Theatre Commands required to synergize combat potential of three services: Army chief

By Times Of India

The next logical step in defence reforms is the formation of integrated theatre commands to synergize the capabilities and combat potential of the Army, Navy and IAF during war and peace, said General M M Naravane on Wednesday.

The Army chief, however, added the process of setting up theatre commands will be “deliberate, thoughtful and well considered” and will take a “number of years”. Theatre or “geographical” commands place all the assets and manpower of the three services in a region under one operational commander.

Speaking at the College of Defence Management in Secunderabad, Gen Naravane expressed optimism about the future of integration in the armed forces, which he said was “an inevitability” as it would lead to “tri-service synergy” and better utilization of resources.

Towards this end, a new unified Air Defence Command (ADC), which will eventually be responsible for guarding the country’s airspace against hostile aircraft, missiles, helicopters and drones in an integrated manner, will be created soon.

India till now has only two unified commands, while there are as many as 17 single-service commands (Army 7, IAF 7 and Navy 3). The first and the only theatre or “geographical” command was set up in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in October 2001, while the “functional” Strategic Forces Command to handle the country’s nuclear arsenal came up in January 2003.

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