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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09ZAGREB396 2009-06-30 15:00:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

SCENESETTER FOR GEN HAM, CG USAREUR, VISIT TO

Tags:   PREL PGOV KPAO MOPS MARR NATO HR DEFENSE REFORM 
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DE RUEHVB #0396/01 1811500
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R 301500Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUFDNTC/HQUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9355
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUCBACM/CDR USJFCOM NORFOLK VA
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUDKSR/EUCOM PLANS AND ANALYSES STUTTGART GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DHO 1//
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ZAGREB 000396 

SIPDIS

CG USAREUR FROM DATT/ARMA
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SCE


E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/1/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAO MOPS MARR NATO HR DEFENSE REFORM

SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR GEN HAM, CG USAREUR, VISIT TO
CROATIA

Classified By: COL Brendan McAloon, DATT/ARMA, for reasons
1.4 (b) & (d).



1. (SBU) Sir, yours is the first USAREUR CG visit to Croatia
in several years. CSM Bean visited his Croatian counterpart
in February. After you arrive you will be hosted by the
Chief of the General Staff, GEN Josip Lucic (Lootz-itch) and
the Croatian Army Commander, LTG Mladen Kruljac (KREWL-yatz)
at dinner. The following day will begin with a meeting with
Ambassador Robert Bradtke and the Country Team. We will then
travel to the Croatian Army Headquarters in Karlovac where
GEN Lucic and LTG Kruljac will again host you.



2. (C) Atmospherics. Your trip comes at a time when the
excellent security relationship between Croatia and the
United States continues to strengthen. Croatia appreciated
the United States being one of earliest countries to ratify
Croatia's NATO accession protocol. At the time of LTG
Kruljac,s appointment as Army Commander over two years ago,
there was much in the not-always-reliable Croatian press
about his possible ties to underworld figures. Despite
significant efforts by the press to uncover evidence,
however, no proof ever surfaced. From our interaction with
him we have found him to be a willing partner with a positive
vision of where he wants the army to go. LTG Kruljac met the
CSA in Slavonski Brod in 1996 and the two became reacquainted
during Kruljac,s visit to the Pentagon in 2007. They met
again at last year,s AUSA Conference. LTG Kruljac is
excited to meet you and is looking forward to showing you
Croatia,s newly designed assault rifle, pistol, and
uniforms. Additionally, LTG Kruljac is very appreciative of
USAREUR,s contribution of a flag detail of NCOs to two
recent ceremonies celebrating Croatia,s entry to NATO.



3. (C) OMLTs. Prior to NATO accession in April, Croatia had
the only non-NATO OMLT in Afghanistan as part of its
approximately 300 troops in ISAF. Since NATO membership,
Croatia has deployed two more OMLTs: one garrison OMLT and
one combined Combat Support OMLT with their state partner,
the Minnesota National Guard (MNNG). The OMLTs are deployed
with the 209th ANA Corps and are based in Mazar-e-Sharif.
Croatia pays all expenses for their OMLTs with the exception
of U.S.-provided stratlift. They have no operational
limitations on deployment or ROE, but do have two caveats: no
CT and no Counter-narcotics operations. The combined
MNNG-CRO Combat Support OMLT has not been smooth sailing.
Planning shortfalls and poor team-building have hampered its
ability to accomplish the mission. We have begun an
extensive lessons learned process to improve the quality of
this OMLT,s efforts and ensure that future combined OMLTs
are better prepared for deployment. Regardless of the
problems, the deployment with U.S. Soldiers is a point of
pride for the Croatian Army.



4. (C) KFOR: Two new Croatian Air Force MI-171Sh lift
helicopters are scheduled to deploy to Camp Bondsteel on 1
July 2009. This will be the first deployment outside of
Croatia for the Air Force. Croatia sees this as a test run
deployment for the Air Force and has not closed the door on
deployment of helicopters in support of ISAF in the future.



5. (SBU) Peacekeeping: Croatia prides itself on its
transition from a security consumer with UN Peacekeepers on
its territory as recently as 1998 to a security provider with
Croatian Armed Forces (CAF) elements involved in numerous UN
peacekeeping operations around the globe, to include 98 CAF
personnel on the UN mission in the Golan Heights. Croatia
deployed 15 of its Special Forces soldiers to the UN mission
in Chad. With these deployments Croatia is in the process of
implementing its plans to increase and sustain its PKO
contributions from around 250 soldiers in 2007 to 600
soldiers by 2010.



6. (C) ASPA: The U.S. FMF and IMET programs were suspended in
July 2003 due to American Serviceman Protection Act (ASPA)
sanctions. As a result, in the past few years the CAF
depended entirely upon national resources to accomplish its
NATO partnership goals and to equip its forces for ISAF.
Croatia is the only ISAF partner and new NATO member that
accomplished its transformation and financed its ISAF

commitments without FMF or Coalition Support Funding. The
suspension of IMET during this time has had a telling impact
throughout the CAF. Most notably is the lack of
U.S.-educated staff officers at the senior and mid-grade
officer level to fill critical billets on the MOD, CAF, and
NATO Staffs.



7. (SBU) FMF/IMET levels. Croatia did not receive any FMF
in FY08, and will receive only one million dollars in FMF and
510K in IMET in 2009. The proposed budget numbers trend
better in FYs 10 and 11.



8. (C) Procurement Priorities. U.S. FMF funding will be
directed at obtaining the necessary NATO-compatible radio
equipment, night vision equipment, weapon sights, combat
medical equipment, and GPS required to sustain Croatia,s
forces in ISAF. Croatia currently has no Type 1 radios or
Selective Availability Anti-Spoof Module (SAASM) global
positioning systems in its inventory. We will also need to
direct FMF funds to the upgrades needed to deploy Croatian
helicopters to KFOR. USAREUR assisted Croatia by lending two
up-armored HMMWVs for use in pre-deployment drivers training.
We also assisted Croatia in borrowing 30 up-armored HMMWVs
in theater and provided 150 IFAKs and trained 20 Combat
Lifesavers in an attempt to make the deployed Croatian
soldiers more survivable. We have encouraged Croatia to
request additional up-armored HMMWV,s for the soldiers in
Afghanistan.
BRADTKE