Amid the ongoing discussions on the creation of Theatre Commands, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday said official deliberations on the issue are still on and denied to comment on media reports suggesting that the IAF was opposing the move while the Army and Navy were supporting it.
“Official deliberations regarding theatre commands are ongoing. IAF will not comment on media articles on the subject,” an IAF spokesperson said when asked if it would like to comment on the media reports in this regard.
The IAF was asked to comment on the media reports suggesting that the Air Force was the only force opposing the formation of the theatre commands in the present form. The reports came soon after the Defence Ministry was given a presentation of the Draft Cabinet Note on the theatre commands where the top defence functionaries raised questions over the proposed structure and expressed the need for more discussions on the issue.
During the presentation, officials from the defence ministry pointed out certain issues brought out in the presentation.
Sources said the proposed theatre commands suggested bringing some of the paramilitary forces of the Ministry of Home Affairs under the theatre commands along with the Indian Coast Guard.
The defence functionaries in the meeting felt and suggested that since organisations from outside the Ministry of Defence were involved, there was the need for setting up inter-ministerial committees to discuss the matter with them.
The command structure, sources said, also suggests giving service extension to the proposed theatre commanders who would be above the vice chiefs of the three services and below the chiefs.
Citing foreign models on theatre commands, points were raised as to why geography-specific commands were being planned as the formations comprise the elements of all three services, they said.