In an important development, the Army has rejigged the tasking of its force along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), thus reducing the multiplicity of commands on the 3,488-km un-demarcated divide along the Himalayan ridgeline.

It also shows the Indian focus on the LAC and holding the existing positions. On Saturday, Army Chief General MM Naravane had mentioned that the Army was prepared to “stay up there at the LAC”, if the Chinese did so.

Brigade of Western Command & key strike division now responsibility of Central Command
Eastern flank of HP part of the Central Command headquartered at Lucknow
‘Strike division’ of Western Command headquartered at Dehradun made part of Central Command
No movement of units , only the command structure changed

A brigade of the Western Command, which was tasked along the LAC, and an important “strike division” have been made part of the area of responsibility of the Central Command.

Sources said the eastern flank of Himachal Pradesh, which was under an independent infantry brigade of the Western Command headquartered at Chandimandir, would now be part of the Central Command headquartered at Lucknow. A “strike division” of the Western Command headquartered at Dehradun would be part of the Central Command. An independent brigade has around 6,000 troops, while the numbers in a division can vary between 12,000 and 15,000.

The Western Command and its three Corps — 2 Strike Corps at Ambala, 11 Corps at Jalandhar and 9 Corps at Yol (near Palampur in Himachal Pradesh) — will only look westwards. Now the LAC, barring eastern Ladakh, which is under the Northern Command, will be the responsibility of the Central Command in Himachal and Uttarakhand.

The Eastern Command will continue to be responsible for the LAC in Sikkim and Arunachal. A source said there would be no movement of units or relocation of anyone, only the command structure had changed. This is also in line with the proposed theatre command structure that is being worked out. China has just one military command tasked to face India.