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Current Affairs

Integrated theatre commands

Date: 26 June 2021 Tags: Policy


The Chief of Defence Staff has recently held a series of meetings to discuss issues related to setting up of integrated theatre commands.



The vice chief of Navy, Air Force and Army were consulted to know their opinion about the issue. There was also participation by important members of the government.



  • An integrated theatre command can be considered as a unified command under which resources of Navy, Army and Air force are pooled together based on the perception of threat.

  • The setting up of the command can be based on geographical reason (border with a particular country) or thematic (command for all marine threats).

  • India is not the first country that is planning to set up such commands. Countries such as China and USA already have such provisions.


Idea of theatre commands

  • The idea of setting up integrated theatre commands emerged during the Kargil war and has been ignored until the appointment of CDS for co-ordinating.

  • The CDS was particularly appointed to set up these commands. He has been since having extensive discussions with all stake holders.

  • The Air Defence Command was the first to be introduced in 2020 but has been delayed due to pandemic. The commands could be announced by later this year.


Proposed ideas

  • Currently, four or five integrated tri-service theatre commands could be created. These commands will be headed by a three star officer.

  • The commander will directly report to the Chiefs of Staff Committee that will be permanently headed by the CDS and Chief of staff of all services will be members.

  • Currently, the chief of staff has all the control over their respective resources. After the setting up of theatre command, Chiefs of Staff Committee will be in-charge.


The proposed commands

  • Maritime Theatre Command: It will handle maritime security of the whole country on both west coast and east coast.

  • Air Defence Command: It will look after the air defence of the whole country including surveying.

  • Land-based commands: Two or three such commands will be set up for land border with China and Pakistan.

  • Logistics command: A specialised command that will handle the logistics of all the services managed by a single person.

  • Training and Doctrine Command: For imparting some same basic training and upholding a common doctrine.


Existing tri-service commands

Currently there are two such commands. One is the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), having all three forces. The second is the Strategic Force Command for protecting India’s nuclear assets.