New Delhi: Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat will take over as the new Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee on Friday, succeeding Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, who retires from service by end of this month.
The Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) comprises chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and the senior most member is appointed its chairperson.
"The Air Chief will be handing over the baton of the Chairman COSC with to the Army Chief on Friday," a senior defence ministry official said.
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.
Rawat, the first Army Chief to hold the post since Gen Bikram Singh (2013-14), could possibly be the last in the post as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that his government will go ahead and appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who will replace the present tri-service committee.
The Army chief is also slated to retire at the end of 2019.
Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa had taken charge of Chairman of COSC from then Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on May 29.
Gen. Rawat had assumed charge as Chief of Army Staff on 31 December 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.