What Is The Theaterisation Of Armed Forces? The Primary Task For The New Chief Of Defense Staff
The first and foremost priority of the new Chief of Defense Service(CDS), General Anil Chauhan, is to execute the highly ambitious characterization plan. The model aims to bring in tri-services synergy by rolling out integrated military commands and making the military ready for future challenges to security. After nine months post the sad accidental demise of the first CDS, General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash in December 2021, General Anil Chauhan took charge as the country’s senior-most commander.
Last year, General Bipin Rawat headed the Department of Military Affairs instructed the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy to perform independent studies on the theaterization plan. However, the sudden death of General Bipin Rawat halted the process in 2021.
The Theaterization Plan
As per the theaterization plan, each of the theatre commands will be having units of the three services of the Indian Armed Forces- the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy. All these three will work jointly as a single entity foreseeing the security challenges under an operational commander in a specified geographical territory.
Currently, the three services of the Indian Armed Forces have 17 commands in all. Earlier, a plan was designed for the creation of an Air Defense Command and Maritime Theatre Command. However, it is important to note that there are some reservations in the Indian Air Force regarding the proposed theatre commands.
In June 2022, VR Chaudhary, Air Chief Marshal stated that the Indian Air Force stays completely committed to the tri-services synergy to enhance the comprehensive national combat power.
Note that last year, General Bipin Rawat stated that the country will have two to five theatre commands in order to handle future security challenges along the northern and western borders of the country. He also said that the security challenges along the western borders of India will be operational by the present year, i.e. 2022. However, a delay in the process became obvious after General Rawat’s death in 2021.
The Maritime Theatre Command
The fact that the Western and Eastern Commands of the Indian Navy will be merged into the proposed Peninsula Command, was also stated by General Rawat. This merger is what makes up for the Maritime Theatre Command.
The objective of the Maritime Theatre Command would be to oversee the security challenges in the complete Indian Ocean region. The command will range from the Sundarbans in the eastern region to Sir Creek Estuary in the western region.
The proposed Maritime Theatre will be having air assets along with the Indian Army’s support. General Rawat also stated that the Maritime Theatre Command’s commander will get approval from Delhi for the purpose of operation matters like the movement of ships.
The Air Defense Command
The Air Defense Command was to be rolled out by the middle of the last year. The important air assets including the Indian Army and the Indian Navy missiles will be a part of the command, integrating all the essential assets of the three services by the Indian Armed Forces under the umbrella of a single command authority.
The Dedicated Theatre Command For Jammu And Kashmir
General Rawat also stated that a dedicated theatre command will deal with the security challenges in Jammu and Kashmir. This region will also include the International Boundary area.
The Other Theatre Commands
General Bipin Rawat stated last year that the government is thinking of having a separate training and doctrinal command modeled on a similar structure in the U.S. Moreover, a separate command is also planned to be set up to oversee the logistical requirements of the three services.