Cross Staffing of Army Officers to IAF, Navy Soon


Cross Staffing of Army Officers to IAF, Navy Soon

In a major step towards bringing integration in the Indian military and creation of theatre commands, Amrita Nayak Dutta (journalist with The Indian Express;  News Editor at CNN-News18) reports, a large batch of around 40 Army officers will soon be posted to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Navy establishments where they would perform similar roles as they do in the Army.

Top officials told The Indian Express that the Army officers who are part of the cross-staffing postings are in the executive level in the ranks of Major and Lieutenant Colonel. A corresponding number of officers from the IAF and the Navy are also likely to be posted to Army establishments for executing similar tasks.

The officers would be transferred to missile units, for handling UAVs and for logistics, repair and recovery and material and supplies management among other roles in the two other services. This is possible because several UAVs and weapon systems, radars, vehicles, telecommunication equipment among others are common across the three services.

So far, only a handful such postings had taken place, officials said, citing examples of certain Army officers getting posted to select roles in naval operations or in flying roles in the IAF.

Defence officials said this is a significant step in creating cross functional teams which will be a primary requirement for achieving theaterisation. The officers would learn the ethos and nuances and functioning of each service from an early stage in their careers.


Greater synergy

As reported first by  Then Indian Express, the armed forces are drawing up the final contours of theaterisation plans which seek to integrate the Army, Navy, and Air Force and their resources into specific theatre commands.

One of the top proposals being considered is to create joint theatre commands based on India’s adversaries in the neighbourhood to begin with, as against the four defined theatre commands planned earlier. The creation of the theatre commands is likely to take some time.

India has two joint services commands – the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) and the Strategic Forces Command (SFC).

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