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Cablegate: Costa Rican Coast Guard Receives Maitenance

VZCZCXYZ0007
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0400 1362358
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 152358Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9717
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUWDQAC/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEABND/DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMIN HQ WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000400

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EPT FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/PPC, INL/LP
USCG FOR CG-00I

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINR MASS SNARCS
SUBJECT: COSTA RICAN COAST GUARD RECEIVES MAITENANCE
TRAINING

1. (U) On May 9, a U.S. Coas Guard Mobile Training Team
(MTT) completed a wee-long outboard motor maintenance course
for 20 Csta Rican Coast Guard (SNGC) personnel at the
Paific port city of Puntarenas. The SNGC personnel,from
several different stations, received two das of classroom
instruction followed by two days o "turning wrenches" on
actual non-operational ouboard motors. As a practical
result of the MTT ourse, three outboard engines were put
back intooperation and thus put one Eduardono-type of
"gofast" back in the water at full operational capacit for
Costa Rica.

2. (SBU) The U.S. Coast Guar MTT told us that the SNGC
personnel were alread fairly well-trained on outboard motor
maintenane, but benefited from some new techniques and
prcedures. However, they did note that SNGC personne
should be encouraged to better use their mainteance manuals
so that no procedures were overlookd. The MTT added that by
the end of the trainin, the SNGC personnel were starting to
properly ue the manuals. The MTT also donated a ratchet
tol set to the SNGC at the end of the course.

3. (U) Martin Arias, Director of the SNGC, and Agnes Gomez,
the mayor of Puntarenas, also attended the graduation
ceremony. Arias highlighted the importance of the training
for his coast guard and thanked the MTT for "tightening the
links" between Costa Rica and the U.S. Gomez said that the
maintenance training would directly and positively affect the
readiness of the SNGC and would assist in interdicting drugs,
especially in her district. Local media coverage, including
television, was positive and highlighted the cooperative
nature of the training.

4. (SBU) Arias requested further MTT maintenance training on
the Model 3412-type of Caterpillar engines that drive their
three 82-foot patrol boats.

=======
COMMENT
=======

5. (SBU) This MTT training is the first of its type that Post
has been able to sponsor in nearly six years, mainly due to
DoD and USCG priorities in other regions. We encouraged the
SNGC personnel to take their new-found skills back to their
units and put more of their small boats back into operation.
Much remains to be done to put the Costa Rican Coast Guard at
a higher operational readiness rate, but MTT's such as this
help tremendously. Although fairly basic, we believe this is
exactly the kind of training that is needed to correct the
SNGC's inconsistent maintenance record.

6. (U) We would like to pass along kudos and thanks to the
USCG for sending this outboard motor maintenance MTT to Costa
Rica. If possible, we request further maintenance visits of
this kind to improve our bilateral maritime effort to
interdict narcotics.
BRENNAN

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