Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat has stated that the first integrated tri-services command, the Air Defence Command, will be headed by an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer.
Government sources have confirmed to news agency ANI that "The first integrated military formation to be created under the mandate given to the Department of Military Affairs would be the air defence command which will be headed by an Air Marshal with elements of Army and Air Force air defence assets under it." The CDS has also started discussions with Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane and Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria for finalising the structure and assets of the integrated air defence command.
Earlier in February, Gen Rawat told reporters, "In order to become the armed forces of the Union, we need to start working on some of the aspects where we think immediate integration can happen. There, we find that air defence is one area, which according to me, is a low hanging fruit and can happen in a time-bound manner."
In January, a press release by the Ministry of Defence stated that the CDS had proposed to prepare the Air Defence Command by June 30, 2020. Rawat had also established Air Defence Command be prepared by June 30, 2020, and some of the areas included were the creation of common logistics support pools in stations where two or more services have their presence.
After assuming office, General Rawat had said that the CDS will remain neutral to all three defence forces and that it will be an integration of all three branches of the Forces. The air defence command would integrate the air defence and assets of the Army, Air Force and Navy and jointly provide air defence cover to the country.