Military gets new node in Mumbai for better logistics integration
The Indian military on Thursday operationalised a new joint logistics node (JLN) in Mumbai to provide integrated logistics support to the three services, a move that will bolster jointness as well as help cut costs and better utilise manpower, the defence ministry said.
This is the third JLN to be set up in three months, with the aim of integrating the military’s logistics set-up and improving its war-fighting ability. Logistics nodes were operationalised in Guwahati and Port Blair on January 1, 2021. The government sanction letter for setting up these nodes came on October 12, 2020.
Chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat, who inaugurated the Mumbai JLN via a video link on Thursday, said, “Establishment and operationalisation of JLNs is a very important first step in the direction of logistics integration of our three services. Acceptance of each other’s limitations and learning from each other’s strengths and best practices is essential to help improve the functioning and efficacy of these nodes.”
The Joint Operations Division (JOD) under the Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff pursued and enabled the establishment of the JLNs.
“All future wars will be conducted by tri-service in an integrated manner. To enable our armed forces to conduct successful operations, it is essential that they be provided with sound logistics support during all stages of war,” the ministry said in a statement.
“This is the precursor to the joint logistics command which is being planned and is imperative for the optimisation of the combat potential of integrated theatres,” said Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia (retd), a former director general of military operations.
India is set to begin a formal roll-out of its long-awaited theaterisation plan to best utilise its military’s resources amid growing security threats, with the Air Defence Command and the Maritime Theatre Command set to be launched by May.
Apart from the Air Defence and Maritime Theatre Commands, India is expected to have three other integrated commands to secure its western, northern and eastern fronts — these will be rolled out by December 2022. In addition, a logistics command is in the works to avoid duplication of efforts and resources. The CDS’s mandate includes bringing about jointness in operations, logistics, transport, training, support services and repairs and maintenance of the three services.
The JLNs will provide integrated logistics cover to the armed forces for their small arms ammunition, rations, fuel, general stores, civil hired transport, aviation clothing, spares and also engineering support in an effort to synergise their operational efforts, the ministry said.
“This initiative would accrue advantages in terms of saving of manpower, economise utilisation of resources, besides financial savings,” the statement said, adding that more such nodes would be launched across the country.
Rawat emphasised the need to work towards greater logistics integration with national logistics to benefit from the infrastructural and logistics improvements taking place at the national level. “Through this, we will bring to bear the actual ‘Whole of the Nation’ effort on our adversaries,” he said.
The government expects Rawat, who took charge as India’s first CDS on January 1, 2020, to bring about jointness among the three services in a three-year time frame (by January 2023). One of the means to achieve jointness is the setting up of integrated theatre commands for the best use of military resources to fight future battles.