Integrated theatre commands next step in defence reforms: Army chief. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Oct 21 : The next logical step in the process of defence reforms in India is the formation of Integrated Theatre Commands to synergise the capabilities and combat potential of the three armed services during war and peace, Indian Army chief, Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Wednesday.

He, however, said that this process will be "deliberate, thoughtful and well considered" and its fruition will take a "number of years." The army chief was speaking during his visit to the College of Defence Management (CDM) and the Bison Division at Secunderabad.

At the CDM, Gen. Naravane, interacting with the officers of the prestigious Higher Defence Management Course, spoke about the current security scenario and focused on the geo-strategic implications on capability development and force utilisation of the Indian Army in pursuit of national interests.

During his address to the student officers and faculty of the CDM, he spoke on a number of issues concerning integration, theaterisation and modernisation of the armed forces in general, and the Indian Army in particular.

On the government's decision to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and create the Department of Military Affairs, he said that it was "a momentous one" and that the services needed to "demonstrate great wisdom and statesmanship in enabling the CDS, a long-standing demand of the armed forces".

The army chief also told the officers that there was a need for everyone to work in a spirit of togetherness and trust with the national security interests being paramount. However, adding a note of caution, he said that there might be a requirement for "mid course corrections." Optimistic about the future of integration of the armed forces, he said it was "an inevitability" as it would lead to "tri-services synergy" and optimisation of resources.

Gen. Naravane commended the CDM for the excellent work related to grooming of tech-adept, management savvy and strategically nimble higher leadership. He also released the Golden Jubilee Commemorative Coffee Table Book on the occasion.

At the Bison Division, the Army Chief was briefed by its commander, Major Gen. Alok Joshi, on security and operational preparedness of the formation in the presence of Southern Command chief, Lt. Gen. C.P. Mohanty.

He commended the formation for their high level of operational preparedness and exhorted all ranks to continue training hard with zeal and be prepared for any future operational challenges. He was appreciative of the recent flood relief operations and protection measures taken by the units in the fight against Covid-19.

Later, General Naravane visited the Simulator Development Division (SDD), Secunderabad and the TATA Boeing Aerospace Ltd (TBAL) at Hyderabad, a joint venture facility of Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems established for co-production of Apache Helicopters-64.A He appreciated the "Make in India" initiatives and reinvigorated efforts towards indigenisation and being "Aatmanirbhar" on niche technologies.

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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