plan to best utilise its military’s resources

First joint commands to be launched by May

India gets ready to roll out long-awaited Theaterisation plan with Air Defence and Maritime commands

India is set to begin a formal roll-out of its long-awaited Theaterisation plan to best utilize its military’s resources amid growing security threats, with the Air Defence Command and the Maritime Theatre Command set to be launched by May, people familiar with the developments said on Tuesday.

  1. India gets ready to roll out long-awaited Theaterisation plan with Air Defense and Maritime commands.
  2. Theaterisation refers to placing specific units of the army, the navy and the air force under a theatre commander.
  3. Such commands are led by an officer from any of the three services( Its commander-in-chief will be a top three-star Indian Air Force officer).
  4. The commands are being set up in the backdrop of border tensions with China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh and Pakistani hostility along.
  5. The Line of Control (Loc) in Jammu & Kashmir, with a joint threat from the two nuclear-armed neighbors being acknowledged as a reality by the country’s military leadership.
  6. A time when India is demonstrating a muscular stance in the Indo-Pacific region.
  7. The Air Defense Command, which will come up in Prayagraj (Allahabad), will be the first to be set up in April. It will control the air defense resources of all the three services and will be tasked with protecting military assets from airborne enemies.
  8. The Maritime Theatre Command, to be headquartered in Karwar on the west coast, will come up the following month and be responsible for securing India from seaborne threats and will have army and air force elements under it. Its commander-in-chief will be a top three-star Indian Navy officer.

“The final validation exercises to set up the two commands are in full swing. Aspects related to executing authority, command and control structures and budgeting are being fine-tuned,” said a senior official, one of the people cited above, who asked not to be named.

The Air Defence Command, which will come up in Prayagraj (Allahabad), will be the first to be set up in April. It will control the air defence resources of all the three services, and will be tasked with protecting military assets from airborne enemies. Its commander-in-chief will be a top three-star Indian Air Force officer. The Maritime Theatre Command, to be headquartered in Karwar on the west coast, will come up the following month and be responsible for securing India from seaborne threats and will have army and air force elements under it. Its commander-in-chief will be a top three-star Indian Navy officer.

Theaterisation refers to placing specific units of the army, the navy and the air force under a theatre commander. Such commands are led by an officer from any of the three services, depending on the roles assigned to them.

Importance of jointmanship

India’s CDS General Bipin Rawat wears three hats — he is the permanent chairman of COSC, heads the department of military affairs (DMA), and is the single-point military adviser to the defence minister.