7/20/2009

Armed forces restructuring underway in Sri Lanka

(July 20, 2009 - Lanka Polity) A new office to be set-up soon at the former JOC (Joint Operations Command)for the newly appointed high power Chief of Defense Staff General Sarath Fonseka.

The new office is to be titled the Office of the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS). It will oversee a massive overhauling of the three armed forces in the coming months. According to media reports the the new Office of the CDS will have a staff of 300 including seven major generals, one rear admiral, and an air vice marshal. The staff include Chief of Staff, a Director General Joint Planning & Defence Development, Director Joint Intelligence, War Assistant to the CDS, War Secretary to CDS, and Director Research & Development.

In the restructuring, the land forces and sea-borne forces will be combined with air superiority. The three armed forces are to be restructured as one force with superficial boundaries between the Army, Navy and Air Force.

According to the CDS Bill published on June 1, the CDS’ duties include a whole gamut of tasks connected with providing strategic direction to the armed forces, development of doctrine for joint employment of the armed forces and facilitating the preparation of strategic plans for the armed forces. He also has responsibilities relating to the co-ordination of intelligence within the three services of armed forces. The CDS will also undertake operational assessments to facilitate planning, coordination, and implementation of joint plans in the three services.

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