1. Centre for Joint Warfare Studies conducted a brainstorming session on the ‘Identification and Integration of Bi/Tri services Structures for Greater Operational Synergy at the Regional Command Structures’ at the Purple Bay on 15 Jun 2017.
2. Set against the background of the release of the ‘Joint Military Doctrine’, issues of ‘Intelligence’, Communications, Planning, Training and Logistics in Joint Operations’ were examined over two sessions. Director CENJOWS chaired the sessions and steered the discussions. CISC and Chairman CENJOWS in his opening remarks stated that while India was the first country after WWII to set up a joint training academy NDA, closely followed up with the DSSC and the NDC, our enthusiasm and zeal for integration of the armed forces seems to have waivered. Though there was a high level of coordination and cooperation within the services at all levels, it tended to be personality based. It has taken five wars to shake the security establishment of the country out of its stupor and that there was now an urgent need to create institutional structures that created jointness in the services. He spoke of the need to examine the US, the UK and the Chinese models but at the same time it was necessary to bear in mind that while the US was a super power with global interests, the UK possessed a very small military force and that the Chinese were only just starting to create the structures for integrated defence forces. Therefore there was an urgent requirement for an Indian model for jointness. Presently there were 17 regional commands across the three services and there was a need to dismantle certain existing structures. The CISC informed the gathering that during the recent Commanders’ Conference there was only one agenda point-Jointness. He stated the Prime Minister directed the service chiefs to set up the necessary structures for enhancing integration of the services.
3. The speakers for the discussionswere:-
(a) Joint Intelligence Structures - Lt Gen Kamal Davar, PVSM, AVSM (Retd)
(b) Joint Communications Structures - Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, PVSM, AVSM, SM (Retd)
(c) Joint Planning Structures - Vice Admiral Anup Singh, PVSM,AVSM, NM (Retd)
(d) Joint Training Structures - Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd)
(e) Joint logistics Structures - Lt Gen Rakesh Chadha, PVSM, AVSM, SM (Retd)
Joint Intelligence Structures
4. The following points regarding Joint Intelligence Structures were flagged by Lt Gen Davar
(a) Intelligence is always blamed for the debacles even if it is a leadership failure. Intelligence is never adequate and effective Intelligence is a ‘Force multiplier’ which can avert disasters.
(b) He suggested the following road map :-
(i) Self Reliance. Armed forces are the last bastion of the state. They need to be self reliant for Intelligence and cannot be dependent on civilian intelligence agencies such as RAW etc.
(ii) Kargil Review Committee. The Kargil Review Committee (KRC) gave out excellent recommendations with great clarity. Most of the actions have been implemented in letter but not in spirit. Intelligence gathering cannot wait for the appointment of CDS. There is a need to lay out the away for implementation of the KRC.
(iii) Status of DGDIA. The DGDIA should be upgraded to the status of C in C. The three service intelligence chiefs should function under the DG DIA.
(iv) Human Intelligence. RAW cannot meet our requirement of HUMINT as they are more focused to political intelligence. The DG DIA needs to be empowered with Humint.
(v) Tech Intelligence. More coordination is required in Tech Intelligence with NTRO for Satellite imagery and Cyber Intelligence. Direct liaison with IITs for Cyber capability build up is necessary.
(vi) Cross Posting. There is a need to ensure cross posting within the three services as well with the civil intelligence agencies.
(vii) Linguistic Skills. We need to upgrade our linguistic skills. Need is for building capability in local languages such as Kashmiri, Naga, Assamese etc. The Army Education Corps should be tasked with this responsibility.
(viii) Defence Intelligence Corps. Defence Intelligence Corps needs to be created which should have direct recruitment.
(ix) Directorate of National Intelligence. The NSA is too overloaded with political issues and hence cannot effectively handle intelligence. There is a need to create a Directorate of National Intelligence. All civilian and military intelligence agencies should report to the DNI.
(x) Org Review. There is a need to have time bound review after every 10 years of our org structures.
(xi) Oversight. There is a need to a have an Apex National Board which ensure an oversight mechanism for the Intelligence Agencies.
Joint Communication Structures
5. The following points regarding Joint Communication Structures were brought out by Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia:-
(a) Unlike Intelligence, integration of Communication is most doable. The existing structures need to have an interface for this integration. The So-in-C is the advisor on Communication matters to all the three services.
(b) Joint communications can be the start point for Joint Structures as also this is an imperative to Joint Operations.
(c) He suggested the following road map:-
(i) Theatre Based Communication Network. With the ‘Internet of Things’ we should have a plug and play model for Communication at the theatre level.
(ii) C4ISR. Sensors should be independent of shooters. Shooters should be independent of the platforms and decision makers should be independent of the geographical location. There should be data sharing at theatre level.
(iii) DCN and NFS. The DCN and the NFS are good start points for integration of tri service Communication integration and we should optimize this.
(iv) The under-mentioned issues should be ensured for all the three services:-
(aa) Common Standards and protocols
(ab) Joint Encryption systems
(ac) Common GIS
(ad) Common Data sharing platforms
(ae) Standard Policies and Procedures
Joint Planning Structures
6. The following aspects regarding Joint Planning Structures were brought out by V Adm Anup Singh:-
(a) There is a need to analyze whether India should follow other countries like US, Russia and China and make joint theatre commands considering the fact that India does not conduct extra regional ops. Moreover the ‘chain of command’ problems faced by US when their theatre commanders report directly to the president also need to be taken into account before making any joint planning decision.
(b) Synergy required for joint ops needs to be practised in peacetime. For example Eastern Army and Eastern Naval Commands may consider a joint ex with Southern Command of IAF.
(c) A JOC type structure is recommended which should including intelligence and space based int. It should have linkages to national intelligence agencies, DIA and with intelligence agencies of the services.
(d) Logistic footprint to be reduced by achieving commonality of clothing, equipment, spares, consumables, etc in the three services.
(e) Joint coordination for ops like HADR should be aligned between the three services.
(f) Joint Special Ops exercises should be held.
(g) Common communication and geographical grid for all services with common signal language is essential.
(h) Policy on Jointness including civilian-military integration is required to be promulgated. IAS should have a defence cadre instead of a state cadre.
Joint Training Structures
7. The following aspects regarding Joint Training Structures were brought out by Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja:-
(a) The aspect of Joint Training Structures to attain greater operational synergy amongst the three services.
(b) He emphasized that the Jointness amongst the three services had to be top driven and once the intent is clear the lower functionaries would automatically embrace the spirit of jointness.
(c) There was lack of commitment on the part of the three services. A case in point was the Joint Training Calendar which is issued annually, well in advance after consulting the three services, however, seldom do the efforts fructify due to impromptu commitments and individual service requirements being accorded priority.
(d) The achievements made in the field of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations / exercises were laudable, wherein the three services contributed meaningfully.
(e) Apart from a certain amount of Jointness in the training of junior and the middle rung officers by NDA, DSSC and NDC there was no such organization at the apex level for reinstating the principles of Jointness amongst the senior officers.
(f) Indian National Defence University (INDU) has largely remained on paper and continues to meander without any end in sight.
8. He suggested the following road map :-
(a) Certain specialized training could straightaway be centralized amongst the three services to avoid duplicity of effort and resources, such as training of musicians, catering, provost, cyber, and logistics.
(b) CENJOWS and other think tanks must be empowered to proliferate the dictum of Jointness in the environment by conducting seminars, RTDs and publishing papers / articles to bring the issue to the fore front.
(c) There was enough scope to inculcate the spirit of Jointness at each level. Officers holding position of authority should explore and institute measures as were applicable in their domains and spheres of influence.
Joint Logistics Structures
9. The following aspects regarding Joint Logistics Structures were brought out by Lt Gen Rakesh Chadha:-
(a) Logistics strategy should be based on joint op doctrine which must factor in all contingencies, incorporate all resources and availability of Logistics infrastructure in theatre. Hence there is a requirement for establishment of a national Logistics grid which is cont at national level and flows down for service specific requirements. This national grid must cater for the following :-
(i) Capability to ensure strategic balance in all contingencies
(ii) Self contained theatres for all contingencies
(iii) Give impetus to strategic infrastructure in remote areas
(iv) Provide Logistics support for humanitarian aid
(v) Just in time to replace just in case philosophy
(vi) Strong and competent defence industry to facilitate modernisation and Logistics support of services.
(b) Logistics structures should provide the following:-
(i) Be in sync with tri services doctrines
(ii) Centralised control and coordination within services
(iii) Integration of components within services, among services and with industry
(iv) Centralised planning and execution at national level for integrated infrastructure development.
(v) Node for movement of heavy transport and equipment using tn mgt systems
(vi) Optimisation of manpower and outsourcing
(vii) Structure for planning and execution of air movement
(viii) Integrated med cover incorporating civilian resources
(ix) Repair echelons empowered for in situ repairs
(c) The following Logistics Organisations were recommended:-
(i) National Logistics Council – To integrate and coordination Logistics infrastructure at the national level
(ii) Defence Logistics Agency – To qualify and coordinate Logistics efforts of service
(iii) Integration with MoD – By cross staffing between service HQ and MoD
(iv) Logistics Coordination Agency – Civilian military coordination agency working under National Logistics Council for integration with civilian agencies.
(v) Theaterisation – To enhance stocking range and depth at RODs through utilization of services and civilian infrastructure including warehousing, expl to model for delivery, formalizing concept of maintenance, repair and overhaul in Logistics nodes and providing for strategic pipeline connecting FOL stns and fwd areas.
(vi) Revenue Procurement – By theatre commanders through purchase organizations with fiscal autonomy
(vii) Defence Public Sector Enterprises – By instituting a structured price monitoring mechanism, faster issue of licenses and sanctions to DPSEs and ensuring lifetime sp of main equipment by uninterrupted supply of spares
(viii) Public Private Partnership – Cooperation between DDP and private sector is a must.
10. During the open house discussions, the above points were deliberated at length. The issue of cyber warfare was raised. It was opined that cyber warfare has an overarching on all services and should be addressed jointly and not by the service independently. CISC brought out the issue was being addressed with urgency and that a Joint Cyberwarfare Agency was in the pipeline. The issue of Int requirements of the Air Force being different from the other services was flagged. CISC clarified that the Joint Int Organisation would comprise representatives of the three services who would understand the specific requirements of each service. It was feared the in the eagerness to promote integration the identity of a single service would be submerged in the monolithic Joint Structures. CISC soothed the apprehensions by stating that the process would be gradual and evolutionary. Laslty there was consensus that the process should not be top-down. The view was that forcing the issue would be counterproductive and that the process should move in a graduated and measured manner and that the end process could be better achieved in a series of steps or phases.
11. The CISC said that the Joint Doctrine of the Armed Forces may not be all encompassing but it was a considered decision to release it in the public domain to encourage a debate and get a feedback.
12. The CISC summed up the RTD and said that an exchange of ideas would go a long way in laying the foundations for greater integration and interdependence in the armed forces to achieve higher levels of inter-operability and compatibility.