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Cablegate: Bogota Fy 2009 Sec 1206 Project Proposals

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #4398 3501614
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151614Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6021
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUETIAA/CSG SOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP ADMIN/CHAIRS//

UNCLAS BOGOTA 004398

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MASS PTER PGOV PREL MARR CO
SUBJECT: BOGOTA FY 2009 SEC 1206 PROJECT PROPOSALS

1. (SBU) The Charge confirms Post's review and concurrence with the
following five project proposals for Section 1206 funding in FY
2009. Listed in priority order, all will strengthen Colombia's
capacity to conduct counter-terrorism operations against the three
Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and other illegal armed
groups in Colombia.

- SUPPORT TO THE COLOMBIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE'S SECURITY STRATEGY
CAMPAIGN PLAN (GOVERNANCE) (USD 2 million)

The main objective of the Colombian Ministry of Defense's (MOD)
Security Strategy Campaign Plan is to permanently recover and
control critical zones with strategic, symbolic, and economic
importance to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
The near-term Colombian MOD priority is to establish a robust
military presence, intended to increase the pressure on the FARC in
these areas.

This initiative will: (1) ensure that the civilian and military
component of the MOD Security Strategy Campaign Plan has sufficient
resources to keep pace with the expansion of the militarily-secured
areas and increase citizen confidence in the government; (2) fund
immediate infrastructure reconstruction and development projects -
especially schools, health clinics and other social services -- that
will have a positive physical, social and psychological impact on
Colombian citizens in recently-secured areas; and (3) prevent
recruitment of youth into illegal-armed groups as a key part of
permanently consolidating the area of operation.

- STAR SAFIRE III THERMAL IMAGING CAMERA (USD 7.28 million)

The Star SAFIRE III thermal imaging camera offers a multi-mission
solution for land and air applications, and can be used in
applications as diverse as land force protection, shipboard
open-ocean and littoral patrol, and long-range airborne
reconnaissance. The system will provide real time intelligence and
identify terrorists' guerrilla camps, drug labs, and prisoner camps.
It will be used against the FARC, ELN, and other illegal armed
groups.

- FORWARD AREA REFUELING EQUIPMENT (USD 7.28 million)

The Forward Area Refueling Equipment (FARE) is designed for
refueling helicopters in forward operating locations. It is
lightweight and can be flown to the refueling point by helicopter or
fixed-wing aircraft. The Colombian Air Force (COLAF) conducts
extensive counter-terrorist air support, reconnaissance and other
helicopter-based operations, typically in remote areas with limited
forward sustainability to include refueling. This system would
allow COLAF helicopters to loiter in sustained operations and
conduct counter-terrorist missions in remote combat areas.

- CESSNA GRAND CARAVAN WITH LYCA CAMERA AND RADAR (USD
5 million)

The Caravan ISR platform and associated Lyca camera and RADAR system
is able to map and identify structures hidden beneath the jungle
canopy. These include guerrilla camps holding kidnap victims, among
them Colombian politicians, military officers, and private citizens.


- FOUR RIGID HULL INFLATABLE BOATS (USD 1.141 million)

These four rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) will enable Colombian
Naval (COLNAV) and Coast Guard Special Forces to gather
intelligence, interdict terrorist supply shipments, and detect
coastal staging areas. U.S. forces may work with COLNAV Special
Forces and stage in international waters, but require a Colombian
small boat compatible with U.S. ships to conduct these operations.
These RHIBs will greatly increase the detection levels and
interdiction of terrorist materials and shipment staging points,
thus inflicting a severe blow to terrorist organizations in
Colombia.
NICHOLS

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