Defence

Indian Army and Navy favour theatre commands, Air Force plays the lone ranger

By Hindustan times

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has called a meeting on Wednesday of the tri-services and other stake holders to understand their concerns over theatre commands and iron out differences before working towards the raising of maritime and air defence commands this year.

The ministry of defence had accorded acceptance in principle to theatre commands in 2017 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi handing over the mandate of reorganization to Gen Rawat.

Earlier this month, after a presentation, defence minister Rajnath Singh had asked Gen Rawat to call a meeting of stake holders and discuss all the issues threadbare before taking the theatre command concept to Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for final approval.

Majority nations, including tiny Maldives to mighty US, function on theatre command concept with the idea of seamless integration among the land, sea and air forces for better coordination and response. While China has reorganized its seven military districts into five theatre commands, Pakistan has sought support of Beijing to help its forces also be reorganized under the same military concept.

Although there have been media reports indicating that the entire process may be delayed, the ministry of defence, Indian Army and the Indian Navy are totally in favour of activation of the theatre commands with the Indian Air Force ploughing a lonely furrow on even issues like naming of the commands.

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