Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 15
India is set to create an overarching maritime command. It will have warships, fighter jets, helicopters, submarines, aircraft carriers and special amphibious brigades of the Army.
To be headed by the Navy, the command’s contours were finalised and shared with the chiefs of the three-armed forces a couple of weeks ago.
Before the year ends, the plan is expected to be sent to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat for a decision and government’s approval.
Creating theatre commands with elements of all three armed forces operating jointly is the mandate of the CDS, a post created in January this year. The command will not just cover both sides of the peninsula but also aims to dominate a vast area. The Navy assumes its area of influence from the Straits of Hormuz to the west and Straits of Malacca to the east.
Sources said the proposal is to have a maritime theatre commander, an Army commander-level officer, based out of Karwar (Karnataka), just south of Goa. The Western, Eastern, Southern and Andaman and Nicobar Naval Commands along with two specialised Army brigades will be under the maritime commander.
The various elements of Coast Guard on east and west coasts will be woven into the same architecture.
In other words, the maritime theatre commander will be responsible for securing the sea lanes of communications and maritime security along the 7,500 km coastline.