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Cablegate: Thailand: Requests for Funding Pko Projects In

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 BANGKOK 006088

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP. PM (SKWAK)
DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA (JPOWERS)
PACOM FOR FPA HUSO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR TH PKO
SUBJECT: THAILAND: REQUESTS FOR FUNDING PKO PROJECTS IN
SUPPORT OF THE WAR ON TERROR

REF: A. SECSTATE 143881
B. HIGGINS-LAMBERT EMAILS

1. (SBU) Post appreciates the opportunity to propose projects
supporting U.S. strategic peace keeping and counter terrorism objective
The Embassy outlines below several projects, in priority order, to impr
the Thai ability to thwart terrorism and to fulfill more effectively it
peacekeeping obligations. We offer three different categories of
projects. First, we propose funding the purchase of a number of items
that will improve the safety of flight operations at Utapao Naval Air
Station. Utapao is a Royal Thai Navy facility that services hundreds o
U.S. military flights to OIF, OEF or the region per year and was the hu
for our military relief operations during the Indian Ocean Tsunami
response. Second, we have been working with the Royal Thai military,
PACOM and Washington for some time to build a state-of-the-art National
Training Facility (NTF) that can by used by both Thai and U.S. forces
training for counter terrorism and peacekeeping operations and to ensur
that Thai forces have the proper training and equipment to conduct PKO
CT operations. We envision the NTF also becoming a key site for
joint/combined training with militaries from other countries and help u
to work with the Thai to strengthen our links with other militaries in
Asia. Finally, we propose a number of projects aimed directly at
promoting moderate responses by the Government and by local citizens to
the ongoing unrest in the southern provinces of Thailand.

2. (SBU) PROJECT: PURCHASING "STRIKER" AIRCRAFT RESCUE AND FIRE
FIGHTING (ARFF) VEHICLE AND OTHER SAFETY EQUIPMENT FOR UTAPAO NAVAL AIR
STATION THAILAND

Background: Utapao has served as one of the key transportation hubs in
support of the War on Terrorism. Key air refueling operations were
supported out of this base during the initial air operations in
Afghanistan. The air field also plays a key role today as a refueling
rest stop for air crews conducting support operations into the operatio
theater as well as the Strait of Malacca. This base served as the
regional staging hub for the multi-national response to the December 20
Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Current assessments of the air field indicate that its regional and
operational support role will likely increase in the future. The crash
and rescue equipment located at Utapao only marginally meets the
requirements for safe operations under U.S. Military safety standards.
Communications and lighting facilities should also be upgraded.
Increasing the crash and rescue readiness posture by providing modern f
fighting capabilities will increase the overall safe operations of the
field possibly saving the lives of U.S. air crews and limiting damage t
U.S. aircraft in an emergency. Initial assessments of Utapao indicate
that three modern fire fighting trucks are needed to optimize the safet
response capabilities there. In this proposal, we seek funding for one
Please see para. 6 for our request for a second truck and additional
safety equipment, should additional funds be made available.

Notional Use: The continued operation of this air field is critical to
the U.S. operational mission in prosecuting the War on Terrorism.

Cost: Currently under research -- a Striker fire fighting truck suitabl
for Utapao would cost roughly $500,000.


3. (SBU) PROJECT: UPGRADING CLOSE QUARTER BATTLE (CQB) TRAINING
FACILITY, SPECIAL WARFARE CENTER, LOP BURI, THAILAND

Background: Units assigned to the Thai Special Warfare Center are the
designated Counter Terrorism forces for the Kingdom of Thailand. This
project would upgrade the current CQB building, expanding the level and
quality of live fire training that can be conducted there. This facili
would be a key component of a National Training Facility designed to tr
Thai, U.S. and third country CT forces. The CQB would allow users to h
skills needed for direct action missions required during CT operations.

The CQB building will be co-located with an Exercise Related Constructi
project at Lop Buri designed to provide a realistic urban training
environment for U.S. and Thai Special Operations Forces. This directly
benefits the training resources available to U.S. forces in developing
realistic training in preparation for missions in support of the War on
Terrorism.

Notional Use: This facility will be used to train Thai and U.S. forces
skills sets that directly support counter terrorism. It could also be
used by other militaries in the region -- enhancing our ability to work
with the Thai to better integrate CT and PKO training in Asia.

Cost: Approximately $1,000,000

4. (SBU) PROJECT: NON-LETHAL WEAPONS (NLW) AND CIVIL DISTURBANCE
RESPONSE TRAINING FOR THAI MILITARY DEPLOYING TO THE SOUTH

Background: The Thai military seeks to improve its ability to respond
various civil disturbances in the three southern border provinces of Ya
Narathiwat, and Pattani, particularly in light of the incident at Tak B
in October of 2004 in which scores of Thai demonstrators suffocated whi
being transported in military trucks.

During the U.S. - Thailand Senior Leader Talks (an annual bilateral
military meeting between the U.S. Pacific Command and the Royal Thai
Supreme Command), the Director of Operations of the Royal Thai Supreme
Command, Lieutenant General Kemarat Kanchanawat, specifically requested
U.S. assistance regarding NLW training as it relates to civil unrest.
United States Marine Corps (USMC) is the DOD proponent for the training
and application of NLW. A USMC Special Operations Training Group (SOTG
has the ability to deploy to Thailand and conduct comprehensive NLW
training. However, due to U.S. Code Title 10 restrictions, it cannot u
its own operational funds for this deployment. Funding must come from
some other source.

Notional Use: The NLW training conducted by the USMC SOTG focuses on
rules of engagement and graduated response protocols in a practical
application environment. NLW training is a viable approach to address
issue of unrest in Southern Thailand.

Cost: Currently under research. Approximately $150,000.

5. (SBU) PROJECT: PUBLIC AFFAIRS TRAINING AND PROGRAMS AIMED AT SOUTH
THAILAND

Background: Thai scholars and journalists have asked for assistance to
improve their ability to promote peaceful resolution of the conflict in
Southern Thailand. We have a number of projects that we can offer to
assist them.

A. Study on People's Peace Movements
Moderate Narathiwat Muslim community activist Hama Mayunu has initiated
program to study populist anti-terrorism movements in other countries.
With support from the Thai Government, he has already traveled to
Indonesia and is seeking to expand the project to include the Philippin
Sri Lanka, Israel and Northern Ireland. His stated outcome is to share
approaches to peaceful conflict resolution with Southern community lead
in a series of conferences upon his return. We would propose partnerin
with the People's Peace Movement Narathiwat for this program.

Cost: $29,000 (Overhead and supplies $3000, Conference $2000, Philippi
travel and research $5000, Sri Lanka travel and research $5000, Norther
Ireland travel and research $7000, Israel travel and research $7000).

B. Promoting Journalistic Responsibility and Investigative Journalism
the South
Prominent Southern Muslim moderate Sampan Musordee has recently stated
that both the national and local level journalists covering the South n
training in two major areas. First, they tend to report all crimes as
terror incidents, confusing and exacerbating the situation. They need
training to understand their responsibility to report accurately and
fairly on incidents. Second, they do not tend to check into local clai
of corruption and prejudice before publishing. They need training to
understand the power and necessity of conducting good investigative
journalism in the South. Standard training in good journalistic practi
would encourage more accurate and worthwhile reporting. We would partne
with the Association of Yala Journalists to conduct training courses.

Cost: $5,000 per training session -- five sessions would cost $25,000.

C. Community Radio and Democracy
Media activist Supinya Kangnarong is promoting the concept of community
radio as a responsible, moderate force in the South. Community radio
stations broadcast a few hours per day and cannot be heard more than 10
15 km from the station. They carry local news, views and discussions,
frequently do not follow the government line. These small-time operato
in the South are influential, but also completely untrained and usually
lack any concept of journalistic responsibility. The quality of
broadcasting would benefit greatly from a program aimed at offering an
explanation of community broadcasting in the United States, including t
role of community radios to serve needs and interests of specific
audiences and how the stations can best serve their communities. We wo
partner with the Campaign for Popular Media Reform to conduct training
courses.

Cost: $5,000 per training session -- five sessions would cost $25,000.

D. Giving Power to Southern Muslim Women
According to a World Bank study, rural Southern Muslim women have littl
political or economic power. Many researchers have correlated poor
women's education and power with a rise in poverty, birth rates and
political radicalism. A nascent women's group in the South is seeking
give women an increased say in their lives, while staying within the
bounds of cultural and social norms. It is called Friends of Thai Musl
Women and is run by a female professor at Prince of Songkhla University
Pattani. In order for this grassroots organization to create a workabl
game plan, it will require assistance from an experienced NGO or
international consultant.

Cost: $7,000

E. Speaker Series on Terrorism.
The Department has recommended a number of U.S. experts, including Tom
Sanderson from CSIS, Richard Falkenrath from Brookings, Michael Radu fr
FPRI, William Rosenau and Bruce Hoffman from Rand, Audrey Cronin from N
Robert Lieber from Georgetown and Donald Emmerson from Stanford as pers
willing to give a series of lectures around the country to a variety of
audiences.

Cost: About $10,000 per iteration, we would propose a three-part serie
of lectures to take place over the course of a year for a total cost of
$30,000.

F. Speaker Series on Terrorism Financing.
Thailand is a regional transportation and financial hub. The State and
Treasury Departments have put together a series of courses to recognize
the patterns of terrorism financing. These courses could be based in
Bangkok, but also travel to Hat Yai to address financial workers in the
South.

Cost: About $15,000 per iteration -- two sessions would cost $30,000.

6. (SBU) PROJECT: A SECOND "STRIKER" AIRCRAFT RESCUE AND FIRE FIGHTI
(ARFF) VEHICLE FOR UTAPAO NAVAL AIR STATION THAILAND

Background: Utapao has served as one of the key transportation hubs in
support of the War on Terrorism. Key air refueling operations were
supported out of this base during the initial air operations in
Afghanistan. The air field also plays a key role today as a refueling
rest stop for air crews conducting support operations into the operatio
theater as well as the Strait of Malacca. This base served as the
regional staging hub for the multi-national response to the December 20
Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Current assessments of the air field indicate that its regional and
operational support role will likely increase in the future. The crash
and rescue equipment located at Utapao only marginally meets the
requirements for safe operations under U.S. Military safety standards.
Increasing the crash and rescue readiness posture by providing modern f
fighting capabilities will increase the overall safe operations of the
field possibly saving the lives of U.S. air crews and limiting damage t
U.S. aircraft in an emergency. Initial assessments of Utapao indicate
that three modern fire fighting trucks are needed to optimize the safet
response capabilities there. Our first priority request outlined in pa
1 above seeks funding for one Striker vehicle. Should sufficient funds
made available, we propose purchasing a second Striker fire fighting tr
and additional safety equipment.

Notional Use: The continued operation of this air field is critical to
the U.S. operational mission in prosecuting the War on Terrorism.

Cost: Currently under research -- approximately $774,400. A second
Striker fire fighting truck suitable for Utapao would cost roughly
$500,000. Fire fighting agent can be purchased commercially for
approximately $43,000. An off the shelf tower generator costs $38,800.
fire station generator costs $26,300 off the shelf. A commercial airfi
sweeper costs $130,000 and a generator for airfield lighting has been
priced at $36,300.

7. (SBU) PROJECT: COUNTER-TERRORISM TRAINING MULTI-PURPOSE RANGE COMP
(CTT-MPRC)

Background: The primary counter terrorism response force of the Royal
Thai Government, the Army Special Forces, use the training site at Lop
buri to maintain a high-level of combat readiness required for
short-notice reaction to terrorist related crises. Construction will s
be initiated at the site to build a facility for conducting Military
Operations in Urbanized Terrain (a MOUT site). The MOUT site will be a
key feature of the National Training Facility described above. In orde
to expand the support capability of the training site and to complement
the MOUT facility, additional infrastructure is required.

Notional Use: Improving the counter terrorism training facilities of t
Royal Thai Government directly addressed the ability of Thai Special
Forces to effectively respond to emerging intra-regional threats and to
react quickly in contingency operations.

Cost: $400,000 for CTT-MPRC allocated as follows:
$250,000 for two multi-purpose buildings that can support multiple stor
requirements, after action review facilities, and range control
automation.
$150,000 for a live-fire range with integrated multi-echelon engagement
capability and real-time training assessment systems.


BOYCE

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