|Wikileaks:||View 03GUATEMALA73 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||MARR MASS MCAP PREL GT|
|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 GUATEMALA 000073 SIPDIS STATE FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/PPC, PM/B, DEFENSE FOR CHAIRS, USDP-DSCA, JOINT STAFF FOR J-5 E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: MARR, MASS, MCAP, PREL, GT SUBJECT: URC-119 RADIO REQUEST FOR GUATEMALAN MILITARY 1. Summary and Action Request: Embassy requests State Department and Defense Security Cooperation Agency concurrence to transfer one URC - 119 High Frequency Radio set to the Guatemalan Military through the Excess Defense Articles Program. The radio's purpose is to enhance natural disaster response capabilities by upgrading and better integrating regional communications. After careful consideration, Post has concluded that the benefits of this particular transfer outweigh reservations about Guatemalan military performance on key issues. End Summary. 2. The proposed transfer is part of a region-wide upgrade aimed at providing an Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) capability to the High Frequency Radio network used by the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA). ALE-capable equipment continuously assesses and adjusts the quality of HF radio links allowing them to be reliably used for digital data transfers. Guatemala and Nicaragua are the only countries in the SICOFAA system without ALE capable HF radios. Post understands that an URC - 119 radio has been approved for Nicaragua. Providing the same ALE-capable radio to the Guatemalan Military would significantly enhance the ability of the U.S. Air Force to communicate and coordinate with the Guatemalan Air Force in the event of a large-scale natural disaster. The radio is not well-suited for communications within Guatemala and the possibility that it could be used for purposes other than intended is remote. 3. Under current sanctions, EDA is available to Guatemala on a case-by-case basis. The last EDA transfer to Guatemala occurred in 1997 and consisted of medical supplies worth 525 thousand USD. The value of the proposed radio transfer is 9,404 USD, broken down as follows: AM-7223 Amplifier $2,269 RF-7210A ALE (Controller) $3,093 RT-1446 Radio $4,042. The antenna set that is normally included in a complete URC - 119, will not be part of the proposed transfer as the Guatemalan Air Force already has a suitable set in its inventory. 4. The above equipment is already physically located in Guatemala. It was used to provide a demonstration of ALE capabilities during the Chiefs of American Air Forces Conference (CONJEFAMER) held in Guatemalan on May 21, 2002, and is currently being stored by the MilGroup Commander. 5. Comment and Action Request: Post carefully considered the risk of sending mixed signals to the Guatemalan Military before deciding to go forward with the request for authorization to make the transfer. Guatemala's significant exposure to natural disasters and its geographic proximity to the U.S. argue for USG efforts to mitigate such disasters wherever it can be done in ways that do not violate other US interests. The proposed transfer is not precedent-setting as EDA assistance has been provided to the Guatemalan Military in recent years. The chance that this system could be used for purposes other than enhanced regional communication is negligible. The cost of the proposed transfer is quite small and the equipment is already in country. Based on these points, Post requests Department approval to transfer this equipment to thet Guatemalan Military. Please advise. Hamilton
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