NEW DELHI: Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Wednesday said the next logical step in the process of defence reforms is the “formation of Integrated Theatre Commands to synergise the capabilities and combat potential of the three services during war and peace.”
Integrated Theatre Commands is inevitable for fighting modern wars. However, it is going to take ‘a number of years’ to take shape, the Army chief added.
Army Chief said this during his visit to College of Defence Management (CDM) and Bison Division in Secunderabad.
The concept of theatre command is to meet requirements of modern warfare with structures which are based on integrated planning and operations under one unified authority with responsibility and accountability. This structure will have components of different wings placed under one commander instead of their own Service Chiefs.
On the government's decision to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and create the Department of Military Affairs, he said that it was "a momentous one" and that the services needed to "demonstrate great wisdom and statesmanship in enabling the CDS, a long-standing demand of the armed forces".
CDS General Bipin Rawat had opined at the beginning of this year that there may be a total of five different theatre commands to look after the security and defence of the country, including the maritime security.
At the College of Defence Management, the COAS interacted with the officers of the prestigious Higher Defence Management Course. During the course of the interaction, he spoke about the current security scenario and focused on the geostrategic implications on capability development and force utilisation of the Indian Army in pursuit of national interests.
The COAS explained to the officers that there was a need for everyone to work in a spirit of togetherness and trust with the national security interests being paramount. He added a note of caution and said that there might be a requirement for “mid-course corrections.”
At the Bison Division, the COAS was briefed by Major General Alok Joshi, General Officer Commanding, Bison Division, on security and operational preparedness of the formation in the presence of Lieutenant General CP Mohanty, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command.