Defence

Maritime Theatre Command could bring Coast Guard ships under its control

India’s plan for the Maritime Theatre Command (MTC), which will merge the Eastern and Western naval commands besides getting elements from the Army and the Air Force, could involve bringing the Indian Coast Guard assets under its operational control, ThePrint has learnt.

This means that while the Coast Guard will continue to report to the Ministry of Defence, its assets — ships — will be operated by the MTC. The command is likely to start operations by 2022.

According to sources in the defence and security establishment, these are part of the plans mooted by a study conducted by the Navy on how the MTC can be structured. The study aims to get the MTC sailing off in nine months from the date of approval.

The chief of defence staff (CDS) will look into the study before approvals from the government are taken for the same.

Sources said the MTC is likely to be headquartered at INS Kadamba in Karwar. The government will decide which authority the MTC will report to, but it is likely to be the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee headed by the CDS.

The country’s only tri-service command — Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) — is likely to come under the MTC and will act just like another outpost.

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