The November 26 attacks in the city were carried out by terrorists who came from the sea. The fact has made security and defence experts underline the importance of setting up expeditionary forces, especially for the western coast of the country, under the umbrella of the Joint Amphibious Warfare (JAW) programme.
In the run-up to the maiden, two-day JAW colloquium scheduled to commence on Monday in Pune, defence experts set the tone for the event by calling for such a force. Expeditionary forces are quick-reaction forces that can meet threats before they arrive on the country’s shores. The JAW programme envisages the utilisation of the expertise of all three defence services — army, navy and air force.
Lieutenant General (Retired) Aditya Singh, a former general officer commanding-in-chief, Southern Command, said there were many terrorist groups active in the Indian Ocean region.
“A specialised and modern (expeditionary) force is a necessity,” said Lieutenant General Singh.
Security has become an important issue in the Indian Ocean region, which holds one-third of the world’s population and has vital trade routes.
“It (Indian Ocean region) is the locus of important sea lines of communication,” said Dr Shrikant Paranjpe, head of department, Defence and Strategic Studies, University of Pune.
Lieutenant General Singh added that the strength of the expeditionary forces could be in the region of 3,000 to 4,000.
“One such force exists under the Andaman and Nicobar Command and can be restructured to meet emerging requirements,” said the retired defence officer.