Army And Air Force Officers To Take Turns As Commanders For The First Lucknow-Based Theatre Command Nearing Roll Out In August

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Jul 13, 2023, 12:15 PM | Updated 01:46 PM IST

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

The details of the structures of the new theatre commands are taking shape, and according to reports the first integrated theatre command (ITC) will likely be rolled out by August.

The Jaipur-based South-Western Command will be the first western ITC, and will handle the entire front opposite Pakistan.

While the second, Northern ITC, will be set-up at the Lucknow-based Central command, which will handle China. These two commands will be commanded by officers from the Army and Air Force on a rotational basis.

The third maritime ITC, which will look after India's maritime interests, on the other hand, will be commanded by Navy officers.

The proposed new plan by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Anil Chuahan envisages three theatre commands, with two adversary-specific theatre commands looking after China and Pakistan and the third will be a maritime theatre command, based out of Karwar in Karnataka.

All the three services are onboard this proposed new plan, barring some administrative issues that will be sorted before the likely roll out in August.

The Jaipur-based Western ITC will be a test-bed for the subsequent two commands. It will be used to iron out teething issues after which Lucknow-based Northern ITC will be rolled out. The Karwar-based maritime ITC will be the last one to be rolled out.

The theatre commanders will be four-star rank officers making them equivalent in rank to the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, with the CDS commanding all six.

Some new joint commands will also be raised like logistics, training, cyber, and space, missiles and intelligence, that will he headed by three-star officers (Lt Gen, Vice Admirals and Air Marshals).

This will ensure that there is no loss of jobs for three star and two star officers.

All the theatre commanders, and the commanders of new commands will report to Department of Military Affairs (DMA), thus will be headed by CDS.

According to the Print's report, the service chiefs will be responsible for raise and sustenance issues.

With the roll-out of the ITCs in advanced stages, search for the officer — to be the first theatre commander — is underway as well, and according to reports, if the government selects the commander on seniority basis than the Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General R P Kalita is on the top of the list.

However, if the commander is selected on the basis of continuity of service from the same place, the South-Western Army Commander Lieutenant General B S Raju is on the top of the list.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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