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JTF redirects here. For other uses, see JTF (disambiguation).

A joint task force is a 'joint' (multi-service) ad hoc military formation. The task force concept originated with the United States Navy around the beginning of the Second World War in the Pacific. 'Combined' is the British-American military term for multi-national formations.

  • CTF - Commander Task Force, sometimes Combined Task Force
  • CCTF - Commander Combined Task Force
  • CJTF - Combined Joint Task Force

There are two ways in which a U.S. or U.S.-allied task force may be assigned a number. The first is the originally naval scheme promulgated and governed by the U.S. Military Communications-Electronic Board, chaired by the Joint Staff J6. Task force numbers allocated under this scheme form the majority of the listings below.

The second is a by-product of the U.S. Army's procedure for forming task-organised forces for combat, differing from strictly doctrinally assigned table of organization and equipment organizations. A battalion, company, or brigade commander has very wide latitude in selecting a task force name,[1] though often the name of the commander is used (e.g. Task Force Faith). This has often resulted in derivations from the originator unit's numerical designation being used. For example, when a special operations aviation unit was being formed in the late 1970s, the original unit drew heavily on personnel from the 158th Aviation. The designation chosen was Task Force 158, which later grew to become the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

No coordination appears to occur between U.S. Army task forces designated in this way, and the USMCEB scheme. This has resulted in simultaneous designations being used at the same time. For example, Combined Joint Task Force 76, possibly derived from the 76th Infantry Brigade, was in use in Afghanistan in 2004, but doubling up on the Task Force 76 designation used for decades by Amphibious Force, United States Seventh Fleet, in north Asia.

Numbered USMCEB joint task forces

Allied Communications Publication 113: Call Signs Book for Ships in its Annex B lists allocations of task force numbers from 1 to approximately 1000, allocated by the United States Military Communications-Electronic Board in blocks for use by the United States Department of Defense and allies.

Norman Polmar notes in Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, 2005, that the task forces under the commanders of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleet are mainly for contingency purposes.[2] They are employed for specific operations and exercises.

Joint task force Abbrev. Who Notes
Joint Task Force 1 001 JTF-1 US Operation Crossroads
Joint Task Force 2 002 JTF-2 US/CAN In September 1964, Major General George Brown was selected to organize and command JTF-2, a Joint Chiefs of Staff organization formed at Sandia Base, New Mexico, to the test the services' weapon systems. It was staffed by personnel of all three services.[3] Low Altitude Program nuclear test organisation, 1965-70.[4] In 1990s seemingly transferred to Canada, possibly completely out of USMCEB formal system for use by Canadian special forces. The Canadian SOF unit that took this designation was formed on 1 April 1993.
Joint Task Force 3 003 JTF-3 US Formed late 1949 in preparation for Operation Greenhouse nuclear test series.[5]
Joint Task Force 4 004 JTF-4 US Drug interdiction task force in Caribbean Sea from December 1989. Became Joint Interagency Task Force East on 1 October 1994.[6] Later amalgamated into Joint Interagency Task Force South in 1994.
Joint Task Force 5 005 JTF-5 US Drug interdiction task force at Coast Guard Island, Alameda, California, from December 1989. Later became Joint Interagency Task Force West.
Joint Task Force 6 006 JTF-6 US Drug interdiction task force at El Paso, Texas, from December 1989. Became Joint Task Force North in 2004. Now seemingly Task Force 6, the naval component commander, U.S. Africa Command, an additional duty post for Commander, Sixth Fleet.[7]
Joint Task Force 7 007 JTF-7 US Operation Sandstone, a series of nuclear weapon tests in 1948.
Combined Joint Task Force 7 007 CJTF-7 US CJTF 7 was the interim military formation that directed the U.S. military effort in Iraq between June 2003 and May 2004. Previously used for Operation Castle atomic tests in the 1940s-1950s
Joint Task Force 8 008 JTF-8 US Operation Dominic nuclear test organisation, April–November 1962.[citation needed]
Joint Task Force 11 011 JTF-11 US During World War II, Task Force 11 was a United States Navy aircraft carrier task force in the Pacific theater.
JTF at Soto Cano Air Base, 1983. By 1984 redesignated Joint Task Force Bravo
Task Force 12 012 TF-12 US Theater Anti-Submarine Warfare Force, Pacific / Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, Pacific (PATRECONFORPAC).[8]
Task Force 16 016 TF-16 US Maritime Defense Zone, U.S. Pacific Fleet, commanded by a Coast Guard officer (2005).[2] Previously celebrated carrier task force during World War II.
Task Force 17 017 TF-17 US Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet (2005).[2] Previously celebrated carrier task force during World War II.
Task Force 18 018 TF-18 US Sealift forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet (2005).[2] USS Hornet (CV-8)'s task force for 1942 Doolittle Raid.
Task Force 20 020 TF-20 US Deputy Commander, Fleet and Joint Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, with responsibility for subordinate seagoing formations, until 1 October 2012.
Task Force 21 021 TF-21 US Transformation of the United States Army
Task Forces 30-39 030 TF-30 US All allocated to United States Third Fleet
Task Force 31 031 TF-31 US
Task Force 37 037 TF-37 US
Task Force 38 038 TF-38 US Fast Carrier Task Force, World War II (Also Task Force 38.3)
Task Force 44 044 TF-44 US
Task Forces 50-57 050 TF-50 US All allocated to United States Fifth Fleet
Task Force 57 057 TF-57 US
Task Force 58 058 TF-58 US Recently Maritime Surveillance Force in the North Persian Gulf. Fast Carrier Task Force, World War II.
Task Force 60 060 TF-60 US United States Sixth Fleet; Battle Force from c.1950s-c.2010
Task Force 61 061 TF-61 US United States Sixth Fleet
Task Force 67 067 TF-67 US
Task Force 73 073 TF-73 US Commander, Logistics Group, Western Pacific, Seventh Fleet, Singapore.
Task Force 74 074 TF-74 US Submarine Force, U.S. Seventh Fleet. Previously Enterprise task force during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
Task Force 76 076 TF-76 US Amphibious Force, United States Seventh Fleet. CJTF 76 was a designation given to a division-sized U.S. Army task force in Afghanistan, seemingly outside the formal USMCEB system.
Task Force 77 077 TF-77 US Carrier Striking Force, United States Seventh Fleet. Currently built around Carrier Strike Group Five.

ALSO: Former Task Force 145

Task Force 80 080 TF-80 US TF-80 is currently the Maritime Headquarters component for the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Task Force 180 redirects to TF-80
Combined Joint Task Force 82 082 CJTF-82 US
Task Force 84 084 TF-84 US Seemingly Anti-Submarine Warfare Force, Atlantic (ASWFORLANT).[9]
Task Force 88 088 TF-88 US Used during World War II for Task Force 88 (Operation Dragoon); after World War II for Task Force 88 (Operation Argus). Also used by a USSOCOM task force, seemingly not within the USMCEB numbering scheme.
Task Force 90 090 TF-90 US
Task Force 91 091 TF-91 US U.S. Naval Forces Alaska, commanded by Commander 17th Coast Guard District, United States Coast Guard.[citation needed]
Task Force 93 093 TF-93 US Commander Alaskan Sea Frontier, late 1960s. Rear Admiral Donald M. White during SS Robert Louis Stevenson sinking incident, late 1960s.[10]
Task Force 100 100, TFTF 100 US Involved in USS Liberty incident, 1967. Previously at times held by Deputy Commander-in-Chief United States Naval Forces Europe (DCINCUSNAVEUR).
Combined Joint Task Force - 101 101, CJTFCJTF 101 US (Refer Combined Joint Task Force 82)
Task Forces 102-109 102, TFTF 102 US All now seemingly allocated to United States Tenth Fleet.[11]
Task Force 115 115, TFTF 115 US Coastal Surveillance Force, Naval Forces Vietnam[12]
Task Force 116 116, TFTF 116 US River Patrol Force, Naval Forces Vietnam
Task Force 117 117, TFTF 117 US Mobile Riverine Force, Naval Forces Vietnam
Joint Task Force 120 120, JTFJTF 120 US In times of crisis and during certain exercises, Commander Second Fleet became Commander, JTF 120. This joint task force drew from the Atlantic Fleet, U.S. Army airborne and air assault units, U.S. Air Force aircraft and support personnel, U.S. Marine Corps amphibious forces, and at times, the United States Coast Guard. Ran Operation Uphold Democracy, the invasion of Grenada in 1982.
Task Force 121 121, TFTF 121 US Task Force 1099 also redirects to Task Force 121.
Task Force 124 124, TFTF 124 US Strategic Communications Wing One,[13] Tinker AFB, Oklahoma (E-6A Mercury aircraft)
Task Force 125 125, TFTF 125 US Designation for Commander, Western Hemisphere Group, when acting as a naval component commander for U.S. Southern Command. Obsolete.[14]
Task Force 130 130, TFTF 130 US Manned Spacecraft Recovery Force, Pacific, for Project Apollo. Flagship USS Arlington (AGMR-2).
Task Force 134 134, TFTF 134 US Commander, Task Force 134, COMSUBPAC, is an operational commander responsible to USSTRATCOM for strategic deterrent submarine operations.[15]
Task Force 136 136, TFTF 136 US Under the commander of Commander, Second Fleet, was quarantine force during Cuban Missile Crisis.[16] Led for a time by Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 2 aboard USS Canberra.
Task Force 140 140, TFTF 140 US Project Mercury Recovery Force (early 1960s), later Manned Spacecraft Recovery Force, Atlantic (for Apollo 9). In 1980s, as JTF 140, designation for Second Fleet for Caribbean contingency operations. Ocean Venture '90 was a JCS directed field exercise sponsored by the U.S. Atlantic Command and executed by JTF 140, a standing JTF assigned to LANTCOM which had existed since 1979.[17] Utilised for Haiti operations during 1994.[6]
Task Force 144 144, TFTF 144 US CTF 144, Commander Submarine Forces/COMSUBLANT. Operational commander for Atlantic ballistic missile submarines, responsible to Commander, U.S. Strategic Command.
Task Force 145 145, TFTF 145 US
Task Force 151 151, TFTF 151 US Combined Maritime Forces
Joint Task Force 160 160, JTFJTF 160 US Directed Operation Sea Signal. This humanitarian operation receiving Haitian refugees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, took place from August 1994 to February 1996.[18]
Task Force 160 was a non-USMCEB, U.S. Army allocation.
Combined Joint Task Force-180 180, JTFJTF 180 US Appears to be the permanently assigned designator for HQ XVIII Airborne Corps when operating as a combined joint task force or joint task force, for example in Afghanistan after 2002. Task Force 180 redirects to Task Force 80
Task Force 214 214, TFTF 214 US Twentieth Air Force, while acting as the ICBM task force for United States Strategic Command
Task Force 294 294, TFTF 294 US U.S. Air Force air refueling forces while acting as a task force for United States Strategic Command
Task Force 301 301, TFTF 301 CAN Royal Canadian Navy, Atlantic Coast
Task Force 311 311, TFTF 311 UK Commander, Task Force 311 (CTF-311), located in Northwood, Middlesex, is the Royal Navy's sole submarine operating authority (SUBOPAUTH). CTF-311 maintains operational control of all Britain's attack submarines, wherever they may be.[19]
Task Force 317 317, TFTF 317 UK Falklands Task Force; see British naval forces in the Falklands War
Task Force 345 345, TFTF 345 UK UK Mediterranean naval task force during Suez Crisis of 1956.[20] Now is reported as '..CTF 345 is the organisation that provides command and control of the UK deterrent' at Northwood Headquarters. Rear Admiral Ian Corder commanded the task force as of September 2012.[21]
Task Force 373 373, TFTF 373 US JSOC or SOCCENT special operations forces task force in Afghanistan
Task Force 402 402, TFTF 402 US
Joint Task Force 435 435, JTFJTF 435 US (Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435) Afghanistan theatre detention operations
Task Force 473 473, TFTF 473 France Seemingly permanently assigned to the carrier battle group ('aeronaval group') build around Charles de Gaulle. Part of Force d'action navale.
Task Force 508 508, TFTF 508 NATO (or member) As of late 2013, Operation Ocean Shield Somali counter-piracy force. CTF 508 was Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz del Rio on board flagship ALVARO DE BAZAN on 14 January 2014.[22]
Joint Task Force 510 510, JTFJTF 510 US Special Operations Command Pacific standing joint task force for rapid deployment. Involved in Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines, 2002.
Joint Task Force 622 622, JTFJTF 622 AUS Operation VIC FIRE ASSIST[23]
Joint Task Force 627 627, JTFJTF 627 AUS SUBmarine Search And Rescue (SUBSAR)[24] May be designator for Commander Australian Fleet; CTF 627 was allocated to this officer under his previous title of Maritime Commander Australia in 1999-2000.
Joint Task Force 630 630, JTFJTF 630 AUS Op Larry Assist after Cyclone Larry, March 2006. Commander was Mick Slater.
Joint Task Force 631 631, JTFJTF 631 AUS Operation Astute - Timor Leste International Stabilisation Force
Joint Task Force 633 633, JTFJTF 633 AUS HQJTF 633, based in the United Arab Emirates, provides command and control of all ADF elements deployed throughout the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) as part of Operation Slipper. JTF 633 is commanded by Major General Craig Orme.[25] Previous commanders have included MAJGEN Stuart Smith. Included Security Detachment Iraq
Joint Task Force 634 634, JTFJTF 634 AUS Supported 2007 Melbourne APEC Conference.[26] Commander: Brigadier Andrew Smith, Cdr 7th Brigade.
Joint Task Force 637 637, JTFJTF 637 AUS Operation Kiribati Assist; Operation Queensland Flood Assist
Joint Task Force 639 639, JTFJTF 639 AUS Op Resolute - Border Protection Command
Joint Task Force 645 645, JTFJTF 645 AUS CHOGM 2001, CHOGM 2002[27]
Joint Task Force 662 662, JTFJTF 662 AUS Vic Bushfires?
Joint Task Force 663 663, JTFJTF 663 AUS Operation Render Safe 2011.[28] HMAS Gascoyne, HMAS Diamantina, HMNZS Resolution (A14), HMNZS Wellington.
Joint Task Force 664 664, JTFJTF 664 AUS Operation Yasi Assist
Joint Task Force 665 665, JTFJTF 665 AUS (JTF 665 Commander Brigadier David Saul)
Joint Task Force 950 950, JTFJTF 950 US Commander, Second Fleet whilst in a training role.[29]
Task Force 1099 US (See Task Force 121)

Named joint task forces

Joint task force Abbrev. Who Notes
Joint Task Force-Alaska JTF-AK US
Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee JTF-AFIC US
Joint Task Force Aztec Silence US
Joint Task Force Bravo JTF-B US Central America operations from Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras
Joint Task Force Caring Response US
Joint Task Force Central CAN
Joint Task Force-Civil Support JTF-CS US
Joint Task Force East US
Joint Task Force for Elimination JTF-E US Joint Task Force for Elimination of WMD (JTF-E)
Joint Task Force Full Accounting US
Joint Task Force Gator US
Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations JTF-GNO US Critical infrastructure protection. (Evolved from JTF-CND, then JTF-CNO)
Joint Task Force Gold JTF Gold AUS Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games
Joint Task Force Guantanamo JTF-GTMO US
Joint Task Force Haiti US
Joint Task Force-Homeland Defense JTF-HD US
Joint Task Force Katrina US
Joint Task Force Lebanon JTF-L US
Joint Task Force Liberia JTF Liberia US
Joint Task Force National Capital Region/Medical JTF CapMed US
Joint Task Force (North) JTF(N) CAN
Joint Task Force North US
Joint Task Force OMEGA JTF OMEGA Columbia Military of Colombia JTF in support of US funded Plan Patriota
Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa CJTF-HOA US
Joint Task Force Rita US
Task force Abbrev. Who Notes
Task Force ALBA Swiss Humanitarian operation in Albania during 1999.
Task Force Aegis US Redirects to Combined Joint Task Force 82
Task Force Alpha UK Redirects to 7th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)
Task Force Baum US Concentration camp rescue force "set up by U.S. Army general George S. Patton"
Task Force Bayonet US Task Force Bayonet (disambiguation)
Task Force Black US Redirects to Task Force 88 (anti-terrorist unit)
Task Force Blue US United States Navy SEALs
Task Force Danbi South Korea Haiti earthquake relief 2010
Task Force Eagle NATO IFOR
Task Force East US US European Command initiative to strengthen relationships with Eastern European allies
Task Force Faith US US Army unit during the Korean War
Task Force Falcon (US) US US Army Task Force serving as part of KFOR in Kosovo
Task Force Frigid US After World War II, the War Department decided that U.S. Army personnel must be able to live and operate in any degree of cold.[30] A group of task forces was therefore organized to test U.S. Army equipment in the cold. Task Force Frigid and Task Force Williwaw were dispatched to what is now Fort Greely, Alaska during the winters of 1946 and 1947.
Task Force Harvest NATO Operation Essential Harvest
Task Force Hawk US Kosovo
Task Force Helmand NATO Part of ISAF in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Task Force K-Bar US "The first major ground deployment in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan"
Task Force Kandahar NATO ISAF in Kandahar, Afghanistan
Task Force Kean UN North Korea
Task Force Leatherneck US Located at Camp Leatherneck, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Marine Air-Ground Task Force currently operating in Helmand Province. 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade during 2009-10 for Operation Enduring Freedom. Also used by the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions during their deployments to Afghanistan
Task Force Libeccio CAN Operation Mobile#Royal Canadian Air Force - 2011 military intervention in Libya.
Task Force Lightning US 25th Infantry Division (United States)
Task Force Manchu US Second Battle of Naktong Bulge#The end of Task Force Manchu
Task Force Mustang US Combat Aviation Brigade, 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard
Task Force ODIN US US Army aviation battalion created to combat improvised explosive devices in Iraq
Task Force Phoenix CJTF Phoenix US Initially organized by CENTCOM to train and mentor the newly created Afghan National Security Forces
Task Force Ranger US Battle of Mogadishu (1993)#Task Force Ranger
Task Force Scorpio Swiss Biological and chemical response team activated during the first Gulf War - not deployed
Task Force Shield US/UK/Iraq Set up in 2003 to provide security for Iraq's critical oil infrastructure
Task Force Sinai US U.S. element of Multinational Force and Observers (MFO)
Task Force Smith US Battle of Osan#Task Force Smith
Task Force Tarawa US The 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade during the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Task Force Taro US 3rd Marine Regiment (United States)
Task Force Trinity US 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines
Task Force Tripoli US USMC air ground task force formed after the fall of Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Task Force Uruzgan Netherlands Part of NATO's Regional Command South, ISAF, Afghanistan
Task Force Viking US Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – North (CJSOTF–N), also known as Task Force Viking, was the U.S. joint task force responsible for the northern front during the initial period of the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Task Force White Eagle ? A brigade sized detachment of Polish Land Forces in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The brigade is under the command of the US 1st Cavalry Division.


See also

  • Taskforce (disambiguation)


  1. See Larry Bond, 'Cauldron' (fiction) or Hackworth, 'About Face'.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Norman Polmar, Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet,' Naval Institute Press, 2005, p.37
  3. Puryear 1983, pp. 132–133.
  4. National Archives and Records Administration, Federal Record Group 374.5.2, accessed June 2013.
  5. Barton C. Hacker, 'Elements of Controversy'.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Siegel, Adam B. (August 1996). The Intervasion of Haiti, Professional Paper 539. Center for Naval Analyses. pp. 12. 
  7. Science Advisor, NAVEUR/NAVAF/Sixth Fleet, Science and Technology Shortfalls, 26 June 2012, accessed January 2014.
  8., Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, Pacific
  9. CTF 84 Reserve Unit Established, October 5, 2005
  10. Mud, Muscle and Miracles, 384.
  12. Larry Berman, Zumwalt: The Life and Times of Admiral Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr., Harper, 2012, 171.
  13. Strategic Communications Wing One Holds Change of Command
  14. Karen Smith et al., 'Is NAVSO Organized and Staffed to do its job?' Center for Naval Analysis, CRM D0005057.A1, January 2002.
  15., p.370
  16. U.S. Navy online documentation
  17. WA Saunders, Joint Pub 5-00.2 Joint Task Force Planning Guidance and Procedures: A Critical Review, 1992
  18. "Operation Sea Signal", website, 2008. Retrieved on October 19, 2008.
  21., and Royal Navy Bridge Card, various editions.
  22., 14 January 2014
  23. Operation VIC FIRE ASSIST,
  24. AFTP 9(H),
  25. Australian Operations in Afghanistan, accessed April 2014.
  27. Heightened security results in Joint Task Force, 11 April 2002,
  29. Navy Wire, 1999.
  30. U.S. Army Cold Regions Test Center - History, accessed June 2013.

Further reading

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