As per a plan prepared by a group headed by Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, India’s 1st Maritime Theatre Command (MTC) will get its final shape in 2021. It will be the first new “Geographical” Theatre command to be created as part of military restructuring plans.
The Headquarters of the MTC will be set up at Karwar Naval Base, Karnataka and will be headed by a Vice Admiral (3-Star Naval Officer).
i.The creation of MTC will boost joint operations and integration and application of force in the maritime domain. It will be responsible for the security of India’s 7,516 km coastline, 1, 382 islands and Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
ii.The objective behind creation of MTC is to build an integrated land-air-sea fighting machinery.
Gist about MTC:
i.Commands to be subsumed under MTC – Western Naval Command (Mumbai), Eastern Naval Command (Vizag), the tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Command (Port Blair) and the Southern Air Command (Thiruvananthapuram).
ii.It will have 2 sub-theatres, one each for West & East regions.
iii.MTC will consist of elements from Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) under its operational control.
iv.The Vice Admiral will report directly to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee led by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
i.Indian Army’s 2 amphibious assault formations, 91 Brigade (Thiruvananthapuram) & 108 Brigade (Port Blair) will contribute to the land forces to MTC.
ii.Coast Guard (Both East & West regions) will contribute patrol boats, aircraft and helicopters for coastal security under MTC.
iii.Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets armed with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles at Thanjavur, Maritime-strike Jaguar fighter at Jamnagar will contribute to the air assets of MTC.
i.Currently, India has 17 single-service commands (Army 7, IAF 7 & Navy 3).
ii.The 2 existing tri-Service commands are Andaman & Nicobar Command (Geographical command) set up in October 2001, Strategic Forces Command (Functional command) set up in January 2003.Both commands were set up post 1999 Kargil conflict.
Recent Related News:
i.On November 6, 2020 Andaman and Nicobar Command conducted a three-day Tri-Service Combat Exercise code named “Bull Strike” from November 3-5,2020 at Teressa Island in Nicobar Group of Islands.
About Ministry of Defence:
Union Minister – Rajnath Singh
Minister of State – Shripad Yesso Naik