Indian Army is having a number of positive changes and on the way to be better. In the same series, The Indian military is expected to be re-organised under five theatre commands by 2022.
Under the theatre command, the reorganisation of all the three services with China’s northern command and Pakistan’s western command under serious consideration.
Modi government has given the mandate to India’s Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat to create theatre commands.
According to military and national security planners, the northern command’s remit will begin from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh and continue up to the last outpost Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh , with the military mandate of guarding the 3,488 kilometre of Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. According to sources, the Head Quarter of this command could be Lucknow.
The remit for western command will be from Indira Col on Saltoro Ridge in the Siachen Glacier region to the tip of Gujarat. Its head quarter is to be Jaipur.
Rawat said earlier in February, the peninsular command, with air assets and Army’s support, will be under a Navy commander. “The security of Indian Ocean Region has to be dealt with by one commander and he will not be required to get approval from Delhi for operational matters.”
The third theatre command will be the Peninsular Command; the fourth, a full-fledged air defence command; and the fifth, a maritime command. The Head Quarter of the Peninsular command could be Thiruvananthapuram. The Air defence command will play a major role by not only spearhead the country’s aerial attack but also be responsible for defending Indian airspace through multi-role fighters.
The planner even said that extension of this to an aerospace command as per future requirements as currently the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy all defend Indian airspace on separate communication frequencies and without synergy. Even when Indian Army Corps Headquarters are located next to an air base which cause extra effort and wasteful expenditure.
Notably, Theaterisation means placing units of the army, air force, and navy under a single Theatre Commander. The best thing is the operational command of such combinations will be under one officer drawn from one of the three services.
“Theaterisation of commands is imperative to integrate resources of the three services for maximising impact in any war. The geographical expanse of theatres in India demands unified commands for strategic decisions and critical outcomes that will be possible in concentrated employment of resources,” said former amry vice chief Lt Gen AS Lamba (retd).
According to senior officials familiar with the matter, all five commands will be headed by Lt General or equivalent rank commanders, who will be the first among equals with the heads of the present commands reporting to them. The task of the Chief of Staff of Army, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff will not be operational but involve mobilising resources to the theatre commanders as it is in the US military.
India will have only one maritime command with a possibility that the tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Islands Command being merged with this . The task of the maritime command will be to protect the Indian Ocean and India’s Island territories as well as keep the sea lanes free and open from any outside pressure.
Although in a nascent stage, the Indian Navy’s maritime assets will be placed in Karwar on the western seaboard, Vishakhapatnam on the eastern seaboard and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. With China emerging as a threat, the possible headquarters of the Maritime Command could be Andhra Pradesh’s new capital with Port Blair emerging as another major base for naval operations.