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Cablegate: June 2008 Nationalization Update

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #2214 1712203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 192203Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3222
INFO RHEHOND/DIR ONDCP WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL//SCJ2/SCJ3/SCJ5//
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF STATE AIR WING PATRICK AFB FL

UNCLAS BOGOTA 002214

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR INL/LP
DEPT FOR WHA/AND

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR SENV KCRM PTER CO

SUBJECT: JUNE 2008 NATIONALIZATION UPDATE

1. (U) NAS Director and NAS Nationalization Coordinator met on June
17 MOD Special Projects Director Alejandro Gamboa. VMOD Pinzon was
traveling to Afghanistan and provided guidance to Gamboa prior to
departing. The discussion reviewed the status of various
nationalization themes to include the UH-1N and UH-1H helicopters,
fuel, and the nationalization road ahead.

-------
UH-1N's
--------

2. (U) Gamboa confirmed the MOD is keen to sign the loan agreements
and expected to receive authorization from the Colombian MFA to sign
the documents before the end of the week. NAS Bogota has completed
all the necessary preparations for inventory transfers and is
prepared to physically transfer parts and equipment once the
documents have been signed. The 18 UH-1N helicopters remain
grounded at the Tolemaida airbase until the lease agreements have
been signed by both parties. Gamboa also noted his interest to
modify several sub appendixes to update the current inventories of
aircraft to the 2004 Annex to the 1962 Bilateral Agreement.

----------------------------------
UH-1H's - Melgar Training Facility
----------------------------------

3. (U) Gamboa confirmed the MOD is still finalizing its position on
the 15 UH-1H's at the Melgar rotary school; whether they will accept
title or request a loan. He noted the MOD will continue pursuing
excess defense article OH-58 training helicopters from the United
States, but his team understands there is a future role for Hueys at
GOC training schools. Gamboa advised he wants to coordinate
possible Actas de Entrega (donation documents) for any fixed
infrastructure items the USG will transfer (buildings, equipment,
etc) in Melgar. All parties agreed to tackle the UH-1H issue after
completing work on the UH-1 Novembers.

----
Fuel
----

4. (U) Gamboa acknowledged MOD Santos's letter said the GOC would
cover fuel for all current NAS supported aircraft on October 1,
2008. Gamboa again flagged his team's desire to clarify any
possible domestic legal concerns regarding the GOC purchasing fuel
for aircraft it does not operate or own. NAS agreed to meet with
him and/or the relevant COLMIL agencies to work through any concerns
and to clarify whether any modifications to any LOA's were required.
NAS restated our clear expectation the GOC will be ready on October
1, 2008 to assume all fuel costs for NAS supported aircraft.

--------------------------
Nationalization Road Ahead
--------------------------

5. (U) Gamboa noted the MOD remained generally favorable to the
nationalization road ahead presentation made during Ambassador OP
Garza's meeting with VMOD Pinzon on May 14, 2008. Gamboa said the
MOD was in the midst of the GOC's budget cycle and had not seen its
likely 2009 budget numbers, and it was difficult to provide more
concrete feedback without first seeing those numbers. He also
thanked NAS for the offer to brief GOC COLMIL personnel on the road
ahead for nationalization, but MOD did not currently require the
briefing. Gamboa acknowledged that many difficult decisions had
occurred in 2008, and noted the MOD was bracing for the shock of
assuming fuel costs October 1. Gamboa said the GOC agreed on the
importance of the nationalization timeline, and expressed his hope
that the GOC could count on a certain degree of USG flexibility as
we moved forward in the years ahead. We noted our commitment to
working as partners through this process to implement the
nationalization timeline.

Brownfield

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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