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Countries to Receive Special Defense Department Funds

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2010 – The Defense Department has notified Congress that eight countries will receive special funds from the department this year, Pentagon officials said today.

Georgia, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary and Latvia will receive funds to help troops from those nations operate with U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. Yemen and the Philippines will receive money to strengthen their militaries inside their countries.

“Section 1206 funding” – named for the portion of the 2006 National Defense Authorization Act that enabled it -- provides countries with funds to develop counterterrorism capabilities or to help with stability operations. They also can be used to help nations develop the capabilities to work effectively with U.S. forces. The program has $350 million dedicated to it this fiscal year. Since its creation, Section 1206 has funded more than 100 train-and-equip programs, spanning 50 countries.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates notified Congress in a March 22 letter of the 10 programs in seven countries that will receive funds this year.

Six of the programs will build capacity for forces of Georgia, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to work alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Three of the programs will improve the military forces of Yemen to conduct counterterrorism operations, while one similar program is aimed at the Philippines.

Details of the programs will come into focus after the Defense Department sends a second written notification to Congress “not less than 15 days prior to the execution of a particular program,” officials said. The second notification includes the program descriptions, timelines and cost data.

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