Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 1
Recasting the forces into theatre commands will not be done by copying the existing western models, and the Indian military will work out a system of its own, said the first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, minutes after taking over on Wednesday. He also stressed he will ‘strive to’ complete the integration of the services within the mandated three-year timeline set by the government.
He inspected a tri-services guard of honour outside the South Block where the Chiefs of the three armed forces — the Army, Navy and the IAF — were present. The CDS will be the head of the newly created Department of Military Affairs. The three services would be under the DMA for military matters involving procurement, logistics, training, transport, maintenance, etc. On being asked that how will he complete the mandate of having theatre commands as the IAF, in the past, opposed it, General Rawat told the media: "There are methods of doing theatres we need not copy a western system. We will work out a system of our own".
Answering a specific question if India would retain its present 19 commands or merge them, the new CDS said: "That is something we have to study. We will surely come out with a mechanism that suits the Indian system."
On the government setting a three-year timeline for integration, and if it was possible to do it in three years or more time was needed, General Rawat said: "I will say it is possible. I cannot say we give up. The government has said three years, we will strive to achieve it in three years".
On the role of the CDS, he said: "I can assure the Army, IAF and the Navy will work as a team. CDS will only keep control; it is not that CDS will want to run a force on his own".
On how he felt as CDS, the General pointed towards his new military cap saying "I am wearing a peaked cap after 42 years. The last I wore this was when I passed out from IMA (Indian Military Academy in 1978). The Gorkha tilted hat is gone. This shows the CDS will remain neutral within the service and to all three services". The General was commissioned in the Gorkha Rifles and they wear a peculiar tilted hat.
On synergy, the General said all three services cannot work on the formula that the sum total of three energies translates into 'only three'. The total of energies has to be much more, maybe five or seven, meaning multiplication.
The forces, he said have to have best economical use of resources as we focus on integration. We can do training jointly. Procurement procedure can be made uniform.
He raised the issue in the House of Commons on Thursday to m...