Towards integrated commands: It’s too late to turn around

Source– The post is based on the article “Towards integrated commands: It’s too late to turn around” published in the Business Standard  on 7th October 2022.

Syllabus: GS3- Security Challenges

Relevance– Military reforms

News-  The article explains the concerns of the air force about the creation of integrated theatre command. It also tells about the basic framework of integrated theatre commands.

What is an integrated theatre command?

The Elements of all three service the army, navy and air force work in an integrated manner to maximise the military’s combat power.

This would involve restructuring India’s single service commands. It merges 17 army, navy and air force commands into five or six  tri-service commands.

The Andaman & Nicobar Command and the Strategic Forces Command are India’s only tri-service commands.

What are the concerns of the Air Force related to integrated theatre commands?

It has reservations about setting up joint command structures without having thought through the process and its consequences adequately.

The idea of dividing their 30-35 fighter squadrons among five-six integrated theatre commands, leaves all of them with a little strength.

The Air Force wants that planning should be centralised and execution decentralised. Centralised planning is essential for multiple tasking required by the Air Force. Aircraft are viewed as flexible assets that can be switched around among theatres.

What is the way forward?

New structures needed to be future ready. They need to be prepared for new forms of warfare such as cyber and space warfare.

With multiple tasking in mind, the decision-making levels must be reduced.

It is essential to address the concerns of the air force.

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