US embassy cable - 01ABUJA2260

NIGERIA: REQUEST FOR HELICOPTER AUTHORIZATION

Identifier: 01ABUJA2260
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA2260 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-09-09 19:02:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL EAID MASS MARR PINS CASC NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ABUJA 002260 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, EAID, MASS, MARR, PINS, CASC, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: REQUEST FOR HELICOPTER AUTHORIZATION 
 
REF: ABUJA 2259 
 
 
1. NIACT IMMEDIATE precedence required because of urgent 
humanitarian crisis.  Precedence authorized by CDA Andrews. 
 
 
2. This is an urgent action request for the Department. 
Please see para 5.  Response requested by OOB Abuja (0630 
GMT) on Monday, 10 September. 
 
 
3. Embassy requests State Department authorization to 
allocate Operation Focus Relief helicopter operational time 
to reconnaissance of flood-stricken areas in Kano and Jigawa 
States for humanitarian assistance missions.  U.S. Mission 
has, through the CDA and after consultation with the 
Ambassador, declared an emergency in Kano and Jigawa States 
due to significant flooding (Ref A).  Use of OFR helicopter 
assets will facilitate assessment of the disaster and enable 
the most effective possible response. 
 
 
4. DATT COMMENT: Two Operation FOCUS RELIEF-dedicated 
DOS-contracted Mi-8 MTB helicopters, operated by 
International Charter Incorporated, are currently stationed 
in Abuja.  A third helicopter arrives on 15 September.  Use 
of these helicopters to assess the flood-stricken areas and 
evaluate potential U.S. (and Nigerian) response represents an 
unparalleled ability to find answers quickly and to 
demonstrate USG concern very visibly.  Short-term impact on 
Operation Focus Relief is extremely minimal: Phase III 
elements begin arriving this week, however, training does not 
begin in Birnin-Kebbi until 24 September.  Use of these 
helicopters would mean postponing the placement of one 
helicopter in Birnin-Kebbi by only a few days until U.S. 
mission response scenarios have been decided upon.  END DATT 
COMMENT. 
 
 
5. ACTION REQUEST: Embassy requests immediate Department 
authorization to allocate Operation Focus Relief helicopter 
operational time to aerial reconnaissance missions, if 
needed.  END ACTION REQUEST. 
Andrews 

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