Search

 

Cablegate: Action Request: Remediation Assistance Request For

VZCZCXRO3852
OO RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG
DE RUEHSF #0463/01 1921512
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101512Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY SOFIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5222
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 0984

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SOFIA 000463

SIPDIS

FOR PM/WRA MARK ADAMS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR BU IZ
SUBJECT: ACTION REQUEST: REMEDIATION ASSISTANCE REQUEST FOR
AMMO STORAGE EXPLOSIONS

REF: SOFIA 451

1. (U) Summary: The Government of Bulgaria, through its
Chief of Defense Zlatan Stoykov, sent a formal request for
U.S. equipment to assist in remediation of accidentally
exploded ordinance at the Chelopechene Ammunition Storage
Facility in Sofia. On 3 July, a series of powerful
explosions rocked the city and forced the evacuation of
residents within a 6 km radius. Many tons of ammunitions and
explosives were destroyed and many more are presumed to be
damaged. The Government of Bulgaria has not issued a clear
statement on the cause of the incident, the inventory
destroyed, or the extent of the damages. Post offered
assistance to the Bulgarians immediately after the incident,
but only on 9 July received an official request for
assistance. Post understands that U.S. European Command
(EUCOM) possesses some or all of the assets the GOB is
requesting and is standing by to offer assistance, pending
State Department approval. Post strongly supports provision
of assistance and requests expeditious Departmental approval.
Post also requests approval to offer approximately $230,000
(the unspent portion of Bulgaria's allotted Small Arms/Light
Weapons destruction budget) for remediation of the explosion
site and destruction of damaged or potentially unstable
munitions. End Summary.

2. (U) On 9 July, the Defense Attache's Office received an
official request from the Chief of Defense, the verbatim text
of which is included below:

"A major incident happened in the area of the ammunitions
utilization base in the region of Chelopechene near Sofia on
3 July 2008 at 06:30. As a result of that the classic
artillery projectiles storages and big amount of explosive
blew up.

To liquidate the consequences from this incident, I would
like to turn to you with a request for free of charge
assistance to the Bulgarian Armed Forces consisting in
providing us the following special machinery and equipment:

1. A large robot for EOD activities;
2. A small robot for EOD activities;
3. A thermo vision camera;
4. a container for transportation of undetonated
ammunitions with trotyl (trinitrotoluene) equivalent up to
10kg;
5. Heavy protective clothing for EOD operator (5 sets)

This special machinery and equipment will contribute to the
successful liquidation of the consequences from the incident
and will guarantee safe work for the EOD operators.

Yours sincerely,

General Zlatan STOYKOV"

3. (U) EUCOM has indicated that it could provide the assets
requested, though it prefers to send an initial survey team
to evaluate the site before any equipment is delivered.
Pending formal Bulgarian approval, this survey team could
arrive as soon as 11 July. The Bulgarians have already used
U.S. equipment donated under the auspices of DTRA's WMD
counter-proliferation training to verify that there is no
biological, chemical or nuclear contamination to the site.

4. (U) On 30 June, the United States and Bulgaria reached
an agreement on the destruction of small arms and light
weapons. After Bulgaria decided not to destroy tens of
thousands of machine guns originally tapped for destruction,
only slightly less than $70,000 worth of weapons were
included in the implementing document (out of an original
allocation of $300,000). Post requests permission to offer
some or all of the remaining $230,000 to the Government of
Bulgaria to destroy weapons, ammunition or explosives damaged
in the blasts and to destroy other excess weapons, ammunition
or equipment from the site determined to be dangerous,
unstable or unable to be adequately stored due to damage to
the ammo storage facility.

5. (U) Comment: A week after the incident, accusations,
rumors and conspiracy theories regarding the cause of the
explosions at Chelopechene continue to swirl. Amidst the
controversy, the government has regrettably put more effort

SOFIA 00000463 002 OF 002


in the blame game (with various forces seeking control over
the investigation process) than on remediation of the site
and prevention of future accidents. The government has been
criticized by the media and the public for its slow response,
but now that it is asking for our assistance, we strongly
believe it is in our interest to aid in any way possible.
U.S. assistance on this high-profile issue would be welcomed
by the Government of Bulgaria and very popular with the
Bulgarian public. The Department's prompt reply concerning
permission to provide EUCOM assistance as well as to offer
additional SA/LW destruction funds would be greatly
appreciated. Email instructions should be sent to Joshua
Huck, Kelly Adams-Smith, Col. David Wilmot and LTC Robert
Mathers. End Comment.
Karagiannis

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC