India acquires 11,000 Cold gear sets from US army

India operated a key foundational pact with the US last month to receive urgently needed high-altitude systems for soldiers positioned to forward areas along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh who will most probably stay on through the winter as tensions with China continue.

Sources reported that 11,000 sets of extended cold weather clothing system (ECWCS) arrived late last month after India made a desperate appeal for supporting under a bilateral pact. These sets have come from the stockholdings of the US Army and have been dispatched to forward areas where troops are braving the cold.

India acquires 11,000 extreme cold gear sets from US army – Taaza Khabar  Online

Maybe this is the first time the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (Lemoa), inscribed in 2016 after years of analysis, has been used in an operational context. The pact gives the two nations access to each other’s military and civil facilities for repairs, supplies, and refueling and has earlier been used during wargames and occasional refueling of ships and aircraft.

Due to exigency, to swap with high urgent needs the US was sought to provide all possible stocks that could be afforded. However, India has over 50,000 additional troops positioned in Ladakh to counter the massive PLA build-up since early May.

ECWCS are essential to keep soldiers alive at utmost altitude and temperatures which could touch -40 degrees Celsius in winter. So essential was the need that a small number of the ECWCS systems that arrived included ones issued to US soldiers in the past.

Having exhausted reserves, India has been hard-pressed to find clothing and habitat systems for thousands of soldiers inducted at the heights. All Indian missions abroad have been tasked with a particular list of equipment that is required by the Army, which includes boots, tents, sleeping bags, suits, and socks. However, it has not been easy to find sources of supply that can quickly deliver products. Also, such large quantities of high altitude survival gear are not readily available in the patterns and colours suited for military use.

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