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India has strengthened its expeditionary force capacity in the Indo-Pacific and is projecting maritime dominance from its eastern and western seaboards with the introduction of its own aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant. This is just the first of many steps India needs to take to protect freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific and resist China's growing maritime menace.

The integration of the Indian military under a single marine theatre command led by a Navy Admiral with a dedicated support force from the Indian Army and Indian Air Force is the first step in this direction.

At the Integrated Defense Staff Headquarters, the fighting forces' synergy must be seen on the battlefield rather than just in writing. India cannot afford to have its armed forces working in isolation to defend its own fiefs and the remnants of the previous imperial system. The Indian military must shed its British military background, Raj customs, and ceremonies in order to forge its own identity as Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the new naval ensign.