India plans to establish first ‘tri-service’ base in Mumbai for enhanced coordination

The proposal is currently under discussion among senior military leaders, and a decision is anticipated shortly.

The Armed Forces are contemplating the transformation of Mumbai into India’s inaugural “tri-service common defence station” catering to the Army, Navy, and Indian Air Force (IAF). This initiative aims to bolster collaboration among the three services in anticipation of the establishment of integrated theatre commands, according to a report from The Indian Express.

The proposal is currently under discussion among senior military leaders, and a decision is anticipated shortly.

As of now, India lacks any common defence stations, with the Andaman and Nicobar Command being the sole fully operational tri-service command established in 2001.

In the past year, initiatives aimed at fostering collaboration among the services have been undertaken, including inter-service postings.

The establishment of a common defence station would entail the integration of all Army, Navy, and IAF facilities, encompassing logistics, infrastructure, repair and maintenance, as well as stores and supplies.

This consolidation aims to streamline resources and operate under a unified lead service. In Mumbai, the Navy is anticipated to assume the lead role, given its significant presence in the city.

Presently, the wings of the three services in Mumbai and its surrounding areas operate autonomously. The proposed plan seeks to centralize logistics, infrastructure, and administration under a unified chain of command.

As an example, the Navy’s INS Hamla and INS Karanja, which currently handle logistics training and house a significant armament depot, would be amalgamated with the Army’s ordnance depot, training area, air defence regiment, and IAF units to facilitate joint utilization.

This integration would facilitate a unified system for the delivery of supplies such as fuel and rations, with common items being repaired at a centralized location.

As per the proposal, resources belonging to each service, including infrastructure like schools, hospitals, sports complexes, training facilities, as well as storage, repair, and maintenance facilities, would be shared among all three services.

The initiative aims to improve resource optimization and management, minimize duplication of efforts, and establish a unified channel for funds and delivery to eliminate redundancy.

Mumbai is poised to become the inaugural common defence station, while Sulur (near Coimbatore) and Guwahati are being considered as potential locations for the second and third stations, with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Army expected to assume the lead services, respectively.

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