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Western Theatre Command Based on SWC Likely Test Bed


Theaterisation is once again gaining momentum with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan making up for the slack that occurred due to the untimely demise of General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter accident in December 2021.


General Chauhan has been building consensus of the services towards creation of theatre commands with indications that the South West Command of the Indian Army in Jaipur likely to be the test bed nominated as the first Integrated Command for the Western or Pakistan front. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan has made a number of visits to Jaipur-based South Western Command the latest one being on June 23, 2023.


Most recently, inaugurating the DRDO Directors’ Conclave, an annual event of DRDO, in New Delhi on July 14, 2023, General Chauhan called for focus on the principles of jointness, integration and theaterisation.


General Anil Chauhan said in the national security realm, the concept of theaterisation is a fundamental change that is on the anvil. “It is one of the most ambitious changes with far reaching implications attempted post-independence. The start on this journey depends on the right steps being taken first towards jointness and integration. Theaterisation involves creation of tri service theatre specific structures for effective response along the entire spectrum of conflict,” said General Anil Chauhan.


The CDS said, integration in the physical domain aims to achieve a multiplier effect as it combines the unique capabilities of the Services through integrated processes and structures to increase the war fighting capability.


In line with the concept the first Integrated Theatre Command (ITC) which could include the South Western, Western, and Southern Commands could be raised in Jaipur. This would include elements of the Indian Air Force Western and South Western Air Commands apart from other elements of IAF commands the exact contours of which will be evident once the formal organization is declared.


This could possibly be a test bed based on which further theatre commands could be designated with the Northern Command of the Army focused on J & K and Ladakh being a possible standalone command. Other commands could include the Eastern Theatre Command focused on China though information of which remains sketchy and the Maritime Command of the Navy.


Functional command such as logistics could be also in the offing.


Creation of the first integrated theatre command could well be the big ticket defence oriented announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Independence Day on August 15 from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi.

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