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Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Anil Chauhan emphasised the importance of ‘joint culture’ in the armed forces and said the theatre commands will lay the foundation for catapulting the Armed Forces into the next orbit of military preparedness and warfighting, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement. “Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Anil Chauhan has called upon the three services to create a Joint Culture as they move towards forming Joint Operational Structures,” the statement read.

Speaking on ‘Jointmanship: The Way Ahead’ as part of the 22nd Major General Samir Sinha Memorial Lecture organised at USI of India in the national capital, the CDS termed developing Joint Culture in Armed Forces as ‘Jointness 2.0’, which is the “way forward.”

The Chief of Defence Staff said, Jointness 1.0 was about better bonhomie and consensus among the services, and as there were no major differences, there is an impetus to move towards the next level of Jointness which is Jointness 2.0. Acknowledging the distinct culture of all the three Services, the CDS underscored that there was a need to create a fourth culture in the services. “Joint Culture though different from Service specific Culture, needs to respect the uniqueness of each service.

We must be able to distil the best of each service, and incorporate the Highest Common Factor, rather than settle for the Least Common Denominator,” the CDS said. He further stated that various initiatives of symbology that were being processed towards fostering the Joint Culture, including Tri-Services participation in national events.

The CDS termed Jointness and Integration as pre-requisites to the creation of functional Integrated Theatre Commands, and explained the significance of such Commands. “The creation of such commands will separate the ‘operational’ functions from the Raise-Train-Sustain (RTS) and other administrative functions, and will allow greater focus of the operational commander to matters of security,” he said. Gen Anil Chauhan added that the Theatre Commands will not be an end state but the beginning of the next set of reforms.

He said that Integrated Theatre Commands will lead to many reforms like single to multi-domain operations, fusing space and cyberspace into traditional domains, digitisation of battlefield information and visualisation, net centric to data centric among others. Stressing that the reforms in the Indian Defence eco-system are necessity, the CDS said, “Nation states across the globe are facing a new set of challenges, and current flux in world order is forcing nations to review their security strategies.” “The rapid and unbridled march of technology is transforming the way future wars will be fought,” he added.