India has made an urgent purchase of additional high-altitude winter clothing from the US keeping in mind the needs of the enhanced troop deployment in Ladakh in peak winter amid the military tussle with China.
Winter clothing for Indian troops
The items have been purchased under LEMOA, the Logistics Exchange Memorandum Agreement (LEMOA) between India and US. The agreement facilitates logistical support, supplies, and services between the armed forces of the two countries. These include clothing, food, lubricants, spare parts, medical services among other essentials.
Sources informed that in order to meet immediate requirements, emergency purchases have also been made from European countries.
This is part of the massive stocking carried out by Indian forces of all essentials supplies like ration, winter clothing, high altitude tents, fuel as it gets ready for the long haul in Ladakh ahead of the winter.
Stocking on essentials ahead of winters
There have been seven rounds of military talks at the Corps Commander level to find a solution to the five-month-old standoff but the deadlock continues.
As part of operations to enhance supplies, the Indian Air Force’s transport aircraft are conducting frequent sorties to the Leh airbase bringing in troops and essential supplies that are being sent to forward locations.
The Indian Air Force has been in full swing. Fighter jets are seen flying frequently
As the material is brought in by transport aircraft like C17 globe master it is unloaded and flown to forward locations in Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.
Tents that can withstand temperatures dipping to minus 50 degrees are also among the material being sent to troops deployed in forward areas. There were concerns about enough food reserves and high altitude clothing being sent for the troops before winter sets in.
Challenges posed by winter in Ladakh
Heavy snow cuts off the roads to forward locations making transportation impossible snapping supply lines.
Truckloads of material have been sent to forward areas in huge military convoys almost every day to ensure the food and other essentials are well stocked.
Providing logistics in peacetime deployment is a challenge in the winter, and with four times the number of troops serving in forward locations, it’s the entire war machinery that’s been pressed into action.
Is there shortage of winter gear for Indian troops?
Earlier the Comptroller and Auditor General in a report tabled in parliament had raised the issue of shortage of winter gear for troops in high-altitude areas.
Responding to the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pointing out deficiencies of winter clothing and equipment for high altitude areas, the Army recently informed the Public Accounts Committee, saying that the shortage in reserves at the Army headquarters does not impact availability to troops.
With the additional purchases over the last few months, the shortage in reserves has also been met now, officials say.