LEMOA Agreement – Deepening Cooperation Between Indian and US Armed Forces
LEMOA is an important agreement that solidifies and strengthens the Military ties between India and the USA. This is an agreement that is usually signed by the USA with its allies for greater synergy between the Armed Forces of the USA and its allies. India and the USA signed the LEMOA agreement in August 2016. This article briefly discusses the various aspects and benefits of the LEMOA agreement and touches upon other foundational agreements of USA.
What is LEMOA?
LEMOA is an acronym for Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement. It is a Military agreement between Armed Forces of India and the USA that establishes basic terms, conditions, procedures for Logistic support, supplies and services. The agreement encompasses medical services, training, spare parts, fuel, food, water, transportation, clothing, repair, maintenance and communication services.
Foundational Agreements Signed by the USA
There are three agreements that the US calls foundational agreements. They are:
1. Logistics Support Agreement (LSA)
2. Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)
3. Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA)
These are signed by the US with other countries with which it has close ties in the military sphere. These agreements are signed to build the basic groundwork and promote interoperability between militaries by developing common systems and standards. They also serve as guides for sale and transfer of high-end technologies.
Benefits of LEMOA Agreement – India
1. It gives access to designated military facilities on either side for the purpose of refuelling and replenishment.
2. A mechanism will be instituted for book-keeping and payments and officials, who will act as nodal points of contact, will be designated on both sides.
3. The agreement will cover four areas:
o Port calls
o Joint exercises
o Humanitarian assistance
o Disaster relief
o Other areas 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 and calibration services
4. It does not provide for the establishment of any bases or basing arrangements.
The LEMOA Pact
LEMOA stands for Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), a tweaked India-specific version of the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), which the U.S. has with several countries it has close military to military cooperation. It is also one of the three foundational agreements — as referred to by the U.S.
What are the foundational agreements?
The three agreements — Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) are referred to as the foundational agreements which the U.S. signs with countries with which it has close military ties.
What are the foundational agreements for?
They are meant to build the basic groundwork and promote interoperability between militaries by creating common standards and systems. They also guide the sale and transfer of high-end technologies.
What does signing LEMOA mean?
LEMOA gives access, to both countries, to designated military facilities on either side for the purpose of refuelling and replenishment. India and the U.S. already hold a large number of joint exercises during which payments are done each time, which is a long and tedious process.
Under the new agreement, a mechanism will be instituted for book-keeping and payments and officials, who will act as nodal points of contact, will be designated on both sides.
What areas does the agreement cover?
The agreement will primarily cover four areas — port calls, joint exercises, training and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. Any other requirement has to be agreed upon by both sides on a case-by-case basis.
Will this mean stationing of U.S. troops in India?
No, this is not a basing agreement. There will be no basing of the U.S. troops or assets on Indian soil. This is purely a logistical agreement. India can access the string of U.S. facilities across the globe for logistical support and the U.S., which operates in a big way in Asia-Pacific, will benefit from Indian facilities.
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