Washington. 30 August 2016. India and the United States have signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum Of Agreement (LEMOA) which has been especially tailored for India, following negotiations for over a decade. This was done at the Parrikar-Carter meeting during the Indian Defence Minister’s ongoing visit to USA.

The US gave a final draft in January, and a team of Pentagon lawyers flew to Delhi for negotiations in February. During Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter’s visit in April, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar announced an in-principle approval to sign the LEMOA, pending a final exchange of drafts. Those have now been exchanged, and the Joint Statement says the LEMOA text has been finalised by the two sides. It will be signed once India completes its process, which is mainly about approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security. Could be the time has come.

LEMOA allows each military to avail logistics support facilities — fuel, spare parts, mechanics, etc. — of the other while on joint training, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), and port calls. The agreement lays out the procedure for billing for these facilities as part of a larger accounting transaction, and details are contained in the clarifying protocols annexed to LEMOA.

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.