Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday emphasised on “jointness” among the forces as an “operational necessity”, calling for the Army to take a leadership role in it.
Speaking on the final day of the biannual Army Commanders’ Conference in Delhi, Singh said that the recently announced position of the Chief of Defence Staff will play an important role in synergising the efforts of the three services – Army, Navy and Air Force.
Appreciating the “mature but firm approach of the Commanders on the nation’s borders”, the Defence Minister “highlighted the need to address the concerns of perimeter security, cantonment discipline and tri-service jointness”, according to a statement issued by the Army.
Singh said that the Army is the “last resort” for the country in all the challenges it faces, be it insurgency, challenges on the border or even humanitarian crises. He also appreciated its role in “synergising its effort with all other security agencies in meeting the challenges being faced in Jammu and Kashmir and called it exemplary,” the Army statement said.
Speaking of defence preparedness, Singh assured the Army that “there will be no criticalities, however, he also apprised the field commanders on the constraints of the budget”, the Army statement said.
He also asked the Army to support the indigenous defence industry to build combat systems under Make in India.
He also spoke on the changing face of warfare across the globe and discussed the possibility of the use of unconventional weapons in future, mentioned niche technology, and spoke of cyber, space and information warfare, along with perception management.
Sources said that Army chief General Bipin Rawat praised Singh for his decisions on restoration of ration in kind for officers – which that had been revoked in 2017 – and for giving the Vice Chief more financial power to procure equipment.
This was the first Army Commander’s Conference with Singh as the Defence Minister, and it provided him with the first opportunity to meet all senior officers together.
Important issues like operational readiness of the field formation, training to meet present and futuristic operational needs, issues related to higher defence management including aspects of organisational restructuring, and reforms were some of the topics discussed by the Army leadership at the five-day conference.