Defence News: Setting up of integrated theatre commands to synergise the capabilities of the three services would be the next logical move in military reforms after the long pending appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Wednesday.
General Naravane, however, clarified that it will be a deliberate, thoughtful and well considered decision which will take years.
Speaking at a programme at the College of Defence Management in Secunderabad in southern state of Telangana, General Naravane said there was a need for everyone to work with a spirit of togetherness.
Army chief also cautioned that there may be a need for course correction as different assets of all three branches will be integrated so that they can emerge as a fully integrated theatre commands of Indian military.
In his first interaction with the media after assuming the office of Chief of Army Staff early this year, General Naravane had emphasised on implementation of theatre commands during his tenure.
His statements come in the backdrop of tense India-China border standoff during the month of June in which 20 Indian soldiers and an unconfirmed number of Chinese soldiers were killed.
General Naravane said he was optimistic about the future of integration of the armed forces, which he said was an inevitability as it would lead to a synergy between the three branches of military and better utilisation of resources.
“The next logical step in the process of defence reforms was the ‘formation of Integrated Theatre Commands to synergise the capabilities and combat potential of the three services during war and peace,” said the general.
As per plan, each of the theatre commands will have units of the army, the navy and the air force, and all of them will work as a single entity looking after security challenges in a specified geographical territory under an operational commander. At present, these forces have separate command strucutre.
In February this year, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat had said that an integrated air defence command, to be led by the Indian Air Force, would be rolled out by the beginning of next year.
General Rawat also said the proposed peninsula command, to be formed by merging the Indian Navy’s eastern and western commands, is likely to take shape by the end of 2021.
During the visit, General Naravane also visited the TATA Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) at Hyderabad which is a joint venture facility of Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems.