US embassy cable - 03GUATEMALA73

URC-119 RADIO REQUEST FOR GUATEMALAN MILITARY

Identifier: 03GUATEMALA73
Wikileaks: View 03GUATEMALA73 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Guatemala
Created: 2003-01-10 16:44:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
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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