Oct 252014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/12/05MANILA5964.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA5964
2005-12-27 09:30
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MANILA 005964

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

USPACOM FOR FPA HUSO
STATE FOR EAP/MTS
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP FOR ALLEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS PHUM RP
SUBJECT: MAKING THE MOST OUT OF THE “MERCY”

REF: MANILA 4225

¶1. (SBU) Summary. A visit by the USNS Mercy to the
Philippines could contribute significantly to our program of
civil-military operations (CMO) in the Sulu Archipelago and
have a positive impact our counterterrorism efforts there.
Some additional support, e.g., medium-lift helicopters, may
be needed to ensure success. We recommend early deployment
of a liaison officer to coordinate with Mission personnel on
detailed requirements and force protection issues. End
Summary.

USNS MERCY VISIT SUPPORTS ONGOING CMO EFFORTS
———————————————

¶2. (SBU) Post welcomes the proposed visit of the hospital
ship USNS Mercy to the Philippines during its 2006 deployment
to Southeast Asia. Its presence will contribute
significantly to our ongoing CMO program and help reinforce
the positive image of the United States here. Our CMO
effort, which is designed to bolster the Armed Forces of the
Philippine’s (AFP) own ability to conduct CMO successfully,
is a central part of our counterterrorism strategy.

¶3. (SBU) Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines
(JSOTF-P) has developed a comprehensive plan of
civil-military action in the Sulu Archipelago and Mindanao
that builds on USAID’s existing longer-term programs. During
the months of October through December 2005, JSOTF-P, working
in tandem with the AFP, treated over 10,000 people in this
medically under-served region, the majority of them from the
disaffected Muslim minority.

¶4. (SBU) Well planned CMO activity can reinforce the efforts
of the JSOTF-P, and, over the longer term, directly and
positively impact the counterterrorism fight in the southern
Philippines. The August 9-10, 2005 intervention of
Expeditionary Strike Group-1 (ESG-1) on Tawi-Tawi represents
a model of what the “Mercy” could achieve (reftel). Over the
space of two days, ESG-1 and JSOTF-P personnel, working with
AFP and civilian doctors and nurses, examined and treated
roughly 3,000 people, helping to re-establish links between
the government and people in this conflict-affected area.

RECOMMENDED FOCUS ON THE SULU ARCHIPELAGO
—————————————–

¶5. (SBU) The presence of the USNS Mercy and its doctors and
medical staff would have a tremendous effect on our outreach
effort to the Muslim community. For this reason, we
recommend that the Mercy focus its time in the Philippines on
Zamboanga and the Sulu Archipelago. Like ESG-1, we would
seek to link its program to ongoing JSOTF-P and USAID
activity, as well as to local NGO and GRP entities.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT MAY BE REQUIRED
———————————-

¶6. (SBU) Some additional support may be required to ensure
the success of the visit. ESG-1’s organic helicopter assets
allowed it to transport medical personnel and patients to and
from various sites on Tawi-Tawi. Similar medium-lift
helicopters would be required to support activities on Jolo,
Tawi-Tawi, and elsewhere in the Sulu Archipelago and
Zamboanga.

LIAISON OFFICER TO HELP DETERMINE WHAT IS NEEDED
——————————————— —

¶7. (SBU) Force Protection in the Sulu Archipelago is a
legitimate and important concern. We stand ready to work
with the Mercy to mitigate any potential threat and to obtain
whatever AFP assistance may be required to ensure adequate
security. The early deployment of a liaison officer to Joint
US Military Assistance Group-Philippines (JUSMAG-P) could
help fully develop the concept of operations in consultations
with Mission personnel and staff out what force protection
and other requirements might be needed to support the Mercy’s
visit.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm
Jones

   

 

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