Mar 5, Colombo: Sri Lanka and the United States have signed a logistics agreement, providing a framework for increased interoperability.
Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and US Ambassador Robert Blake signed the agreement -the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) - which will allow the United States and Sri Lanka to transfer and exchange logistics supplies, support, and re-fueling services, either in kind or at cost, during peacekeeping missions, humanitarian operations or joint exercises, the US Embassy in Colombo said.
The categories of allowable goods and services include food, petroleum, and transportation. The provision of weapons or ammunition is prohibited. Each nation's forces can support the other during contingencies such as disaster relief or peacekeeping operations, which reduces the logistics requirement for each nation.
Logistics support allowed under this agreement cannot be transferred beyond the forces of the receiving party without consent of the providing party. The agreement will be in effect for ten years, and all transactions must be mutually agreed upon before any transfer is made.
"ACSA will facilitate the exchange of non-lethal equipment, increase cooperation in the field and reduce the paperwork involved," Ambassador Blake said.
"For example, if the Sri Lankan Army had sent troops to assist in the Pakistani earthquake and needed winter coats for the soldiers, under ACSA the United States could provide those winter coats in exchange for fuel and foodstuffs the next time a US vessel made a port call in Colombo. On-the-ground cooperation between our two armed forces was evident in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster. This will enhance both nations' ability to engage in disaster relief and peacekeeping missions more effectively," he added.