India to get 5 military theatre commands by 2022 to counter threats from China, Pakistan

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In a move to strengthen its military and ensure synchronized operations, India will have five theatre commands by 2022 with defined areas of operation and a seamless command structure.

Out of the five theatre commands, China and Pakistan will have specific command due to rising conflict with these countries. The military is planning to bring Jammu and Kashmir under a theater which will have both the Line of Control (LOC) and the International Border (IB).

The department of military affairs will also have additional and joint secretaries after Cabinet clearance. 

The five commands coming up in India include The northern command, the Western Command, the Peninsular Command, air defence command, a marine command.

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The northern command will be based between the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh and the last outpost Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh. The military command will guide the Line of Actual Control with China and the headquarters will be in Lucknow.

The Western Command will be remanded from Indira Col on Saltoro Ridge in the Siachen Glacier area with its headquarters prospecting at Gujarat’s trip to Jaipur.

The third theater command will be the Peninsular Command which will also be responsible for the security of the entire Indian Ocean region and South India.The Peninsular Command’s likely headquarters may be Thiruvananthapuram.

The work of preparing a detailed report for the Peninsular command will start from 31 March and the command will likely be formed within a year.

The Air Defence Command will not only speed up the country’s airstrikes. It will also be responsible for defending Indian airspace through multi-role fighters with all anti-aircraft missiles under its control.

As per the Defence Ministry,  the task of reorganization of the three services under theatre commands has already begun. The Narendra Modi government has given the task to create theatre commands to Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat. 

Rawat said that the creation of five military theatre commands will be helpful in making better use of the defence budget. He said a Common doctrine and training command will be made to develop working methods and to ease operations within the military. He added, equipment like drones, helicopters are used by all the three armies, so the synergy will be better, apart from saving expenses from their shared training.

Notably, China and US already have theatre commands in their military system. China has made its theater command some time back by abolishing its military region. The Indian border is handled by the Western Theater Command of the Chinese Army. 

In addition to training, the Common doctrine and training command will also be responsible to plan and prepare for the future. The Air Force will also train its fighter pilots in a single base. Gwalior airbase has been selected for this.

By the end of this year, the work of preparing reports for more common commands will begin so that theater commands can be started by 2021-22. The entire country can be divided into 2 to theater commands, which will be commanded by the Navy, the Air Force and all the three organs as required.

According to senior officials familiar with the matter, all five commands will be headed by commanders of the rank of lieutenant general or equivalent, who will be the first to compete with the current command heads. The Chief of the Army Staff’s work, the Chief of the Air Force and the Chief of the Navy, will not operate, but involves raising resources for theater commanders as it is in the US Army.

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