Rajnath Singh asks military to stay prepared to respond at short notice
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said the armed forces need to stay prepared to respond to any contingency at short notice, given the volatile situation on India’s borders. Singh’s comments came while addressing the Indian Air Force’s top brass at the opening day of the three-day bi-annual commanders’ conference.
The remarks come at a time when India and China have hardened their stance on the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, and also in the eastern sector, with increased military activities on both sides of the boundary, infrastructure development, surveillance and combat manoeuvres by their armies. The two countries have been locked in a border standoff in Ladakh for over 18 months.
Singh lauded IAF for its high level of preparedness and ability to respond to any situation at short notice.
Addressing the commanders, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari stressed on the need to develop multi-domain capability to give a “swift and befitting response” to any misadventures by India’s adversaries. The air chief also highlighted the need for joint training with the army and the navy for synergised application of combat power in future conflicts.
The minister said enhancing jointness was essential and joint structures should be evolved after closely examining various options. He said inputs from all stake holders would be taken into consideration.
The department of military affairs (DMA), headed by chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, has asked the three services to expedite their ongoing studies on the creation of threatre commands, and submit comprehensive reports within six months.
The deadline for submitting the reports has been advanced from September 2022 to April 2022. The current theaterisation model seeks to set up four new integrated commands for synergy in operations --- two land-centric theatres, an air defence command and a maritime theatre command.