Cablegate: Ata Training Fills Gap in Gon Security Preparations

Published: Wed 19 Nov 2003 10:39 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: A. STATE 209313 B. ABUJA 1770
1. Summary: From October 27 through 31, 2003 Embassy Abuja hosted
an ATA sponsored Weapons of Mass Destruction and Postal Management
Training Course. The course was well received by the GON with
significant representation from practically all elements of the
federal government. All participants were first responders or
decision-makers within the GON. Upon conclusion of the training
many participants expressed their appreciation to the USG for
providing this opportunity. Practically all participants requested
add on instructions not only in WMD but other security related
training areas including combating of terrorism. End summary
2. WMD was the buzz word for the participants of the ATA 4715
Weapons of Mass Destruction and Postal Management Training Course
taught at the Sheraton Hotel from October 27 through 31, 2003. If
you did not have an ATA black carry bag bearing the Diplomatic
Security Service badge and seal you were a nobody. Although day
one started off with approximately 61 participants registering,
the GON was able to mobilized a significant countrywide
representation of the WMD brotherhood and on day two, 93
participants from a multitude of WMD first responder agencies
eagerly arrived to receive their instructions.
3. The GON participants, representing a broad spectrum of first
responders and strategic planners, readily admitted their
organizations were ill prepared to meet the WMD chemical and
biological threat. Representatives from the Nigerian Police
Service, Nigerian Fire Service, Nigerian Postal Service, Federal
Ministry of Environment, Emergency Medical Service Headquarters,
the State House home of the Presidency, Abuja Bomb Squad,
Airforce, Navy, Army, State Security Service and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs admitted GON lack of preparedness in this key
4. Most participants expressed their appreciation for the WMD
training to RSO Abuja. Several participants informed RSO Abuja
they were responsible for creating and implementing a GON WMD
National Plan that requires approval by the Presidency. One
senior Nigerian Police Service official mentioned that the
lack of a viable WMD plan was the weak link in their security
arrangements currently in progress to ensure the safety and
security of over 32 Heads of Government and the Queen of England
scheduled to visit Abuja for the Commonwealth Heads of Government
Summit to begin December 3, 2003. One high ranking official
working at the Ministry of Environment admitted this
training closes a very big gap in the GON security planning.
5. During the post graduation ceremonies, practically all
participants from all services and ministries requested additional
add on training, especially in the area of combating terrorism.
6. As a result of this course, the GON will be receptive to future
training offers. Therefore, post requests consideration be given
to offer the GON additional WMD add on training. In addition to
the additional WMD add on training, RSO Abuja requests that ATA
VIP personal protection training also be offered to the GON. RSO
Abuja advises that once the New Embassy Compound opens O/A March
2005, the profile for this mission will rise considerably. It is
only a matter of time before a personal protection detail will
need to be implemented on a full time basis for the Chief of
Mission. If the ATA VIP personal protection training is offered,
RSO Abuja requests funding to accompany the contingent for their
course of training.
7. Post would like to thank the key players and trainers Darcus
Halmilton, Neill Oster, Eric Sorchik, Paul Argo, Daniel Peterlick,
and Robert McDonnell for a superlative performance and a job well
done. Meese
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