Indian armed forces may get its first integrated theatre command in August, reports say

Team India Sentinels Wednesday 12th of July 2023 04:44 PM

Flag of the Indian armed forces.

New Delhi: The Indian military is likely to get its first integrated theatre command in August, at least two media outlets reported on Wednesday. This is going to be the first major reorganization of the country’s armed forces since Independence.

According to New Indian Express and Asianet Newsable, the preparations for the roll-out are in the advanced stage. The reports say quoting an unnamed source in the defence establishment that the Jaipur-headquartered South Western Army Command will be the “testbed” for the first theatre command – Western Theatre Command, followed by Lucknow-based Central Army Command, which will be Northern Theatre Command.

The three services — the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force – will operate jointly under the integrated theatre commands. It was reported that the three services arrived at “99 per cent agreement” on how these theatre commands would function as proposed by the current chief of defence staff, General Anil Chauhan.

It may be noted that the plan for integrating the three services was first floated and worked upon by the former CDS, General Bipin Rawat. However, his untimely death in a helicopter crash in December 2021 delayed the process by several months.

Under the services-integration plan, India will have three integrated theatre commands. The Jaipur-based Western Theatre Command will focus on Pakistan and the Lucknow-based Northern Theatre Command will focus on China. The third command – Maritime Theatre Command – will be headquartered in Karwar and will focus on the country’s maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, which includes the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea along with the Indian Ocean.

At present, the triservices operate under 17 independent commands. The Army and Air Force have seven commands each and the Navy has three.

The Northern Army Command, which deals with both Pakistan and China, is reported to continue to function as it is as an independent Army command.

It may be noted that the Indian military has two functional integrated commands as well – Strategic Forces Command and Andaman and Nicobar Command. Apart from these two integrated commands, the Defence Space Agency and Defence Cyber Agency also have officers from all the three services. The work on a third such division – Armed Forces Special Operations Division – is nearing completion.

It is not currently known whether the Andaman and Nicobar Command will be merged into the Maritime Theatre Command or continue to operate independently. The Strategic Forces Command, which deals with India’s nuclear weapons and reports directly to the Prime Minister’s Office, is likely to function as it has been.

Recently, the armed forces announced that it will cross-post 100 mid-level officers in sister services. Among them, there would be 40 officers from the Army and 30 each from the Navy and Indian Air Force. Apart from this, the armed forces have announced the introduction of a common evaluation process for two- and three-star officers for promotion and posting.

These two moves were seen as speeding up the process of integrating the three services towards theaterization of the country’s armed forces.


About Us | Contact Us | Privacy | Cookies