Andaman&Nicobar Command set to come under Navy's fold, permanently Featured

  • Sunday, Oct 20 2013

More than a decade after its inception as the first and the only theatre command of the Indian Armed Forces --Andaman and Nicobar command is all set to come under the overall supervision of the Indian Navy, permanently. 

In principle decision to this effect has already been taken by the three services unanimously and a formal proposal has been sent from the office of the Chairman Chiefs of staff committee to the ministry for its approval, highly place sources told Defence Express.

The tri-service character of the command will remain intact, but the lead role would be played by the Navy which was rotational or rather irrational till now, sources in Ministry of Defence confirmed. The command was raised as crucible to enhance the jointness amongst the three forces on the experimental basis and its performance as well as the success was to be reviewed periodically. 

The experiment of Andaman and Nicobar islands(ANC) was not proving to be complete success as the commander-in-chief of the command, a three-star officer was to head it by rotation triggering a whole lot of seniority and other related organisational issues. Indian Navy, being a lead agency in the Indian Ocean region had all along been advocating a supervisory role for itself of this strategically important command, though without any success.


Recently when the discussions were held to create three more command- cyber command, Special Forces command and the space force command, navy played a smart card and got what it was pushing for, an official said.  


At the level of Chairman Chiefs of Staff committee discussions, Cyber command was being offered to the Indian Navy, sources said, while the Special Command was to be headed by the Indian Army and the Space Command naturally was offered to the Indian Air Force. Navy, according sources, suggested that seeing its role in the Indian Ocean region, ANC should come under its fold, permanently while the Cyber Command be headed by rotation. The idea got clicked and accepted by the all three forces, sources said.  


Three existing unified commands — ANC, Strategic Forces Command (SFC) and Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) —were being headed by the three services by rotation but now ANC would come under the Indian Navy and Cyber Command will be headed by three services on rotational basis.

The Andaman and Nicobar Command, created in 2001 on the recommendation of a Group of Ministers was to address the threat posed by China along the 750-km long Andaman and Nicobar archipelago comprising a chain of 572 islands, and is located about 1200 km from mainland India.


The A&NC was also mandated to assist the multinational Malacca Straits Security Initiative, aimed at curbing threats in the Strait of Malacca. 

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