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Cablegate: Fy10 1206 Funds Request for Estonian Uav and Indirect Fire

VZCZCXYZ0017
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTL #0349 3291456
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251455Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0245
INFO RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS TALLINN 000349

SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/ACE
DEPARTMENT FOR PM/PPA JOHANNA KNOCH
DEPARTMENT FOR PM/PPA SCOTT KWAK
JCS J5 FOR COL MIETUS
SECDEF FOR LT COL FENTON
EUCOM FOR MAJ KLINGMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID MARR MASS MCAP PREL EN
SUBJECT: FY10 1206 FUNDS REQUEST FOR ESTONIAN UAV AND INDIRECT FIRE
CAPABILITY ENHANCEMENT NEEDS

REF: STATE 92407; TALLINN 297

1. This cable is a correction to Tallinn 297, adding an additional
request for UAVs.

2. Post has submitted a request for 3.24 million USD in 1206
funding to increase materially Estonian UAV tactical intelligence
and indirect fire capabilities for current and future NATO ISAF,
counter-terror, and other operations in key theaters worldwide.
The Charge d'Affaires has approved this request. Post's Office of
Defense Cooperation delivered the completed submission templates to
EUCOM.

3. During the ODC Chief's November visit to Afghanistan (as part of
the Estonian CHOD's delegation), he witnessed the effectiveness of
the Raven UAV in collecting real time intelligence for the
Estonians deployed side-by-side with U.S. Marines in Helmand
province... Estonia does not currently have any UAV capability of
its own, and must rely on equipment borrowed from other militaries.
National UAV capabilities would greatly enhance the effectiveness
of current and future Estonian military operations and will
immediately and positively enhance the safety of ISAF and Afghan
National Security Forces operating in the area. Estonia also faces
a critical need for replacement of current 81mm mortar systems that
are rapidly nearing the end of their life cycle. The majority of
the deployed Estonian Forces operate as a light infantry
organization. As such the 81mm mortars are their primary indirect
fire capability at that level and they rely heavily on this
equipment in their overseas deployments.

4. The Estonian military currently has nine percent of its forces
deployed on NATO missions abroad - perhaps the highest level of any
NATO member. The GOE is looking for additional deployment
opportunities, particularly any that would allow their military to
jointly deploy with U.S. forces. Estonia deployed troops to Iraq
from 2003 to 2008 (withdrawing them only after Iraq would not
negotiate a separate SOFA with Estonia), and has participated in
KFOR since 1999. The Estonian military has supported operations
in Afghanistan since 2002, and currently has one infantry company
conducting counter-terrorism operations in Helmand Province.
Estonian forces operate without any caveats. Afghanistan is
Estonia's main military and foreign policy priority, and the GOE is
seeking ways to increase its contributions to peace and security.
Continued deployments are part of EDF and Estonian MOD policy.
Estonia also maintains smaller contributions in Bosnia, Iraq
(NTM-I),the Middle East (UNTSO) and NRF-13. In using 1206 funds to
support the Estonian military, the USG will significantly enhance
this NATO partner's ability to effectively operate in stability
operations abroad and provide a significant improvement to
Estonia's regional defense capabilities. Moreover, given the
Estonian military's intense desire to work with U.S. forces,
providing this support will directly assist in U.S. operations.

5. Post is not aware of any credible evidence of gross violations
of human rights by the units

proposed to receive assistance.

6. ODC Estonia POC for this project is LTC Robert R. Williams at
372-607-7652, rwilliams@san.osd.mil or Williamsrr@state.sgov.gov.
DECKER

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