The U.S. military took nearly 50 years to refine its joint command and control structures after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II underscored the need for greater coordination among U.S. forces, a said the new head of the Indian navy, Admiral R Hari Kumar on Friday. .
His comments, in response to a question about the articulation, were a broader attempt to convey the complications associated with the creation of Integrated Commands at a time when India prepares to roll out its theatrical plan to improve the army efficiency and reshaping the conduct of future operations. .
“The articulation and integration cannot be done in a very, very short time. If you look at the US military, it took almost 50 years, ”said the head of the navy during his annual press briefing on the eve of Navy Day. “The impetus for unity came after the attack on Pearl Harbor. I’m not saying we should take the same time, but it’s a complicated process, and it’s not something that can be put together in a short period of time, ”said the naval chief.
The US military’s joint command and control model is the result of the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act passed by Congress in 1986.
Kumar said the navy fully supports the ongoing defense reforms to improve synergy between the three services. The current theatricalization model aims to put in place four integrated commands — two theaters of land operations, an air defense command and a maritime theater command.
“We envision the establishment of the Maritime Theater Command in the near future, which would further strengthen joint planning and joint force application. Details are being worked out and could be finalized by the middle of next year, ”said Kumar, who took office as chief of the navy on November 30.
He was closely associated with the theatricalization effort in a former role of Integrated Chief of Defense Staff to the Chairman of the Committee of Chiefs of Staff (COSC).
The Department of Military Affairs (DMA), headed by General in Chief of the Armed Forces (CDS) Bipin Rawat, spearhead of the theatricalization process, asked the three services last month to speed up their studies. underway on creating theater commands and submitting full reports in six months. The deadline for submitting reports has been brought forward from September 2022 to April 2022.
Elaborating on the proposed maritime theater command, Kumar said the existing command and control structures would remain largely intact with a lean “theater command organization” superimposed on them.
The Maritime Theater Commander’s charter will largely be operations, with little administration or maintenance role, he said. “At some point, the chief of the navy will only be responsible for raising, training and sustaining forces. But certainly, the chief will also be aware of the operations because he will be part of the COSC, ”said Kumar. .
“These are the big contours that we are looking at. It might happen in six months … it might take a little longer. The timing will depend on how we resolve the complexities involved and the details of theater orders, ”Kumar said.
Any structural change of an effective organization to ensure future readiness requires detailed deliberations among stakeholders and smooth transition management, said Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia (ret), former director of the Center for Joint Warfare Studies. “Security challenges dictate that we put theater orders in place as soon as possible,” Bhatia added.
The armed forces currently have 17 single-service commands spread across the country. The Indian Army and Indian Air Force each have seven commands, while the Indian Navy has three. Creating theaters would involve merging existing orders.
Army North Command is the only one-service command that will remain outside the scope of the Army’s dramatization campaign due to its critical role. The Udhampur-based command is responsible for guarding the country’s borders with Pakistan and China in the north, and is the hub of counterterrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Kumar said the creation of the DMA and the post of CDS two years ago was “the most important” reform of the top defense organization in the Indian military since independence.
“Benefits include clear dissemination of national policy goals to the military, greater awareness of national challenges, direct accountability and accountability to the political executive, faster decisions and approvals, and fewer levels. bureaucracy, “said the navy chief.
The appointment of a CDS was one of the most important recommendations made by the Kargil Review Board (KRC) headed by K Subrahmanyam, which was formed in the aftermath of the Kargil War in 1999 to examine the shortcomings which allowed Pakistani soldiers to occupy strategic heights, the slowness of the initial Indian response and suggest measures to strengthen national security.
Regarding the challenge posed by the Chinese Navy seeking to increase its footprint in the Indian Ocean region, Kumar said the Indian Navy is constantly monitoring the region and following the deployments of the People’s Liberation Army (PLAN). .
“We have our plans in place. There is constant monitoring of our planes and ships deployed on missions. Chinese activities and deployments are closely monitored, ”he added.