Cablegate: Usnato Welcome for Modern Insurgency Team February
DE RUEHNO #0123/01 0571554
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261554Z FEB 07
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0542
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0519
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6216
UNCLAS USNATO 000123
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR OTRA PREL NATO PINS BEXP GM
SUBJECT: USNATO WELCOME FOR MODERN INSURGENCY TEAM FEBRUARY
27-MARCH 2, 2007
REF: STATE 12490
1. USNATO, in conjunction with USEU welcomes the visit of
the Modern Insurgency Team February 27-March 2, 2007 for
meetings at NATO and the European Union. The USNATO control
officer for this visit is USNATO Political Officer Mr. John
Cockrell, work:(32-2) 724-3136, fax:(32-2) 724-3421. He can
also be reached through the tri-mission switchboard at (32-2)
508-2111. USEU Control Officer Ms. Patricia Lerner, Tel:
(32-2) 508-2636. Special Assistant Brett Kobie, Tel. (32-2)
2. Hotel accommodations have been confirmed at the Sheraton
Hotel, Place Rogier 3, 1210 Brussels. Tel: (32-2) 224-3111.
Confirmation numbers are as follows: Lt. Col. Peter John
Evans, Arrival February 27-Depart March 2, #696210260; Ms.
Janine Anne Davidson, Arrival February 27-Depart March 2,
#286210264; Ms. Kathleen McInnis, Arrival February 27-Depart
March 2, #296210264; Col. Mark Sullivan, Arrival February
28-Depart March 2, #796210260; Mr. Rodney Fabrycky, Arrival
February 28-Depart March 2, #736210260.
3. The primary mode of transportation for visitors to
Brussels is metered taxis, which are plentiful and reliable.
Fares, which can be vouchered, are quite expensive. The bus,
tram and metro system are excellent.
3. A NATO visitor pass has been requested and will be
available at NATO HQ's main entrance gate. For security
reasons, all visitors, even those with a green NATO badge,
must present two pieces of identification
or their blue State Department-issued badge to the Marine
Guard before being admitted into the U.S. Mission.
4. Computer and Electronics Usage: Inter-agency security
standards prohibit the introduction or use of non-USG owned
computer hardware and software at all USG diplomatic
facilities. Cell phones, palm pilots, radios and other
convenience electronics are prohibited in all secure areas of
the Mission. Travelers who anticipate having special needs
in terms of either access or computer usage should contact
the RSO office before arriving at post. Visitors must leave
cell phones and other electronic equipment with the Marine
Guard. Mission appreciates your cooperation.
5. There is a branch of the ING Bank at NATO which has an
ATM that accepts U.S. bank/credit union cards on the "PLUS"
system. Numerous downtown banks also have ATM machines.
Traveler's checks can be exchanged in most banks. On Tuesday
and Thursday mornings, there is a cashier at USNATO to which
TDY visitors with travel orders have access.
6. Threat Assessment: A worldwide caution regarding the
threat of transnational terrorism was issued by the
Department of State. (Please consult the Department's
website for text: HTTP:Travel.State.Gov.) In light of this
caution and the events of September 11, 2001, all visitors
are encouraged to assess their security posture, and be alert
to their surroundings. All visitors should exercise caution
while traveling abroad as U.S. citizens and facilities are
often the target of groups demonstrating opposition to the
U.S. foreign policy.
7. Belgium remains a relatively safe country but as a result
of the war in Iraq, and sentiments expressed by its citizens
against the war, American visitors are advised to exercise
caution and avoid anti-American demonstrations. Also, it is
prudent not to wear clothes or carry articles with logos and
emblems associated with the United States at this time. By
taking reasonable precautions, visitors should enjoy an
uneventful stay. However, purse snatching and pick-pocketing
are occurring more frequently. In Brussels, pick-pocketing
and purse snatching are more prevalent in the metro system
(subway, bus, tram) and at Brussels' three major train
stations: Gare du Nord (North Station), Gare Centrale
(Central Station), and especially Gare du Midi (South
Station). Victims have been asked for assistance by someone
who appeared lost and anxious to catch their train. As the
victim responds to the request, a third person appears and
steals laptop computers, and other related travel items.
According to the police, this is a new strategy by criminal
gangs operating at Centrale Station. Apparently they prefer
platforms 3 and 4, used by trains going to the airport and
obviously carrying the best category of potential victims.
Valuables should never be left unattended in vehicles and car
doors should always be kept locked when driving. Carry only
a minimum amount of cash, credit cards and ID. Expensive
jewelry, financial records, address books and other personal
effects should be left at home or stored in a safe place
during your visit.
8. Emergency numbers for the Police and Medical Assistance
are 101 and 100 respectively, and for cellular phones
(locally) 112. Visitors to Belgium requiring additional
information should contact the Brussels Regional Security
Office at 32-2-508-2370 (if dialing locally, 02-508-2370).
9. Please advise if further information is needed.