A two-day conference of formation commanders of the Southern Command was held on Thursday and Friday in Pune to review the prevailing security situation along the border regions and to deliberate on the process of Theaterisation.

The Southern Command of the Indian Army tweeted on Friday morning, “Southern Command Formation Commanders Conference is being held from 2 to 3 September 2021 at Pune to review the prevailing security and operational situation along our borders.”

The conference was attended by the commanders of the various Corps and Division formations within the Southern Command and was chaired by Southern Army Commander Lt Gen J S Nain. Officials from the key Naval and IAF formations from the area of responsibility of the Southern Command also attended the conference.

The Pune-headquartered Southern Command comprises two Corps, with their headquarters located at Jodhpur and Bhopal. Among the static formations are the ‘Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa Area’, with its headquarters in Mumbai, and the Dakshin Bharat Area, with its headquarters at Chennai.

Conferences of Army Commanders, Air Force Commanders and Naval Commanders take place on a regular basis to review various operational, logistics, training and administrative aspects within individual services. Tri-services commanders’ conferences are also held on a regular basis to strengthen and promote joint-ness amongst the three services.

On the same lines, conferences of commanders of the formations within various Army Commands are also held on a regular basis to discuss operational issues and those related to preparedness.

In the conference that concluded on Friday in Pune, deliberations were held on security and operational scenarios in the border regions in the area of responsibility of the Southern Command, preparedness of various key formations and the process of Theaterisation. The process of Theaterisation entails integration of the Army, Navy and the Air Force to form individual theatre commands. The theatre commands can be formed with specific geographical areas as focus or focus on one dimension — like Maritime Command or Air Defence Command.

One of the key subjects allocated to the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), headed by the Chief of Defence Staff, is, “Facilitation of restructuring of Military Commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about joint-ness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands.”

Because of the geography, combined with the presence of Indian Navy’s and Indian Air Force’s command formations, the Army’s Southern Command has been key for tri-services integration. In its area of responsibility, Southern Command has eleven states and four union territories, covering nearly 41 percent of the country’s landmass. Its formations, establishments and units are spread over 19 cantonments and 36 military stations.