An Air Defence Command (ADC) and a Maritime Theatre Command (MTC) are in advanced stages of being finalised, according to two official sources. The MTC Commander would operationally report to the Chiefs of Staff Committee consisting of the three Service Chiefs and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as its permanent Chairman, one of the sources said.
In contrast, it has been proposed that the ADC Commander would operationally report to the Chief of the Air Staff, the other source said.
As per a study undertaken, the Navy Chief would focus on raise, train and sustain functions and will have a say in the operational aspects of the MTC through the Chiefs of Staff Committee.
Study groups headed by Vice Chiefs of the three Services had been set up to work out the modalities of the various theatres and come up with suggestions. The creation of integrated triservice theatre commands is in the charter of the CDS.
The MTC would be a geographic command bringing together the Navy’s Eastern and Western commands, air elements and two amphibious infantry brigades and elements of the Coast Guard. The current tri-service Andaman Nicobar command would also be brought under it.
The MTC Commander would be based in Karwar, with the Eastern and Western Naval commanders reporting to him. The MTC will cover India’s entire maritime interests.
The country’s first CDS, Gen. Bipin Rawat, recently said the joint study groups have brought out their papers, which were “being iterated, deliberated and further refined so that firm steps can be taken to operationalise them in the next 2-3 years.” The proposals would soon be sent to the government, one of the sources stated.
Land-based theatre commands are also in the works and Gen. Rawat has called for integrated training and logistics commands as well.