Will the theatre commands, being created as part of the restructuring of the defence establishment, work? After a day-long table-top exercise late last month, attended by 70 top armed services officials, there is a strong belief that they are necessary. And that’s the way forward.
Present at the apex-level tri-service exercise were the following: Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General MM Naravane, Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and the Navy Chief, Admiral Karambir Singh. The three vice-chiefs, the director-general of military, naval and air operations and other officers.
The table-top war games on July 22 inside Room 129 of South Block involved several scenarios– the northern front (China), the western front (Pakistan) and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, which will be part of the Maritime Command.
One major test was whether air support was possible to different theatres– from Leh to the Andamans– at the same time. All theatre commands were “activated,” to see how efficiently they worked, how smooth the chain of command was.