In a bid to inject some much-needed synergy and integration among the Army, Navy and IAF, the armed forces have now formulated a joint training doctrine after finalizing a new joint war doctrine earlier in the year.
The 51-page “Joint Training Doctrine, Indian Armed Forces – 2017” was issued after being cleared by the chiefs of staff committee, comprising Admiral Sunil Lanba, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa and Geneal Bipin Rawat, on Tuesday.
The three Services fight the same war at the end of the day. So, there is the need to train together for it. This is the first time that such a keystone document has been promulgated. It brings out at the macro-level the approach to joint training, fundamentals, objectives, joint structures, planning and other aspects
The training doctrine flows from the “Joint Doctrine, Indian Armed Forces -2017” issued in April, which had stressed the need for the Army, Navy and IAF to plan and work together to effectively tackle the entire spectrum of conflict, ranging from full-blown conventional wars to irregular and hybrid warfare.
It also underlined that India needs to systematically prepare for the “emerging triad” of space, cyberspace and special operations in support of military operations, even as it builds an integrated land-air-sea war-fighting machinery, maintains credible nuclear deterrence and guards against unconventional threats.
But the government is yet to even approve the truncated tri-Service organizations proposed to handle the critical domains of space, cyberspace and special operations, instead of the full-fledged commands that were recommended earlier.
The country’s higher defence management also requires major reforms, ranging from creation of the pivotal post of a tri-Service chief or chief of defence staff to the setting up of integrated theatre commands in the long run.
India has only two unified commands till now. While the Andaman and Nicobar Command was the first to be established as a theatre command in 2001, the Strategic Forces Command was created in 2003 to handle the country’s nuclear arsenal. In sharp contrast, there are as many as 17 single-Service commands, with the Army and IAF having seven each, with the Navy having three.
China, incidentally, is developing robust military space and cyberspace capabilities, ranging from advanced ASAT (anti-satellite) and directed-energy laser weapons to cyber-weapons capable of crippling an adversary’s information and other networks.