CDS chairs meet to resolve differences


Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The meeting to iron out differences on raising of theatre commands and allocations of operational assets was held on Monday under the chairmanship of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat. A senior Army officer said: “Other than CDS, the vice chieves of the Army, Navy and Air Force, representatives of Department of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, National Security Council, Finance and HQ Integrated Defence Staff discussed views expressed by the Air Force regarding allocation of operational assets.” More meetings will be held.

Sources said Indian Air Force raised issues regarding the allocation of its assets to various theatre commands, which are in the process of making. The Air Force also have reservations regarding the powers of the Chief of the Air Staff.

The Indian Higher Defence Management is undergoing transformation to reform and redevelop aimed at meeting the contingencies of modern combat scenarios. As first step, the government created the Department of Military Affairs in the Ministry of Defence and appointed the CDS in 2019, who is also the secretary of DMA. CDS is mandated to integrate and synergise the armed forces and to be the advisor to the defence minister.

The mandate also includes creation of theatre commands, which will be integrated containing the elements of the Army, Navy and Air Force, with the autonomy to defend and mount multi-dimensional attacks in the air, water and land, cyber and space within the assigned theatre.

The model being discussed to encompass the country’s maritime security will have a Maritime Theatre Command and an Air Defence Command.  There will be Western Theatre Command, Northern Theatre Command and Eastern Theatre Command as the three land-based theatres. China reorganised its seven military regions into five theatre commands in 2016 and its Western Theatre Command is mandated for Indian Borders.  

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