The Indian Navy convened an important conference with officers from the Army and the Air Force on Thursday last week to create the Maritime Theatre Command, under which the Navy would command the Army and Air Force while also looking after the peninsular India and the island territories of the country.
The aim is to set up a functional joint fighting formation by the end of this year. The meeting was headed by Vice Admiral AB Singh to talk over the structure of the proposed command.
The proposed command will be responsible for the entire Indian maritime zone, from the Andaman’s in the east to the Lakshadweep in the west, as well as maintaining strong surveillance in areas of national interest throughout the Indian Ocean and Pacific region.
The conference was held as part of study and exercise by the Indian Navy to propose the formation of Maritime Theatre Command. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been vocal in its opposition to the proposed four theatre commands structure. All the three military forces have been asked to carry out studies for the same by the Department of Military Affairs under late Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat and submit the report by April.
The IAF supports the creation of theatre commands but highlighted concerns about the number of new commands that can be created with the available resources and assets. The Indian Army has nominated Lt Gen YK Dimri along with South Western Army Commander Lt Gen Amardeep Singh Binder to conduct the study for the creation of these commands.
The proposed four new theatre commands does not include the Ladakh region which has seen two big aggressions by Pakistan and China in the last two decades.