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Army Chief Gen Rawat becomes chairman of powerful tri-services committee

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New Delhi: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday took charge as Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) from outgoing IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa.

As the next COSC chairman, General Rawat is focused to operationalise the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), enhance tri-service integration and stimulate simultaneous growth of the services, the defence ministry said.

The COSC comprises chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and the senior most member is appointed as its chairperson.

Gen Rawat received the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee baton from outgoing Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa at a brief ceremony here. Dhanoa retires from service on Monday.

As chairman of the COSC, Rawat will also focus on rapid operationalisation and synchronisation of modern war fighting capabilities of the armed forces to ensure that they are well aligned to the challenges of the future, the ministry said.

In a landmark military reform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 announced that India will have a chief of defence staff (CDS) as head of the tri-services, a proposal pending since the Kargil conflict in 1999.

Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa had taken charge of Chairman of COSC from then Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on May 29.

The Chairman of COSC is tasked with ensuring synergy among the three services and evolve common strategy to deal with external security challenges facing the country.

The COSC, in the last three years, has been deliberating on a number of diverse issues ranging from operations, training and administration, with an aim to enhance jointmanship.

"Gen Rawat, with his foresight and professional acumen, has contributed immensely to the committee with his non-partisan views on critical issues," the ministry said.

Gen. Rawat had assumed charge as Chief of Army Staff on December 31, 2016.

He has tremendous hands-on experience of serving in combat areas and at various functional levels in the Indian Army over the last three decades.

Before becoming Army Chief, he handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the LoC with Pakistan, the LAC with China and in the Northeast.

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