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 (designated purpose) committees.
In Argentina, Navy Task Units of Task Group (Grupo de Tareas) G.T.3.3were 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.
During the Falklands War in 1982 the Argentine Navy formed three smaller Grupos de Tareas (Task Groups) for pincer movements against the Royal Navy.
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. 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, and the Northern Territory Emergency Response Task Force.
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.
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. Subject-specific task forces are very common. NASA lessons contain information from different task forces. 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. Good leadership is a key element of the task force leader, as it is usually asking an extra effort from all resources involved.