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Cablegate: Section 1206 Proposals

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMK #0622 2952037
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 222037Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8984
INFO RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000622

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA AND PM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/22/2019
TAGS: MASS PREL BA
SUBJECT: SECTION 1206 PROPOSALS

REF: A. STATE 92407
B. MANAMA 562
C. JOINT STAFF SCALFEE TO KYGER E-MAIL 10/07/2009 Classified By: DCM Christopher Henzel for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1.(C) As requested ref C, Embassy Manama provides this message as a clarification of ref B, and recommends FY 2010 section 1206 funding for the proposals described in paras 2 through 5 below. In Embassy's view and NAVCENT's, the USG's top priority for 1206 funding in Bahrain should be improving the capacity of the Royal Bahrain Navy (RBN) to participate in stability and counterterrorism operations alongside the U.S. Navy (see paragraph 2). Post is not aware of any credible evidence of gross violations of human rights by the units which are proposed to receive assistance. Post submitted detailed descriptions of each proposal September 9 through CENTCOM channels using the "proposal submission template" per ref A.

2. (C) RBN Interoperability Upgrade (CT): This program will upgrade communications and fire control radar on Bahrain's flagship, RBNS SABHA, a critical component of Bahrain's support to and participation in regional military, security, and stability operations. The upgrade will enhance Bahrain's contribution to coalition efforts to protect the Arabian Gulf against potential terrorist attacks aimed at disrupting free trade and commerce. It will also enable Bahrain to contribute more to the protection of USN personnel, other deployed forces and their facilities. The overall strategic effect will also provide stability and greater security to Bahrain's coastal waters and contribute to the USN's Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).

3.(C) Bahrain Maritime Interdiction and Hostage Rescue (CT): The Embassy's second priority for section 1206 funding is Maritime Interdiction. This will provide Bahrain Navy and Coastguard boarding teams currently involved in counterterrorism operations with essential boats and individual equipment necessary to secure their territorial waters and participate in regional operations. This program will enable Bahrain to independently conduct non-compliant Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) Operations on suspect vessels and develop a maritime hostage rescue capability.

4.(C) Bahrain Defence Force Special Forces Counterterrorism Unit Capability Upgrade (CT): We propose providing weapons, night vision, communications, and training equipment for Bahrain's primary military counterterrorism unit. The capability upgrade is designed to ensure interoperability with U.S. forces and would dramatically improve operational capability.

5.(C) MK-V Patrol Craft for the Royal Bahrain Navy (CT): The Embassy's fourth priority for section 1206 funding is to provide two MK-V Special Operations Patrol Craft to the Royal Bahrain Navy. We aim to enable the RBN to interdict speedboats used to support terrorist activities, and rapidly command and control maritime interdiction operations. This proposal would augment the two MK-V craft previously approved under FY07 1206 and scheduled for delivery in FY10. These craft will significantly extend the operational range of the Royal Bahrain Navy.

6. (SBU) Embassy POC for these proposals is SDO Col Kevin Kyger who can be contacted at Commercial XXXXXXXXXXXX, DSN XXXXXXXXXXXX. ERELI

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