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CDS Anil Chauhan asks 3 defence forces to work on creation of theatre commands


General Anil Chauhan, the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), has asked the Army, Navy, and Air Force to move forward with the creation of integrated theatre commands in his first communication with the three armed forces.

On October 3, the CDS will also travel to Jodhpur to see the Light Combat Helicopter being inducted into the Indian Air Force. This will be Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari’s first trip outside of Delhi since assuming his new position.

The creation of theatre commands to aid the Army, Navy, and Air Force in fighting the upcoming wars jointly was one of the top mandates for the newly created position of Chief of Defence Staff in 2019.

“The CDS has communicated to the defence forces to move ahead on creating theatre commands which would be his priority area. A lot of discussions have already been done on the issue and it is now time to move forward,” government sources told ANI.

The three services have also done several studies in individual capacity as well as joint ones to discuss the issue of theatre commands in detail, they said.

The late Gen. Bipin Rawat, Gen. Chauhan’s predecessor, also put a lot of effort into making the three forces leaner, faster, and more equipped with contemporary weapons.

According to earlier plans, a maritime theatre command, along with western and eastern land-based commands, were to be established. Additionally, Air Defence Command was to be established, with the Ladakh region being temporarily excluded.

However, the Indian Air Force expressed its opposition to the creation of too many theatre commands, stating that doing so could result in the division of its current assets, such as fighter jets.

It was also against any land or maritime commands and wanted theatres to be created to deal with specific threats from different sides.

These investigations and presentations by the three forces have continued following Gen. Rawat’s passing, and presentations on the subject have been made to the top officials of the defence ministry.

The establishment of these commands is likely to pick up steam now that CDS Gen Chauhan is in charge, and decisions in this regard are anticipated to be made soon.

(With inputs from ANI)

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