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, 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 committees.
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 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.
- Some task forces are named after their commander, such as Dunsterforce.
- Task Force Tarawa, the name given the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade during the 2003 invasion of Iraq Operation Iraqi Freedom. They were a Marine Air-Ground Task Force commanded by Brigadier General Richard Natonski, attached to the I Marine Expeditionary Force.
- Task Force Leatherneck is the name given the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade during their 2009 operations in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. They are a Marine Air-Ground Task Force commanded by Brigadier General Larry Nicholson, assigned to work under the International Security Assistance Force.
- In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, some of the main characters are from an elite, international special operations task force called Task Force 141.
- In the TV series Hawaii Five-O, Steven "Steve" McGarrett created the so-called "Five-O Task Force" which was group of state police based in Hawaii, hence Hawaii Five-O
- HyperWar, Chapter 4: Fleet Administration, accessed August 2012
- Group. GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- Nichols, K.D. (c.1987). The Road to Trinity. New York: Morrow. ISBN 06886910X.
- Combined Communication Electronics Board (September 2004). "Annex A: Task Force Allocations". ACP 113(AF) Call Sign Book for Ships. Joint Chiefs of Staff. pp. A-1–A-2 (197–198). Archived from the original on February 28, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080228002817/http://www.jcs.mil/j6/cceb/acps/ACP113AFMC5.pdf. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
- Operations in Sierra Leone, August 9, 2000, Jane's Defence Weekly.
- Timothy M. Bonds, Myron Hura, Thomas-Durrell Young, 'Enhancing Army Joint Force Headquarters Capabilities,' Santa Monica, CA; RAND Corporation, 2010 - includes list of joint task forces
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