GOI is working on three new tri-Service commands?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by SafedSagar, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. SafedSagar

    SafedSagar Regular Member

    Nov 26, 2014
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    Govt gets cracking on three new tri-Service commands

    NEW DELHI: The Modi government has finally got cracking on the long-pending proposal to create three new tri-Service commands to handle the critical arenas of space, cyberspace and clandestine warfare in the form of Special Forces.

    Sources on Wednesday said defence minister Manohar Parrikar has directed the integrated defence staff (IDS), which is headed by a three-star general and deals with tri-Service issues, to "work out and fine-tune" the "basic structures" for the Cyber, Aerospace and Special Operations Commands.

    "The detailed notes for the three commands, with presentations and timelines, have already gone up and down between the IDS and MoD a couple of times. It will take another year or so for the commands to be created," said a source.

    India has been quite slow to respond to the ever-expanding military challenges and threats in space and cyberspace, which have emerged as the new battlefields after the traditional ones of land, sea and air. With its disparate Special Forces being controlled by different authorities, it has also failed to transform its unconventional warfare arm into an effective tool for strategic use.

    TOI was the first to report in 2012 that the chiefs of staff committee, which comprises the Army, Navy and IAF chiefs, had recommended the urgent need for the three new unified commands. But since then, the proposal had remained in cold storage before it was revived in recent months.


    "The new commands will, of course, not be set up in one go. They will come up in a phased manner depending on availability of funds...the accretion of manpower will also be progressive," said the source.

    The three Services already have their own space and cyber cells as well as different Special Forces in the form of Para-SF battalions (Army), marine commandos (Navy) and Garuds (IAF). But there is a critical need to pool the resources of the three Services, which often engage in turf wars, and set up unified command and control structures to "synergise" the capabilities in a cost-effective manner.

    The plan is to have three-star generals (Lt-Generals/Air Marshals/Vice Admirals) from the service with the "requisite core competence" to be the commanders-in-chief of the new commands. So, while the structures and manpower will be tri-Service, the Aerospace Command is likely to be headed by an IAF officer.

    Similarly, the Special Operations Command will get an Army Lt-Gen to head it. The country's only existing tri-Service theatre command in the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, which currently gets a chief in rotation from the three Services like the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), in turn, will be headed by a naval officer. The Cyber Command, the SFC and IDS will get their chiefs in rotation from the three Services.

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