207373

5/17/2009 11:49:00 AM

09ISLAMABAD1063

Embassy Islamabad

SECRET

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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 001063

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/12/2019 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PTER, MARR, PK SUBJECT: UPDATE ON RESPONSE TO GOP MILITARY REQUESTS

REF: ISLAMABAD NOTAL

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b) (d)

1. (S) Summary and action request. Working with USCENTCOM and DOD, Post has been responding to a changing list of requests from the Pakistani military in support of current and planned operations in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The Pakistanis continue to be focused on equipment and materiel instead of maintenance or intelligence support that would require a greater USG presence on the ground. Post would appreciate responses to questions/requests in paras 2, 4, and 9. End Summary.

HELICOPTERS: MI-17

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2. (C) The Pakistan Army requested either the lease or purchase of 10-12 MI-17 helicopters, as there is no funding available in the GOP budget for these. Currently the Joint Staff and OSD are working on the waiver needed prior to purchasing or leasing additional aircraft. The Pakistan Army Aviation Corps (PAAC) does have between 17 and 22 aircraft available for operations although we are uncertain how many are operational. (The PAAC claims a 70-75% Operational readiness rate.) Two of those aircraft along with their crew are on loan from the Pakistan Air Force for the duration of the operations. By mid-August, the Pakistani millitary will have nine overhauled MI-17s back, which will increase their available helicopters to 31. At least seven aircraft scheduled for overhaul are not included in the current number of operational airframes. Post requests an update on the status of the waiver.

HELICOPTERS: COBRAS

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3. (C) The PAAC claims that currently 16 of 37 Cobra helicopters it owns are operational. It claims almost all are airworthy but the 21 non-operational Cobras do not have functioning sights. While the PAAC turned down the offer of a DOD-provided maintenance team and a maintenance test pilot, it has tentatively agreed to the deployment of one Logistics Assistance representative to work at the Central Aviation Spares depot in Rawalpindi. We still must conclude an MOU with PAAC and General Headquarters (GHQ) to ensure they can actually get on base once they arrive.

4. (C) Post requests that the overhaul of 8 remaining Cobras in the U.S. be expedited. The $50 million of Foreign Military Funds (FMF) from FY 2008 has been released by the Congress.

MUNNITIONS

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5. (C) The Pakistani Army signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance for 112,000 rounds of 20mm Cobra ammo to be paid for with FMF. Our estimated delivery date is May 23, and Centcom is pushing hard to maintain this schedule. The Pakistanis have submitted another Letter of Request for Price and Availability of another 300K rounds.

SPECIAL SERVICES GROUP (SSG)

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6. (C) Though the request is still informal, we are attempting to locate the items listed below that have been identified by the Special Services Group (SSG), the Pakistan Army,s special forces group, as needed. We continue to push GHQ to make a decision so we can move quickly once they decide. The items are:

- 700,000 rounds (mixed types) of sniper ammo - 2000 helmets - 1500 units of body armor - An undetermined quantity of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs).

BRIDGES

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7. (C) The Pakistan Army has requested 14 Mabey-Jonson

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bridges. Post request that funding options for purchasing Mabey-Johnson bridges be identified. These bridges could prove invaluable in the event militants destroy bridges as Army advances into Swat. Currently the only funding options available are FMF and the transfer for sale with Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement. We consider the prepositioning of these bridges critical to the success of military operations.

8. (C) We request that the Department work with the DOD and other relevant agencies to ensure that the items listed above can be provided in an expedited manner. These items are needed quickly in order to support ongoing and future security operations against militants along the Afghanistan border.

ISR SUPPORT

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9. (S) We have created Intelligence Fusion cells with embedded U.S. Special Forces with both SSG and Frontier Corps (Bala Hisar, Peshawar) with the Rover equipment ready to deploy, but we have not been given Pakistani military permission to accompany the Pakistani forces on deployments as yet. Through these embeds, we are assisting the Pakistanis collectand coordinate existing intelligence assets.

10. (S) The Pakistani military has no current requests for DOD ISR platforms tasked to support their ongoing combat operations.

PATTERSON