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SOURCE: Tribune News Service

The Army has initiated the process of merging sub-area headquarters, which are static establishments located across the country, with headquarters of operational formations located in the same station or their vicinity. The move is part of the Army’s ongoing organisational restructuring to optimise its manpower and resources and its basis lies in the recommendations of a study group that was formed a few years ago to review the existing hierarchy.

According to a circular sent to all Army Commands by the Staff Duties Directorate at Army Headquarters a few days ago, 13 sub-area headquarters are to be merged with the headquarters of co-located formations like corps.

Sub-areas are commanded by officers of the rank of Major General, designated as General Officer Commanding (GOC), who reports to the area commander, a Lieutenant General. who in turn functions under the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Command in whose territorial jurisdiction the area lies.

There are a few independent sub-areas, not reporting to an area, and some that are not co-located with a formation.

Under the new hierarchical set-up, the GOC of a sub-area will be re-designated as Major General (Land, Works and Welfare) posted at corps headquarters, reporting to the corps commander instead of the area commander. Similarly, other officers and staff at sub-area headquarters will be adjusted at corps headquarters with new designations and modified charters of duties.

A sub-area is a static formation which does not control any combat or operational elements but is mandated for providing administrative, logistical and infrastructural support to formations and establishments in its territorial jurisdiction. It is also responsible for local station matters, accommodation and welfare of ex-servicemen through station headquarters, besides being an interface with the local administration for providing aid to civil authorities in times of need.

As an offshoot to the merger, station headquarters, which is responsible for managing the internal affairs of a particular military station, will now have a permanent station commander instead of the commander of the locally based operational formation like a brigade being the ex-officio station commander.

As part of its reorganisation plans, two new posts at the level of Lieutenant General were created at Army Headquarters in December 2020. These are Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Strategy) and Director General Information Warfare.