Centre mulling creation of dedicated theatre command for J&K: Rawat
New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Monday, spelt the plans to create a Peninsula Command for the Indian Navy and said that the same would stretch from Sir Creek area in the west to Sundarbans in the east.
Rawat also hinted at having a separate Jammu and Kashmir theatre, the shape of which would be finalised later. “We are also working on separate joint commands for logistics and training,” he said.
The former army chief who was elevated to the post of CDS and has been tasked to achieve an integration between the three services said that a study has been ordered to place all the air defence (AD) assets under a unified Air Defence Command.
“Our plan is to create a Peninsula Command with Navy’s Eastern and Western Command under it. The area of the Command is planned to start from Sir Creek area in west and Sunderbans in east and downwards,” Rawat said in New Delhi.
According to the CDS, a study has been ordered under the Air Force Vice Chief, on the Air Defence Command, which will be helpful in avoiding fratricides and timely implementation of orders in case of aerial attacks.
Rawat, who had earlier spelt plans to restructure the existing commands of the Indian Army, said that the ‘theatre commands are planned to be rolled out by the year 2022’. “The shape of different theatre commands would be clear after the studies to be ordered in this regard are completed,” he said.
Rawat’s statements assume importance, given that he had hinted at moving towards a theatre-based command structure such as the US. Speaking at the Times Now summit last week, Rawat had also underlined the importance of combining the air defence (AD) assets of the country under the IAF. While he has not given any specific timelines for the creation of Air Defence Command as well as Peninsula Command for the Indian Navy, his comments could mean that South Block has begun thinking on restructuring for an integration of the three services.
It may be noted that the Indian Navy currently has two operational commands – Eastern Command, headquartered in Mumbai and Western Command, with its HQ at Visakhapatnam. A third command, the Kochi-based training command focus on training Navy’s personnel for combat duties.
Similarly, the air defence assets of the three services are currently under respective arms of the Navy, Army and the IAF. A unified AD command could mean enhancement of AD assets for a more effective response to incoming threats from the enemies.