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Cablegate: Joint Interagency Planning Meeting Between Usg and Gob To

VZCZCXRO6581
PP RUEHCI
DE RUEHKA #1848/01 3310039
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270039Z NOV 07 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHSD/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5655
INFO RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 9389
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0411
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK PRIORITY 8274
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA PRIORITY 1030
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0592
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0042
RUEKDIA/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFAFM/DIRAFMIC FT DETRICK MD

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DHAKA 001848

SIPDIS

/ / / C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - ADD SENSITIVE CAPTION / / /

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DCHA/OFDA FOR ROBERT THAYER
AID/W FOR AA MARK WARD AND ANE ANNE DIX
DEPT PASS TO SCA/EX
DEPT PASS TO SCA/PB
DCHA/FPP FOR MATTHEW NIMS AND PAUL NOVICK
ROME FOR FODAG
BANGKOK FOR RDM/A TOM DOLAN, ROB BARTON
KATHMANDU FOR USAID OFDA BILL BERGER AND SUE MCINTYRE

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID SOCI PINR PREL BG
SUBJECT: JOINT INTERAGENCY PLANNING MEETING BETWEEN USG AND GOB TO
COORDINATE CYCLONE RELIEF EFFORTS


DHAKA 00001848 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Planners from the US military elements in
Bangladesh and, along with representatives from USAID's Bangladesh
mission, USAID/OFDA, and DOS attended a joint, interagency planning
and coordination meeting with the Bangladeshi military and civilian
agencies November 25 at Armed Forces Division Headquarters. The
main goal of the meeting was to develop a four-day plan which the US
military elements can execute with capacity on-hand or available
within that window, responding to specific and achievable
requirements in conjunction with USAID and OFDA priorities. Both
the Bangladeshi and U.S. military agreed to increase liaison
activities, such as embedding liaison officers within each other's
command centers. A follow up meeting November 26 lead by Brigadier
General Baily, with CDA a.i. Pasi, USAID Mission Director Rollins,
Brigadier General Bailey, USAID/OFDA Dolan and Bangladeshi Army
Chief General Moeen Uddin Ahmed and a group of Bangladeshi military
officers reinforced these themes. END SUMMARY.

NOVEMBER 25 MEETING OVERVIEW

2. (SBU) Brigadier General Abid chaired the November 25 meeting at
Armed Forces Division (the rough Bangladeshi equivalent to the Joint
Chiefs of Staff level). Initial introductions emphasized that the
U.S. military is here to augment the Bangladeshi relief operation,
filling gaps as required to provide that support. The overall idea
for U.S. military disaster relief is to cover the short term gap
until domestic and international medium and long term capacity
increases to meet the new demands caused by Cyclone Sidr. U.S. and
Bangladeshi representatives all concurred that maintaining a
Bangladeshi lead presence in operations is critical for success on
both sides. To further the necessary close coordination for
success, a U.S. officer will be embedded at Bangladesh's Armed
Forces Division and likewise a Bangladeshi officer will be embedded
at the U.S. military Coordination Center at the Embassy.

REQUIREMENTS IDENTIFIED BY THE BANGLADESHIS

3. (SBU) The specific requirements, listed in priority order by the
Brigadier General Abid are as follows: A) airlift of relief material
currently warehoused in Dhaka to the hub at Barisal, B) airlift
distribution of relief materials at Barisal to remote distribution
locations, C) airlift of drinking water to five specific locations,
D) deploying U.S. military medical teams to affected areas, and E)
Transport of relief material from secondary locations such as
Chittagong (principal seaport), Jessore, or other areas to Barisal
or directly to remote distribution locations. After breaking up in
to focus areas, (air & sea operations, logistics, security,
information, evaluation, and medical), the group reconvened to
present specific ways to meet the requirements.

DHAKA TO BARISAL AIRLIFT

4. (SBU) The Bangladeshis identified 160 metric tons of relief
materials in Dhaka, specifically food, blankets, clothes and
tentage. Based on flight times and fuel loads, air planners decided
that a C-130 cargo aircraft would be more efficient at transporting
this bulk cargo than helicopters. U.S. Air Force elements are
attempting to determine the feasibility of employing a larger, C-17,
cargo aircraft between Dhaka and Barisal. Even with C-130 flights,
air planners estimate they will be able to move all 160 metric tons
within 4 days - the C-17 would allow this to move even faster.
Regardless, it is likely that the determining factor will be
Bangladeshi and U.S. joint capacity to process the relief goods from
Barisal out to the remote distribution locations.

BARISAL TO REMOTE DISTRIBUTION LOCATIONS

5. (SBU) Prioritized locations will be provided from Armed Forces
Division to air planners, allowing them to begin developing flight
plans and confirming suitable landing zones. All participants at
the meeting agreed that U.S. aircraft will not/not land at a site
that is not confirmed secured by Bangladeshi ground elements and
with an agency capable of managing distribution on site.

DHAKA 00001848 002.2 OF 002

POTABLE WATER DELIVERY

6. (SBU) The Bangladeshis identified delivery of potable water,
using 5,000 collapsible water jugs from USS Kearsarge, to five
locations in the cyclone's impact area (Doblar Char, Shoron Khola,
Kalapara, Galachipa, and Borguna) as one of their priorities. USS
Kearsarge has substantial potable water production capabilities and
can definitely meet this requirement; air planners from the U.S.
military are studying if this request can be met on November 26.
Two of the five locations have previously been surveyed as
acceptable, Galachipa and Borguna.

U.S. MILITARY MEDICAL TEAMS

7. (SBU) The USARPAC Medical Team will deploy to Pathuakhali after
coordination with the Bangladeshi military in Barisal and in local
control of the response. The specific medical needs expected to be
met are water borne diseases, malnutrition, diarrheal diseases, skin
diseases, and cyclone inflicted wounds. These teams will be
co-located with Bangladeshi military medical assets at Pathuakhali
hospital for security and translation purposes.

SECONDARY MATERIALS TRANSPORT FROM OTHER AREAS

8. (SBU) Flight times and fuel consumption are prohibitive for
helicopters from USS Kearsarge to fly cargo from secondary sites
such as Chittagong or Jessore airfields to Barisal or remote
distribution points. Chittagong airfield could also support C-130,
or even C-17 flights if Barisal is also certified for C-17 aircraft,
if cargo loads justify that allocation of resources. Sea lift
planners indicated LCAC (large capacity hovercraft) were available
to carry cargo from Chittagong either to surveyed landing sites or
to the USS Kearsarge for flight directly to remote distribution
points.

FOLLOW UP MEETING WITH GENERAL MOEEN

9. (SBU) The U.S. team briefed General Moeen, his staff and other
officers on the concept of U.S. military operations, which was
eagerly accepted by the Bangladeshis. General Moeen asked if we
could also assist with transportation of relief supplies (both
public and private) that are currently located in other areas of
Bangladesh such as Rajshahi, Chittagong, and Sylhet. Moeen
demonstrated that he has taken a "hands on" approach to the
operation and that he is not averse to pushing his subordinates to
get things done.

COMMENT

10. (SBU) Bangladeshi military officials enthusiastically engaged
with U.S. military counterparts to augment the Bangladesh military's
existing response. USAID Bangladesh and USAID/OFDA articulated ways
in which the military could engage with non-governmental
organizations that are USAID partners. The civilian government
representatives, from the Ministry of Food and Disaster Relief, were
not as actively engaged and were not able to clearly express to
Emboff how the requirements presented by the military matched with
Ministry of Food and Disaster Response operations. There appears to
be the potential for a disconnect between the military and civilian
responses, based in part on the lack of civilian capability. This
potential disconnect may be mitigated by two factors, the fact that
the chief civilian coordinator of relief activities, Communications
Adviser M.A. Matin, is a retired Major General, and the fact that
civilian officials at the district and local levels appear to be
working with the military to coordinate distribution of relief
supplies. END COMMENT.

PASI

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