New Delhi: Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande on Monday said the Army is fully committed to the tri-services Theaterisation plan and is even ready to take the lead to make the ambitious initiative a success.

At an interaction with a select group of journalists, General Pande said the Army is in the final stages of completing the studies on the Theaterisation plan, adding that there are certain issues among the three services that need to be addressed.

The Department of Military Affairs headed by the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, had asked all the three services last year to carry out independent studies on the Theaterisation plan for its rollout.

“This exercise is in progress. While there are areas of convergence and common understanding among the three services, there are some issues that still need to be addressed. That I suppose will have to be taken up for resolution at the appropriate level,” General Pande said.

He was asked whether the demise of General Rawat in a helicopter crash in December last year had slowed down the implementation of the proposed theatre commands.

“In so far as the studies which the Army was required to undertake for the land theatre commands, these are in the final stages of completion and will be submitted in due course,” General Pande said.

“But at the end of it, I must reiterate the Indian Army’s commitment towards achieving this objective of Theaterisation. I would want to state our full commitment and that we are prepared to sort of cooperating and taking the lead in any manner towards making Theaterisation a success,” he added.

General Rawat was spearheading the implementation of the long-awaited military reform that is aimed at ensuring the optimal use of the resources of the armed forces.

According to the plan, each of the theatre commands will have units of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and all of them will work as a single entity, looking after the security challenges in a specified geographical territory under an operational commander.

At present, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force have separate commands. Initially, a plan was firmed up for the creation of an Air Defence Command and a Maritime Theatre Command.

The theatre commands are being planned to integrate the capabilities of the three services and ensure the optimal utilisation of their resources.

Asked about the Army’s plan to roll out new combat formations called the Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) to further bolster its combat prowess, General Pande said the plan is to have one in the northern sector and another on the western front.

“It is in the final stages of compilation,” he said.

The IBG, which aims to integrate different components of the Army into the new formation, will include artillery guns, tanks, air defence and logistical elements.

The Army has already carried out extensive test-bedding of the IBG concept.