All future military wargames to include elements from all 3 defence forces

29 May, 2023 | Nishtha Gupta


Government has made it mandatory for all war games conducted by the services to incorporate elements from each branch.

In a move aimed at strengthening integration and joint operations among the three armed forces, the government has made it mandatory for all war games conducted by the services to incorporate elements from each branch.

Currently, the exercises conducted by individual services involve only their respective elements. However, according to defence officials, there will be a significant change as these exercises will now incorporate elements from all three services. The upcoming Vayu Shakti exercise by the Indian Air Force, scheduled for next year, will be the first major exercise to implement this new approach, as per the officials.

Until now, the exercises solely focused on the Indian Air Force, but a new directive has been issued by the Department of Military Affairs, led by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, stating that these exercises should now incorporate the Indian Army and Indian Navy as well. The CDS, which is set to review the passing out parade of the National Defence Academy, has been actively working towards the establishment of theatre commands, which were discussed during the recent Combined Commanders’ Conference attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bhopal.

To expedite the efforts of enhancing coordination and collaboration among the various branches of the armed forces, the government established the position of Chief of Defence Staff. Currently, there are 17 operational commands, each led by officers holding the rank of commander-in-chief. CDS Gen Anil Chauhan has undertaken visits to the majority of these 17 formations to assess the progress made in this regard by the Department of Military Affairs.

The establishment of theatre commands is being proposed with the aim of forming unified combat units capable of effectively addressing the demands of contemporary warfare. In addition to this initiative, new organizations such as the Defence Cyber Agency, the tri-services Armed Forces Special Operations Division, and the Defence Space Agency have been created to provide support to theatre operations.