Work Underway In Full Swing As Department Of Military Affairs Identifies Locations For Three New Theatre Commands

Swarajya Staff

Jul 04, 2024, 02:49 PM | Updated 05:02 PM IST

Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan.

The Department of Military Affairs (DMA), headed by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Anil Chauhan, has identified locations for the three adversary-specific Integrated Theatre Commands (ITCs).

These three locations are Lucknow, Jaipur and Thiruvananthapuram, where the headquarters (HQ) of these three commands will be located.

The Western Theatre Command, looking after Pakistan, will be located in Jaipur, while the Northern Theatre Command will be headquartered in Lucknow and will look after China. The Maritime Theatre Command will be based in Thiruvananthapuram. The commanders of the Western and Northern Theatre Commands will be from the Indian Air Force and Indian Army, appointed on a rotational basis.

The third command will be maritime-specific, commanded by a navy officer, and will be based out of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

The DMA is working full-time to implement a 150-point agenda to increase integration among the three services and make them ready for new generation warfare.

In May, the government set a hard deadline for the armed forces to set up theatre commands within a year after the new government is sworn in.

All the differences between the three services that have delayed the formation of theatre commands have been resolved through behind-the-scenes intensive brainstorming sessions codenamed "Operation Tiranga". These sessions involved 11 meetings, each lasting three to four hours.

With this, the stage is set for the implementation of these long-pending reforms in the armed forces.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his reply to the leader of the opposition, also said that the creation of theatre commands is on track.

CDS Anil Chauhan, on 21 May, provided details about the reform plan.

The plan, which aims to run in three demarcated timelines until 2047, addresses technological changes, the evolving nature of warfare, and the integration of the three armed forces' capabilities.

“Having theatre commands is just the beginning of a long-term plan aimed at having a future-ready force capable of multi-domain operations,” said General Chauhan.

He explained that the reforms would include integrating space and cyber operations with the current domains of air, land, and sea warfare.

The CDS emphasised that technology is changing the nature of warfare and that the current world order is in flux. He noted that theatre commands could not operate effectively without jointness and integration.

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