New Delhi: India will have a peninsular command for maritime security, a separate J&K theatre command, and air defence command, said Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat on Monday. He said that India will start rolling theatre command by 2022 but air defence command will be the first to be set up by the beginning of 2021 and a peninsular command by end of 2021.
Gen. Rawat said that by the end of 2020 directive will be issued to set up a study group for the theatreisation, under which personnel and assets from army, navy and air force in an area will come under single commander to effective strike at the enemy.
He said under the study J&K could be a single theatre command. Currently Kashmir Valley till Akhnoor is under Indian Army’s Northern Command and the rest of the Jammu region comes under Western Command. Gen Rawat said that there could be 2-5 theatre commands along the western and northern borders. He said that there could be either one command for China or two separate commands one east of Nepal and another west of Nepal.
Gen. Rawat said that Navy’s eastern and western command could be combined under one commander, the Peninsular Command as India face threats like 26/11. The commander will focus on the whole Indian Ocean Region. “The Commander will be free to transfer ships from western to eastern command as per the threat perception and will be in better position to manage the security of the region as he will be on ground,” said Gen. Rawat. He said that a study will be set up on 31st March 2020 and the peninsular command is expected to take shape by end of 2021 and some of the assets of army and air force will also be transferred to it.
He said that study has been initiated for setting up a air defence command which will be under Air Force and will be responsible for the air defence of the country. “The study will be submitted by 31st March this year and it will take at least one year to set up the command,” said Gen Rawat. He said most of the air defence assets of army, navy will be transferred to the new command so that there is better co-ordination and quick reaction during an air attack on the country.
The Chief of Defence Staff also said that government plans to have a separate training and doctrinal command modelled on similar structure in the US, while a separate command will be set up to take care of logistical requirements of the three services.