Moving towards integrated theatre commands, armed forces to cross-post 100 mid-level officers in sister services

Team India Sentinels Wednesday 31st of May 2023 03:31 PM

Flag of Indian armed forces. 

New Delhi: In what is seen as a major step towards compartmentalization of the country’s armed forces into integrated theatre commands, the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force will cross-post mid- and junior-level officers into a sister service, India Sentinels has learned. These officers will be majors and lieutenant colonel of the Army, lieutenant commanders and commanders of the Navy, and squadron leaders and wing commanders of the Air Force.

India Sentinels has learned that in the first batch, a total of 100 officers from a service will be posted to a sister service to gain operational experience, familiarize themselves with the sister service’s practices, and promote jointness in working together. Among them, there would be 40 officers from the Army and 30 each from the Navy and Indian Air Force.

Earlier, there used to be such cross-postings, but in formation headquarters. The numbers of these cross-postings were much lower and only relatively senior officers were picked for such inter-service postings.

Currently, there are just two integrated military commands in the country – Strategic Forces Command and Andaman and Nicobar Command. Independently, the three services have a total of 17 commands. The Army and the Air Force have 17 commands each while the Navy has three.

It may be mentioned that two new integrated divisions were formed recently as triservices agencies. They are the Defence Space Agency and Defence Cyber Agency. These two agencies have officers from three services. The work on a third such division – Armed Forces Special Operations Division – is nearing completion.

Work on dividing the entire Indian military into integrated theatre commands started during the previous chief of defence staff’s tenure. General Bipin Rawat, the CDS who initiated the process, lost his life in a helicopter crash in the Nilgiris in December 2021.


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