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Cablegate: Jtf-Caring Response: Termination of Relief

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGO #0507 1751031
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231031Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 2574
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7823
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUHEHMS/COMMARFORPAC FWD

UNCLAS RANGOON 000507

SIPDIS

TO ADMIRAL KEATING FROM CDA SHARI VILLAROSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR PREL BM
SUBJECT: JTF-CARING RESPONSE: TERMINATION OF RELIEF
OPERATIONS

1. (U) Joint Task Force Caring Response (JTF-CR) has
performed magnificently in responding to the humanitarian and
disaster relief needs of Burma after Cyclone Nargis caused
widespread devastation. Quickly identifying the need for
delivery and distribution of humanitarian relief supplies,
JTF-CR mobilized rapidly to establish command and control and
make available 22 helicopters, 7 C-130s, and two ships to
support the requirements to move water, food, medicine, and
shelter into the affected areas.

2. (U) The United Nations and the international humanitarian
community now have all the mechanisms in place and
functioning to provide both delivery and distribution of
additional humanitarian relief supplies. The UN air bridge
currently has excess capacity, and a sea bridge has been
established which adds significantly increased and cheaper
capacity for delivery of supplies. Supplies are being
distributed to the logistics hubs then to the affected areas
by UN Logistic Cluster helicopters, trucks, boats and barges.

3. (U) With the establishment of basic delivery and
distribution mechanisms for relief supplies the Embassy
Country Team believes that the international humanitarian
community can now meet most of the humanitarian needs of the
population of Burma. As of June 22, JTF-CR will have flown
185 C-130 missions delivering over 3.5 million pounds of
supplies. Beyond the physical relief the JTF-CR provided, JTF
enabled the USG to assume a leadership role in the delivery
of humanitarian relief to Burma. The JTF was quick to
understand that a U.S. presence and influence with the
Government of Burma, along with the UN, international
Non-Governmental Organizations, other donors, regional
organizations such as ASEAN, and regional partners like
Indonesia and Thailand, was critical in achieving U.S. goals
in response to the crisis. The JTF's quick response favorably
influenced international and regional perceptions of the U.S.
as an important and reliable partner in the region. In
addition, the people of Burma knew of the U.S. response
despite restrictions on the dissemination of news in Burma.

4. (U) While we support the termination of flight operations
on June 22 and JTF-CR,s redeployment, we hope that the US
Pacific Command will be able to respond again should
significant additional new needs arise. We have garnered
tremendous goodwill for our efforts using the C-130s, and
should try to build on that goodwill in the future to further
increase Burmese comfort with our presence here. Therefore,
we recommend that USPACOM consider showing our flag more
regularly in Rangoon after the termination of JTF-Caring
Response. We will be glad to work with your team anytime.

5. (U) Embassy Rangoon extends its deepest appreciation to
Admiral Keating and the US Pacific Command for PACOM's
outstanding support to assist the Burmese victims of Cyclone
Nargis. In particular, we wish to thank Lt Gen Goodman, BGen
Bailey, the USS Essex group, and all members of JTF-Caring
Response for their many valuable contributions to deliver
relief to the Burmese people devastated by the terrible force
of Cyclone Nargis.
VILLAROSA

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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