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Cablegate: Invitation to Northern Germany for the Great White Fleet

VZCZCXRO5846
PP RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHAG #0066 3181244
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 141244Z NOV 07
FM AMCONSUL HAMBURG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0188
INFO RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0173
RUEHAG/AMCONSUL HAMBURG 0208

UNCLAS HAMBURG 000066

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/PPD
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO MASS MPOS GM
SUBJECT: INVITATION TO NORTHERN GERMANY FOR THE GREAT WHITE FLEET

REF: STATE 152640

1. (U) On behalf of Mission Germany, U.S. Consulate General
Hamburg would like to invite the Great White Fleet to Kiel,
Germany to commemorate the fleet's historic trip, strengthen
U.S. and European naval cooperation, and participate in U.S.
public outreach at Northern Europe's largest regatta and
nautical festival, Kiel Week or "Kieler Woche" from June 20 to
29, 2008 and within the framework of the Baltic Operations
international maritime exercises.

KIEL WEEK AND BALTOPS

2. (U) The annual Kiel Week regatta takes place in the Baltic
Sea waters surrounding the Kiel Sound. The regatta and
accompanying on-shore festival attract more than three million
visitors from over seventy countries. Not only can
festival-goers view the many international and Olympic class
races, but also participate in over 1,700 cultural, educational,
maritime, and sports programs that take place through-out the
nine-day festival. However, Kiel Week not only presents a
unique opportunity to reach a wide-ranging European audience
interested in nautical affairs, it is traditionally the final
stop of the U.S. military commanded naval Baltic Operations
(BALTOPS). BALTOPS is a multiphase exercise consisting of
in-port events, at-sea serialized training events, and a
coordinated scenario exercise designed to develop
interoperability in execution of a peacekeeping mission. This
combined maritime and land exercise takes place in the Baltic
Sea, with the goal of promoting mutual understanding,
confidence, cooperation, and interoperability among forces and
personnel of participating nations. BALTOPS 2007 participating
countries were the United States, Denmark, Germany, Russia, the
Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, France, Poland, Sweden and the
United Kingdom.

3. (U) In order to combine the unique opportunity of hosting
BALTOPS participating countries' military ships in the Kiel port
with the Kiel Week festival, the German Navy hosts an "open
ship" day on the first Saturday of the festival. Working with
necessary security regulations, Mission Germany has developed
special plans with the Germany Navy to improve U.S. presence at
the Kiel Week festival as well as highlight U.S. - German naval
cooperation. The German Navy is planning to host "open ship"
related activities throughout the weekend of June 21-22 and
Mission Germany has requested PAO support from USNAVEUR to give
the festival a special American touch. With U.S. Ambassador
Timken at the ceremonies, Mission Germany will be reaching out
to interested school and university students, journalists, and
the general public to emphasis the role of the U.S. Navy in
today's changing world and the close teamwork between, not only
the U.S. and Germany, but all of our European allies.

ROLE FOR THE GREAT WHITE FLEET

4. (U) Especially because Germany was not on the Great White
Fleet's original route a century ago, its presence at one of the
Northern German ports would be an outstanding signal of
Germany's important role in the United States' new Cooperative
Maritime Strategy. Kiel and the Northern German naval stations
are the home ports for German naval vessels participating in
Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa and UN
peacekeeping activities off of Lebanon. The Kiel Week festival
presents an exceptional opportunity to display the ships to an
interested public and support the BALTOPS goals and U.S.
outreach. The fleet's vessels will be at home with the many
historic windjammers and military ships that attend the event.
Mission Germany public affairs together with local partners can
organize special information programs for the fleet in order to
reach out to even more targeted audiences. One hundred years
ago the Great White Fleet demonstrated U.S. military power, but
more importantly U.S. friendship and cooperation. Mission
Germany invites the fleet to make that overture again and
continue a long tradition of U.S.-German friendship and
cooperation in combination with the 36th BALTOPS exercises and
the 126th Kiel Week regatta and festival.

5. (U) This message has been coordinated with Embassy Berlin.

JOHNSON

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