Integrated theatre commands

  • As part of the process of evolving consensus among the three services on the reorganisation of the forces into integrated tri-service theatre commands and fine-tune the model, for the first time a table-top war-gaming exercise was held on July 22, 2021 in which all scenarios including a collusive threat of a two-front war from China and Pakistan were war-gamed, according to a defence official.
  • This event was attended by around 40 officers including the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat, three Service Chiefs, Vice Chiefs and Director General of Military Operations equivalent from the three services.

What are integrated theatre commands?

  • In the simplest words, it is a unified command under which all the resources of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are pooled, depending on the threat perception. The commands could be geographical — like looking at a border with a particular country — or thematic, like a command for all maritime threats. Several nations in the world have theatre commands, including the United States and China.
  • The idea of creating an integrated tri-Services command in India is not new — it had been recommended at various levels after the Kargil conflict.
  • Background: India currently has 19 military commands with 17 of them service-oriented. While both the Army and the Air Force have seven commands each, the Navy has three. India also has a Tri-Service Command — Andaman and Nicobar Command — besides the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which looks after the country’s nuclear stockpile.