Indigenously developed Arctic tents

LEMOA Activated

According to an October report by ET, India activated a key foundational pact with the US last month to acquire urgently needed high-altitude systems for soldiers deployed to forward areas along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh who are likely to stay on through the winter as tensions with China continue. Sources said that 11,000 sets of extended cold weather clothing system (ECWCS) arrived late last month after India made an urgent request for assistance 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.

-40 Degrees Celsius

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

Fire And Fury Corps

India's Army has also been beefing up its stocks of food, ammunition, fuel and more importantly the winter gear. Major General Arvind Kapoor, Chief of Staff of the Fire and Fury Corps -- also known as the XIV Corps which has the mandate of securing the frontiers along the China and Pakistan borders from Kargil to Ladakh -- said the unit takes pride in its advance winter stocking. Our stocking levels, be it rations, fuel, oils and lubricants, tentage and heating appliances which includes bukhari (heaters) or kero-heaters, or be it ammunition, are in good numbers," Kapoor told PTI.

Supply of fuel

Fuel also plays a critical role for the armed forces, especially in the Ladakh region where it is used by soldiers in forward areas to keep themselves warm in low temperatures. The corps also operates one of the highest altitude fuel, oil and lubricants depot. We supply fuel both for our vehicles as also for our men, for the bukharis to keep them warm in the bitterly cold weather on the frontline, said Brigadier Rakesh Manocha, in-charge of the logistics.

Arctic Tents

On tentage, officials said the indigenously developed Arctic tents can sustain temperatures up to minus 20 degrees, while the high-altitude tents have the capacity to sustain temperatures anywhere between minus 40 to minus 50 degrees. Both tentages and adequate winter clothing have also been supplied to the forward areas, an official said.

All Stocked Up

The ration too has been stocked adequately, ranging from pre-cooked, packaged and canned items to food grains, they added. Brigadier A S Rathore said, We hold complete requirements of supplies for all troops which are deployed in the Ladakh sector. All warehouses are completely full to the brim.