islands between elements of the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States (U.S.) and Australia.

USS <i>Halsey Powell</i> Fletcher-class destroyer

USS Halsey Powell (DD-686), was a Fletcher-class destroyer of the United States Navy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Task Force 20</span> Military unit

Task Force 20 is a temporary combat force designation that has been used several times and may still used by separate parts of the United States armed forces. The longer-established iteration was a part of the United States Second Fleet in the Atlantic from after the Second World War. This was part of the formal United States Military Communications-Electronic Board system.

USS <i>Worden</i> (DD-352) Farragut-class destroyer

The third USS Worden (DD-352) was a Farragut-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was named for John Lorimer Worden.

USS <i>McDermut</i> (DD-677) Fletcher-class destroyer

USS McDermut (DD-677) was a Fletcher-class destroyer of the United States Navy, the second Navy ship named for Lieutenant Commander David A. McDermut.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Task Force 77 (United States Navy)</span> US Navy aircraft carrier battle force

For decades, Task Force 77 was the aircraft carrier battle/strike force of the United States Seventh Fleet in the United States Navy (USN) since the U.S. Seventh Fleet was formed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Naval Forces Central Command</span> Military unit

United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) is the United States Navy element of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM). Its area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea. It consists of the United States Fifth Fleet and several other subordinate task forces, including Combined Task Force 150, Combined Task Force 158 and others.

USS <i>Windsor</i> (APA-55)

USS Windsor (APA-55) was a Windsor-class attack transport in service with the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946. She was scrapped in 1972.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Invasion of Salamaua–Lae</span>

The invasion of Salamaua–Lae, called Operation SR by the Japanese, was an operation by Imperial Japanese forces to occupy the Salamaua–Lae area in the Territory of New Guinea during the Pacific campaign of World War II. The Japanese invaded and occupied the location in order to construct an airfield and establish a base to cover and support the advance of Japanese forces into the eastern New Guinea and Coral Sea areas. The small Australian garrison in the area withdrew as the Japanese landed and did not contest the invasion.

References

  1. Robinson, Colin D. (January 2020). "The U.S. Navy's task forces: 1–199". Defence and Security Analysis. 36 (1): 109–110. doi:10.1080/14751798.2020.1712028. S2CID   213678034.
  2. "Chapter 4: Fleet Administration". iBiblio.
  3. Nichols, K. D. (1987). The Road to Trinity. New York: Morrow. ISBN   068806910X.
  4. Combined Communication Electronics Board (September 2004). "Annex A: Task Force Allocations" (PDF). ACP 113(AF) Call Sign Book for Ships. Joint Chiefs of Staff. pp. A-1–A-2 (197–198). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 28, 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  5. Operations in Sierra Leone, August 9, 2000, Jane's Defence Weekly .
  6. "Group". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  7. Rohwer, J.; Masters, G. Hümmelchen. (1974). Chronology of the War at sea, 1939-1945 . Translated by Derek (from the German) (English ed.). New York: Arco. ISBN   0668033088.
  8. Mountbatten, John Winton ; with a foreword by Earl (1978). Sink the Haguro! : the last destroyer action of the Second World War. London: Seeley, Service. p. 28. ISBN   0854221522.
  9. Hobbs, David (2011). The British Pacific Fleet: the Royal Navy's most powerful strike force. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN   978-1591140443.
  10. "British Task Force - Falklands War 1982". Naval History. 31 May 2013.
  11. https://www.defense.gouv.fr/actualites/operations/libye-qu-est-ce-que-la-task-force-473 [ dead link ]
  12. "Declaración de Jorge Enrique Perren ante el juez Bonadio" [Testimony of Jorge Enrique Perren before judge Bonadio]. Derechos.org (in Spanish). 30 August 2001. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  13. Horner 2008, p. 177.
  14. Brangwin, Nicole; Rann, Anne (16 July 2010). "Australia's military involvement in Afghanistan since 2001: a chronology". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  15. "Operation OUTREACH". Global Operations. Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  16. Bortal, Karim (2016), Bortal, Karim (ed.), "Task Force", Task Force Management: Leitfaden für Manager (in German), Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 1–34, doi:10.1007/978-3-662-46728-2_1, ISBN   978-3-662-46728-2
  17. "Quality Management | PMI". www.pmi.org. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  18. Hoffpauir, Daniel (2015-04-30). "NASA Lessons Learned". NASA. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  19. "Tips For Leading an Effective Taskforce". www.projectmanagement.com. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  20. "The Secret of Task Force Management in 5 Steps". Gamelearn: Game-based learning courses for soft skills training. 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2020-07-17.

Further reading