Why in News:
- India’s Eastern Army Command, Andaman-Nicobar Command get new chiefs
What is a theatre command?
- A theatre command is an organisational structure that is responsible for commanding all military assets in a theatre of battle in order to achieve military objectives.
- In military jargon, a combined command is referred to as a “theatre command” (of army, air force and navy).
- It places a senior military commander in charge of all forces’ resources.
About Andaman & Nicobar Command(ANC)
- It is the first and only Tri-Service theatre command of the Indian Armed Forces, based at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India.
- It was established in 2001 to protect India’s strategic interests in Southeast Asia and the Strait of Malacca by enhancing the speed with which military assets might be deployed in the islands.
- Officers and personnel from all three services (Navy, Air Force, and Army) serve under the command of an officer from the Navy.
- It conducts biannual coordinated patrols (CORPATs) with the navies of Thailand and Indonesia , the annual SIMBEX maritime exercise with Singapore, and the biennial Milan multilateral naval exercise.
- It also performs maritime surveillance, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) throughout India’s exclusive economic zone and also combat gun running, drugs smuggling, piracy, and poaching.
Importance of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Its location in Indian Ocean Region (IOR): One-Fourth of the total world population and one-third of littoral states of the world are located around IOR.
- Large volume of the World’s trade, particularly oil and gas passes through this ocean.
- Islands provide for 30% of India’s total Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
- Due to the presence of islands in Indian Ocean, India is part of many maritime regional groupings.
- Part of Trade Route: The ten degree channel (that separates the Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands from each other in the Bay of Bengal) through which the majority of trade passes from South China Sea and Pacific to Indian Ocean is between North and South Nicobar Islands.
- Buffer Zone: Andaman and Nicobar Islands act as a buffer zone between India and rest of the nations present in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- Strategic Outpost: Through these islands, India is able to defend its vital stakes in IOR. The ANC has been set up for this reason only.