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Cablegate: Light Infantry Battalion (Lib) Training In

VZCZCXRO1936
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1116/01 3551422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211422Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0471
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001116

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV MASS PHUM PREL KWMN SOCI CG
SUBJECT: LIGHT INFANTRY BATTALION (LIB) TRAINING IN
KISANGANI: WILL ALL BE READY COME FEBRUARY 17?

1. (SBU) Summary: United States training of a Light Infantry
Battalion (LIB) of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) is scheduled
to commence Wednesday, February 17, 2010. Major efforts to identify
forces to conduct and support training are underway, as are efforts
to contract for construction support at the Camp Base facility in
Kisangani. Contracts for trainers and construction projects are
either underway or nearing release to potential bidders. While
these activities are moving forward, the start date looms large and
many necessary activities remain to be accomplished before training
can begin in earnest. End summary.

Identification of forces to provide training
--------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) The Request for Forces (RFF) process for this mission has
proven difficult. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and Special
Operations Command Africa (SOCAF) succeeded in identifying and
requesting forces to conduct the proposed training at Kisangani.
Ongoing U.S. military operations, however, have made sourcing these
requests extremely difficult. While some forces have been
identified, those forces necessary to actually conduct the training
are now only partially sourced. Contract trainers will round out
the training force. This solution meets the requirements for the
training and needs of Embassy Kinshasa. The FARDC lacks basic
military training at this time. Contract trainers can provide the
appropriate level of training necessary to train a light infantry
battalion organization such as the battalion that will be trained at
Kisangani. The request for proposals has been submitted for legal
review in preparation for its release to potential bidders.
Department of State contracting officers expect the process to be
complete with trainers on the ground in Kisangani by 25 January
2010.

Construction of training facilities
-----------------------------------

3. (SBU) Currently, no construction activities are underway at
Kisangani. NAVFAC, the contracting organization conducting
construction contract competition for building projects at Kisangani
is conducting site surveys at the facility and will award contracts
necessary to begin construction activities in the near future.
NAVFAC intends to award the initial contract to begin construction
activities to a construction and engineering company located in
Kisangani. Other contracts will be awarded as needed to develop the
Camp Base facility to the level necessary to provide a supportable
and sustainable training facility. When construction is completed,
the facility will host a small arms range, work areas, living
quarters for soldiers training at the facility, a housing complex
for the tenant unit, dining facility, and latrine facilities as well
as structures for the storage of multiple classes of supply. The
USG investment in the Camp Base facility will provide the FARDC with
a facility that serves as the foundation for a Congolese national
training facility for FARDC units.

4. (SBU) The facility will benefit both the DRC and the USG, as
training is key to professionalizing the FARDC. The facility at
Camp Base will benefit the Congolese and the FARDC by providing a
well thought out training facility that can become a light infantry
Qwell thought out training facility that can become a light infantry
training center where FARDC units can test their capabilities in a
non-kinetic environment in order to improve their capabilities for
internal defense of the country. In short, the USG is providing a
capacity for the FARDC vice a capability should the Ministry of
Defense choose to use the facility in such a manner. The
construction of a viable training facility of this type provides the
USG a lever that can be used to help the GDRC move the FARDC along a
path of professionalism.

6. (SBU) Comment: The FARDC is currently a collection of rebel
groups that have been integrated into the military through various
processes and has left the military as something of a dumping ground
for groups with grievances against the government. Lack of training
and the associated discipline that comes from training has resulted
in an organization, an army in name only, that is seen as
responsible for large portions of the sexual violence in the East
and as a force incapable of effective combat operations. The USG
should take advantage of the opportunity that the development of
this type of training facility offers to assist the FARDC in
improving its military through extensive and rigorous exercises in a
managed environment. By training the FARDC's light infantry
battalion at this facility, U.S. military personnel can aid the
FARDC in understanding how training methods like those the U.S. Army
uses at its national training centers build disciplined and capable

KINSHASA 00001116 002 OF 002


military units that are effective in multiple environments such as
conflict or humanitarian assistance. The USG must seize the
opportunity and assist the FARDC to build a capacity -- the capacity
to train -- vice a unit capable of effective performance in a
conflict role. End comment.

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