With the Defence Ministry readying the cabinet note regarding some of the most far-reaching changes since independence in the armed forces’ warfighting capability, a government announcement regarding the integrated or theatre commands could happen on August 15, Independence Day. The note is expected to be placed before the Cabinet Committee on Security or CCS, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before that.
The restructuring, through the creation of four integrated commands–East, West, Air Defence and Maritime– is expected to lead to closer cooperation between the army, navy and air force– through joint planning and operations.
While there has been a joint command in the Andamans for about 15 years, the new commands should start getting ready within a year after the announcement.
The Eastern integrated command will look at China and be responsible for the Line of Actual Control. The western integrated command will be Pakistan centric. The maritime command will have to look after peninsular India while the Air Defence command will be responsible for the air space security of the country.
The integrated commanders, all 3-stars generals, admirals and air marshals, will be appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and will report to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, comprising the three service chiefs and the chief of defence staff.