Explained: Four Integrated Theatre Commands to be created by the Indian Military
India would be creating four Integrated Theatre Commands by the year end. As per reports India has kicked off the groundwork for four theatre commands with four three star generals being tasked to work out the structures in them. They would build an integrated warfighting machinery. As per the sources the integrated maritime theatre command, air defence command and two land based commands for Pakistan and China would take concrete shape in the coming two years as well.
Indian Army, Indian Navy and Air Force form the three wings of the defence in the country. Currently each of the forces has multiple commands that vertically split in terms of their command structure.
The army and the air force have 7 commands and the navy has 3 of them.
What is a Theatre Command?
It is an organizational structure that is designed to control all military assets in a theatre of war to achieve military convergence. It would command the centre of the army, air force and navy placing the resources of all forces at one command which would function under a senior military command.
There are two of such services in India:
i) Andaman and Nicobar Command (2001)- ANC- It is only command in India that has the army, the navy and the airforce together.
ii) Strategic Forces Command-SFC- It works to control the nuclear assets of the country and is not related to any specific theatre of war.
What are the new commands?
India has started the groundwork of the theatre commands. These would be -
- Western Theatre Command: WTC would be situated in Jaipur
- Eastern Theatre Command: ETC would be situated in Kolkata or Lucknow
- Air Defence Command: ADC would be located in Gandhinagar or in Prayagraj
- Maritime Theatre Command: MTC would be set up in Karwar
Out of these the tri services of the defence forces would be available in Western Theatre Command and Eastern Theatre Command. Four commanders in chief have been nominated to begin the work of raising structures of the theatres.
Benefits of Military Theatre Command:
It is not just a simple joint command, it is also about a combination of technology, strategy, speeding up the process which would achieve success on the battlefield.
Command, control communications, intelligence etc have increased the process of decision making. Integrated Command Structure is the answer to all the questions about winning wars.
Challenges of Military Theatre Control:
There would be structural issues like the issues of chain of command clashing between the three wings of the defence forces.
The Army chief would have to be obeyed by the navy and the airforce as well.
Battle Preparedness cannot be expected too soon
Logistical issues would be faced by the air force as they require almost 42 squadrons but have just 31 squadrons right now. Command centres closer to the posts is also important, so that ease of services are available.
Civilian Bureaucracy is also a problem. This sector is said to clash with all other sectors of the Government services.
The integrated military theatre command would be functional by the year end. This step would empower the military to be proactive more than it ever was. Hoping for the programme to be successfully launched soon.