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India-US Signed Military Logistics Pact (LEMOA)
Sep 01, 2016

In a significant departure from its policy of not entering into a military agreement with any major power, India has signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with United States which will allow their militaries to work closely and use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies.

The LEMOA, which sets a precedent for other future military pacts between the two countries, was signed in Washington.

Key Provisions

  • LEMOA is a facilitating agreement that establishes basic terms, conditions, and procedures for reciprocal provision of Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services between the armed forces of India and the United States.
  • Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services include food, water, billeting, transportation, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, communication services, medical services, storage services, training services, spare parts and components, repair and maintenance services, calibration services, and port services.
  • Reciprocal logistic support would be used exclusively during authorized port visits, joint exercises, joint training, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
  • Logistics support for any other cooperative efforts shall only be provided on a case-by-case basis through prior mutual consent of the Parties, consistent with their respective laws, regulations and policies.
  • Provision of Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services from one Party to the other would be in return for either cash payment or the reciprocal provision of Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services.
  • The Agreement does not create any obligations on either Party to carry out any joint activity.
  • It does not provide for the establishment of any bases or basing arrangements.
  • The Agreement will significantly enhance the operational capacity of the Indian Armed Forces, including in their response to humanitarian crises or disaster relief.
  • The agreement would make joint operations between militaries logistically easier and more efficient.
  • It is fully mutual. Both countries grant one another completely equal access and ease under this agreement. It’s not a basing agreement of any kind, but it does make the logistics of joint operations so much easier and so much more efficien.
  • The logistics agreement between the two countries was first proposed in 2003 but India did not agree to its signing until earlier this year.

The LEMOA, a version of the standard US Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) tailored for India, “establishes basic terms, conditions, and procedures for reciprocal provision of logistic support, supplies, and services between the armed forces of India and the United States.

The only similar case of an Indian agreement with a major power was the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation in August 1971 just ahead of the Bangladesh war. But even that agreement was strategic in nature, with little cooperation at the level of the two militaries. The LEMOA, in contrast, allows Indian and American militaries to operate closely by using each other’s bases for logistics support.

The US has signed the LSA with more than 60 countries.

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