Theatre commands to be in place by 2022, says CDS Bipin Rawat

General Bipin Rawat
The integration would make the force more multi-dimensional and amphibious, claimed CDS.

To deal with national security challenges, theatre or joint military commands are all set to roll out by 2022 with a separate theatre for Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said on Monday (Februrary 17).

Rawat said the proposed peninsula command to counter maritime threat is to be formed by merging the Indian Navy’s eastern and western commands and it is likely to take shape by end of 2021.

A slew of studies would be ordered towards the end of this year to estimate the need of theatre commands. “By end of the year, a study for theatreisation or joint commands will be in place. The study is to be completed within three months. By 2022, theatre commands should roll out. The number of theatre commands could vary from 2, 4 or 5,” Rawat said.

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Theaterisation in simpler terms means, allotting specific units of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF) under a theatre commander.

The tri-services command under a naval commander will have air assets as well as support of the Army, and it will take care of entire responsibility of maritime security challenge in the Indian Ocean Region.

“The security of Indian Ocean region has to be dealt with by one commander and he will not be required to get approval from Delhi for operational matters including movement of ships,” said Gen. Rawat.

He said the proposed air defence command is likely to be rolled out by the middle of next year and certain air assets like missiles of the Indian Army and the Navy will be part of it.

Rawat also said that government plans to have a separate training and doctrinal command modelled on similar structure in the US, while a separate command will be set up to take care of logistical requirements of the three services.

The government appointed Gen Rawat as CDS on December 31 to bring in convergence among the three services and restructure military commands to effectively deal with future security challenges.

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