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Cablegate: Defmin Gonul Encourages Dod's Use of Turkish

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ANKARA 006912

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MASS OPDC MARR TU
SUBJECT: DEFMIN GONUL ENCOURAGES DOD'S USE OF TURKISH
FACILITIES TO SERVICE BLACK HAWKS


1. The Embassy received from the Undersecretariat for Defense
Industries (SSM) on December 13 the following letter dated
December 7 from Minister of Defense Gonul to SecDef Rumsfeld
regarding possible US use of Turkish facilities to service
S-70 Black Hawk helicopters. The original was provided to
visiting OSD/ISP Senior Director for Turkey Lisa Heald who
will carry it back to Washington.

2. BEGIN TEXT.

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld

We, the Turkish people, followed the U.S. presidential
elections with great interest. As I expressed to you by
telephone immediately after the election, I enthusiastically
welcomed your party's and your administration's victory.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you
once again and wish continued success to you, to President
Bush, and to your colleagues in the Administration. I am
certain that the new Administration will continue to serve
the best interests of both our nations in terms of the
traditional relationship between the United States of America
and the Republic of Turkey.

I am writing to you in regard to our meeting at the Pentagon
on February 17, 2004 at which the issue of Turkey's possible
role in providing support to elements of the U.S. forces
operating in the region especially in Iraq and Afghanistan,
was formally discussed as one of the agenda items.

As you may recall, during the same discussion I offered
Turkey's maintenance and repair services for S-70 Black Hawk
helicopters in view of the emerging U.S. needs for servicing.

I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with
information about TUSAS (Turkish Aircraft Industries Inc.), a
commercially operating company owned by Turkey's Ministry of
National Defense. TUSAS has a close working partnership with
the Turkish Armed Forces' maintenance, repair and overhaul
facilities and is able to offer their capabilities and
available excess capacity to civilian and military use
worldwide.

The Turkish Army Logistics Directorate's 5th Main Maintenance
Center is Turkey's principal helicopter repair and
maintenance facility. There, over 100 Turkish S-70 Black
Hawk utility helicopters undergo depot-level maintenance.
This facility could also provide servicing for U.S. S-70
Black Hawks, including battle and crash damage-related
repairs as well as maintenance.

Pursuant to our discussion, continuing consultations between
the parties led to a meeting in April 2004, during which
TUSAS and Turkish Army Logistics Directorate's 5thMMC gave
NAMSA and the U.S. Army Missile Command an extensive briefing
on Turkey's helicopter repair and maintenance capabilities.

As a follow-up to this briefing, TUSAS, in conjunction with
the 5thMMC, sent a proposal to NAMSA's RFP in November 2004
regarding the servicing of the U.S. Army's S-70 Black Hawks.
NAMSA's response is still pending.

I would like to convey for your consideration my
recommendation that utilization of TUSAS and the 5thMMC
services would result in the provision of fast, efficient,
high-quality and economical support to ensure and maintain
the operational readiness of U.S. S-70 Black Hawks.

I hope that my recommendations will be accorded priority, and
that you will be able to take the matter up with your
officials so that this project may be implemented in a timely
manner.

Yours Sincerely

M. Vecdi Gonul
Minister of National Defense
Republic of Turkey

END TEXT

EDELMAN

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