After Defense Chief Bipin Rawat calls the Air Force a “support arm”, Air Chief RKS Bhadauria responds
- Not a supporting role alone, says Air chief after defense chief’s remarks
- “Fully engaged” in the theatricalization of the armed forces, according to the Air Chief
- Air and Defense chiefs speaking separately at a conference
Air power has a huge role to play in all integrated combat roles, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said on Friday, saying the Army Indian air was “fully engaged” in the theatricalization of the armed forces.
Air Chief Air Marshal Bhadauria’s comments on air power came shortly after the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Bipin Rawat, spoke about the IAF air defense charter as well as its role as a support weapon for land forces just as artillery or engineers support combatants within the army. .
Referring to the situation in eastern Ladakh, the Air Chief of Staff said that China has strengthened its infrastructure in recent months, although the two sides have carried out a disengagement process in the areas of Pangong Lake.
General Rawat’s comments on the Air Force‘s supporting role came at a conference when he was asked about the growing perception that the Indian Air Force was not inclined to implement the commands of proposed theater integrating the capabilities of the three forces.
Elaborating on the role of the IAF, the Chief of the Defense Staff spoke about its air defense role and said one of the theater commands will look at the overall management of airspace in the country.
“Remember that the air force continues to remain a supporting arm of the armed forces, just as artillery or engineers support fighters within the army. They have an air defense charter. and support the ground forces in times of operations, “Rawat said, adding that the force should understand its basic charter.
General Rawat and Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria were both speaking in separate sessions of a conference organized by the Global Counter-Terrorism Council (GCTC) – a think tank.
Asked about General Rawat’s comments, the Air Chief Marshal said, “It’s not just a supporting role. Air power has a huge role to play in any integrated combat role.
Asked about the IAF’s point of view on the theatricalization of the armed forces, he said he was fully attached to the project to set up integrated theater commands.
At the same time, he added: “We have to get it right.
To a question on the argument according to which the IAF could have reservations on the process of theatricalization because it does not want to split its means which are less numerous, General Rawat mentioned the five operational commands of the force which manage its resources .
“In a comprehensive assessment, it is a known fact that there is resistance to change. We have to be aware of this and fight this inherent resistance. The nature and character of conflicts will continue to change, ”General Rawat said.
According to the plan, the theater commands will have army, navy and air force units and all will work as a single entity dealing with security issues in a geographic territory specified under the direction of an operational commander.
Currently, the Army, Navy, and Air Force have separate commands.
The theater commands are being put in place as part of a broader mandate to ensure synergy between the three heads of service to face future security challenges.
General Rawat became India’s first Chief of Defense Staff on January 1, 2020, with a mandate to converge the three services and restructure military commands to effectively face future security challenges.
Asked about the situation in eastern Ladakh, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said the Chinese side had improved its infrastructure in the region.
“After the initial disengagement that took place, there is a sort of virtual status quo. A lot of infrastructure that has been developed especially from the point of view of air assets … with the exception of some planes that they have resumed advanced deployments, the rest of the infrastructure has been reinforced, “he said.
The Air Force Chief of Staff said the IAF was closely monitoring the situation in the region.
“We are monitoring very carefully and very closely. We are aware of the type of assets available and what needs to be done from our perspective; the deployments and the actions to be taken have been taken,” he said. .
India and China had been grappling with a multi-sticking military standoff in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. However, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the northern and southern shores of Lake Pangong in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks.
The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process to remaining sticking points. India lobbied particularly for the disengagement of troops from Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang.
India insisted on returning to the April 2020 status quo in the region.
According to military officials, each camp currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the line of effective control in the sensitive area.
There has been no visible forward movement in troop disengagement in the remaining sticking points, as the Chinese side has not shown flexibility in its approach to this in the 11th round of military talks. .
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)