Preliminary discussions between the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat and the 3 service chiefs have paved way for beginning the process of setting up the Commands within a fixed time period.
Significant cost-cutting is expected to be achieved through common store management, shared bases, maintenance stocks and the utilization of similar weapons. The indigenous manufacturing of ammunition to a very high standard would also help to bring down costs.
CDS said that his immediate priorities are to minimize wastages, prevent overstocking supplies and if possible start ‘nil stocking’ of supplies which are immediately available from commercial vendors.
India would have a Peninsula Command, an Air Defence Command and Space Command and a multi-service Logistics Command and Training Command. The exact number of these Theatre Commands is not yet decided.
Each Theatre Command is expected to have an integral Air Force element and additional aircraft could be deployed depending on the requirement.
One of the far-reaching proposals is linked to the need of cutting down on the Rs 1.33 lakh crore pension budget of the Indian Armed forces that would enable non-officer ranks to be employed till the age of 58.
Currently, India has 17 command headquarters: 3 of the Navy and 7 each of the Army and Air Force. The Army western command is in Chandigarh, the Navy’s is in Mumbai and the IAF’s in New Delhi. In the East, IAF in Shillong, the Army in Kolkata and the Navy in Vishakhapatnam. Only at Andamans, all three services are part of the command located there.
It is our goal to develop the services as an armed force by integrating capabilities, logistics and manpower within the new Military Commands with an aim to bring down expenses, rationalize manpower and ensure that the armed forces fight as a cohesive unit. – CDS Bipin Rawat