CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, defence chiefs discuss creation of theatre commands
Seeking to create more efficient fighting structures, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and three service chiefs held discussions about creating integrated theatre commands on Thursday. More discussions are likely to be held on the issue, government sources said.
The day-long meeting included Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Army chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane and Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh, along with other officers. The DMA plans to set up four theatre commands along with the air defence command.
The theatre commands would be above the 17 existing operational commands of the three services at different locations. The Army will have three theatre commands while the Navy will have one. The Indian Air Force (IAF) would be given charge of the air defence command.
There is no urgency in the creation of the theatre command structures and the effort would be to get approval of the government for creating new structures. The officers given the charge would be senior officers from the three services and would serve till their superannuation. India is working for creating war-fighting theatres which would be solely responsible for specific areas.
The Army officers will be heading land-based commands in Eastern and Western theatres, while North is being left alone at the moment, according to the Army plans. The Navy would lead the maritime theatre command while the IAF officers would be leading the air defence command.
The three forces are still discussing the issue among themselves to enhance coordination in times of war. The first step in the direction of the theatre commands was the creation of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff on January 1, 2020.