New CDS Anil Chauhan Directs Three Armed Forces To Work On Theatre Commands: Report

New CDS Anil Chauhan Directs Three Armed Forces To Work On Theatre Commands: Report

New Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan has directed the Army, Navy, and Air Force to press forward with the development of integrated theatre commands in his first communication with the three armed forces, news agency ANI reported. 

“The CDS has communicated to the defence forces to move ahead on creating theatre commands which would be his priority area. A lot of discussions have already been done on the issue and it is now time to move forward,” ANI reported. 

According to the three services, they have also conducted several studies, both individually and collaboratively, to thoroughly discuss the issue of theatre commands.

Gen Chauhan’s predecessor, the late Gen Bipin Rawat, was also working hard to transform the three forces into leaner, more agile fighting units equipped with modern weaponry. Earlier plans called for the establishment of western and eastern land-based commands, as well as a maritime theatre command.

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The Air Defence Command was also to be established, but the Ladakh region was to be excluded for the time being. However, while the Indian Air Force supports the creation of theatre commands, it is concerned that too many of them will result in the division of existing assets such as fighter aircraft.

It was also opposed to any land or maritime commands and desired the establishment of theatres to deal with specific threats from various sides. After Gen Rawat’s death, the three forces’ studies and presentations continued, and presentations on the subject were made to the defence ministry’s top brass. With CDS Gen Chauhan in charge, the establishment of these commands is likely to gain traction, and decisions in this regard are expected to be made soon.

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The CDS will also be in Jodhpur on October 3 to witness the induction of the Light Combat Helicopter into the Indian Air Force, along with Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, on his first visit outside of Delhi since taking over his new post.

The position of Chief of Defence Staff was created in 2019, and one of the top mandates was to establish theatre commands to assist the Army, Navy, and Air Force in fighting future wars together.

(With Inputs From ANI)