CDS to chair meet on theatre commands

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Context: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat is scheduled to chair a meeting with the Vice-Chiefs of the three services, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, and the representatives from the Ministries of Defence, Home and Finance. This meeting is part of a broad plan to create four integrated tri-service (theatre) commands. 

What is a theatre command? 

A theatre command is a military structure wherein all the assets of the army, air force and navy in a particular theatre of war are under the operational control of a three-star general. 

  • Currently, existing commands are of the army, navy and air force. 
What are the four integrated tri-service commands that are being planned? 
  • Air Defence theatre command 
  • Maritime theatre command 
  • Integrated eastern theatre command 
  • Integrated western theatre command 
How was the broad plan arrived at? 
  • After studying Indian and western models of war fighting for over two years, table top exercises and war games were conducted.  
  • Operational discussions were held to come up with the best model suited for India. The commands will have Indian characteristics, ethos and way of fighting. 
  • Detailed discussions were also held with the veteran community and think-tanks to brainstorm on the far-reaching decisions 
What is the Indian Air Force’s opposition to the plan? 

IAF fears that it will lose control over its assets and operations 

Is this fear justified? 

Current IAF stance of retaining most assets and operational control under the Air headquarters and the Air Chief goes against the very essence of integration and jointmanship.  

  • It is also unjustified because nothing is being changed from the ground till the level of Army commanders and equivalent. All air bases, squadrons and air assets will continue to function under IAF officials. 

Terms to know 

  • Chief of Defence Staff 

SourceThe Hindu 

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