Army: Integrated Commands Structure


Army: Integrated Commands Structure

Ready with the organisational structure for the creation of integrated theatre commands, Amrita Nayak Dutta (journalist writing for publications such as The Indian Express and Cigalah Group) writes “the Armed Forces are looking at the appointment of a Vice Chief of Defence Staff and a Deputy Chief of Defence Staff.

“The Deputy CDS, likely to be an officer of the rank of Lieutenant General or equivalent, will be responsible for operations, intelligence and will coordinate the allocation of assets between theatres.”

While the organisational structure plan may be finetuned after it gets government approval, sources said it entails creation of the western theatre command headquarters in Jaipur where the Army’s South Western Command is located.

The northern theatre command, writes Dutta  “is likely to be in Lucknow. The maritime theatre command is likely to have its base in Coimbatore and will involve the IAF’s Prayagraj-headquartered Central Command and its Southern Air Command based in Thiruvananthapuram. Earlier, the plans were to set up the maritime theatre command headquarters in Karwar.

“This will be alongside components of the two other services in the respective theatre’s area of responsibility.”

Currently, “the Army and the IAF have seven commands each while the Navy has three. In addition, there are two tri-service commands – the Andaman and Nicobar Command and the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) – apart from the Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS).”

Post the creation of the theatre commands, Dutta states “three command headquarters of the services are likely to be transformed into theatre command headquarters. The overall plan is to establish three adversary-based theatre commands – one facing Pakistan, another opposite China, and a maritime theatre command to tackle maritime threats outside the coastal borders of the country.”


The three fronts

The theatre commands “look at integrating resources of the Army, IAF and Navy to meet threats emanating from three fronts: China, Pakistan and via the sea routes. This should streamline planning, logistics and operations.

“The existing Andaman and Nicobar Command may be subsumed into the maritime theatre command and the HQ IDS will operate under the CDS. The SFC, according to the plan, will continue to operate independently.”

In a recent interview to The Indian Express, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the creation of theatre commands has taken even up to 20 years in bigger countries, adding that while the process is on, it is time-consuming. ‘People do put across varying viewpoints during a discussion. We take the next step only when there is a consensus. But the purpose won’t be defeated in the process,’ Singh said.

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