Exclusive! 100 junior tri-service officers to be cross-posted in step towards Integrated Theatre Command
These junior-level officers will get posted to areas which have common (Combined) service environments like aviation, engineering, logistics, missiles, and air defence, among others. A total of 40 officers from the Indian Army, 30 each from the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force will be cross-posted in the first batch.
Taking a step further towards the formation of an Integrated Theatre Command (ITC), over 100 junior-level officers from the three Services will soon be part of inter-Service postings in all arms and services, including logistics, aviation and artillery.
These officers will be equivalent to the ranks of Majors and Lieutenant (Lt) Colonels. From the Indian Navy, officers at the ranks of Lieutenant Commanders and Commanders will be part of the cross-postings while from the Indian Air Force, the Indian Air Force will have cross-postings from the rank of Squadron Leaders and Wing Commanders.
A source in the defence establishment told Asianet Newsable that a total of 40 officers from the Indian Army, 30 each from the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force will be cross-posted in the first batch.
Prior to this, one or two officers at the Colonel-level used to be posted at formation headquarters.
It must be mentioned that the structures of the Integrated Theatre Commands are yet to see the light. However, the three services have started the process of making joint fighting forces.
"These junior-level officers will get posted to areas which have common (Combined) service environments like aviation, engineering, logistics, missiles, air defence, among others," the source said.
On being asked about the reason for choosing junior officers, another source said: "The decision has been taken keeping jointness among the services and creation of theatre command in mind. These officers will get to know each other's processes and practices. They will also have a better understanding of the service environment."
"They will not only be deployed at headquarters or formations but also at the unit level."
Confirming the decision, a source in the Indian Navy said: "The inter-Service posting will be done in those areas where the nature of the job is similar and common in execution."
The Navy source, however, clarified that "nobody will be posted onboard warships".
The Narendra Modi government has initiated steps to restructure the armed forces to have the military assets of the armed forces under one commander who will be responsible for all operations under his theatre.
There will be five theatre commands -- Air Defence Theatre Command, Maritime Theatre Command, Western Command, Eastern Command and Northern Command (Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh).
Currently, the three forces have 17 commands with Army and Air Force having seven commands each and the Navy has three commands. Presently, India has two operational tri-services commands -- the Strategic Forces Command and the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
Recently, two new divisions -- the Defence Space Agency and the Defence Cyber Agency -- were formed as tri-service organisations, where officers from three forces have been posted. The work on the Armed Forces Special Operations Division is at an advanced stage.