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Process for integrated theatre command begins months after CDS-IAF chief spat; 3 commanders to be nominated

Theatre commanders will be appointed after the government's approval. The theatre commanders will be tasked to form the theatre command, a top source in the government establishment said. 

Process for integrated command begins months after CDS-IAF chief spat VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Sep 8, 2021, 7:25 PM IST
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The formation of an integrated command system has gained ground with the Services being asked to nominate three Commanders, one each from the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, who will work towards creating the organisational structure for theatre commands.

The nominated GoC-in-C and equivalents will have to submit their report within a year. 

Theatre commanders will be appointed after the government's approval. The theatre commanders will be tasked to form the theatre command, a top source in the government establishment said. 

It would take 2-3 more years, the source added.

Also Read: India to buy 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence for IAF

The development comes amid differences between Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Indian Air Force chief ACM RKS Bhadauria emerging in public in July this year. 

Sources added that the initial hiccups are part of the change and will eventually assist in strengthening the aim.

The nominated commanders will create the organisational structure alongside their existing roles. 

Currently, the three Services have 17 commands, which will be merged into four theatre commands. The plan is initially to form four theatre commands with two commands for the Army while the other two Services would have one command each. 

In the proposed integrated command system, the Indian Army’s Northern Command and Western Air Command’s Air Officer Commanding J&K have been excluded. The Northern Command and Air Officer Commanding J&K have an area of responsibility to deal with both adversaries, including Pakistan and China. 

Theatre Commands HQs

Jaipur would be the Indian Army's Western Theatre Command Headquarters while either Kolkata or Lucknow would be the base for its Eastern Theatre Command. 

For the Navy, it would be Karwar or Kochi. However, the Indian Navy’s first priority is Karwar. 

Deliberations are on to have the Air Defence Command's Headquarters either at Jodhpur or Gandhinagar or Allahabad.

Once the theatre command comes into existence, its head would be the deputy theatre commander with a senior advisor from the remaining.

Also Read: Armed Forces given financial powers for quicker decision making

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