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Cablegate: Air Bridge Denial: August 2008 Program Update

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DE RUEHBO #3497 2612223
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R 172223Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4803
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
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RUEAWJC/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
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UNCLAS BOGOTA 003497

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR INL/LP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR PREL MOPS MASS PGOV CO
SUBJECT: AIR BRIDGE DENIAL: AUGUST 2008 PROGRAM UPDATE

REF: 2003 STATE 265910

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. This is the monthly Air Bridge Denial (ABD)
activity report for August, 2008, as required by Reftel. The
Government of Colombia (GOC) sorted 6,612 tracks during August.
Four were Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS). There were no Phase
I/II/III events. There was one event during a mission in Support of
Suppression of Illegal Maritime Traffic (SSIMT) that ended in a law
enforcement end game with one Go-Fast boat impounded with 65 kilos
of cocaine and 373 kilos of marihuana. Three crewmembers were
arrested. END SUMMARY.

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Tracks
------

2. (SBU) In August 2008, there were 6,612 air tracks over Colombia
in August of which four were declared Unknown, Assumed Suspect
(UAS). Host Nation responded to all four and two were not located
by the tracker aircraft. The other two were visually identified
over the Caribbean and the information was passed to Central
American Law Enforcement Agencies. One of these was located in
Guatemala and impounded by the authorities. Colombian Air Force and
Navy coordinated to impound a Go-Fast vessel in the Pacific Ocean
with 373 kilos of marihuana, 65 kilos of cocaine, and three weapons.
Three crewmembers of the illegal vessel were arrested.

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SSIMT
-----

3. (SBU) On August 24, 2008, an SR-26 on SSIMT patrol sighted a
vessel in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Colombian Choco
department. A COLNAV asset was directed to the Go-Fast, which was
impounded along with 373 kilos of marihuana, 65 kilos of cocaine,
and three weapons. Three crewmembers of the illegal vessel were
arrested.

-----------------
Flight Operations
-----------------

3. (SBU) In August 2008, the Citations flew 186 hours in 95 sorties
with a 60% OR rate. Of the 95 sorties, 57 were for GOC ABD
intelligence gathering and patrolling; eight for training; 12 were
for operational support; nine were for maritime patrolling, and nine
were in reaction to GOC-provided information. The SR-26 aircraft
5741 flew 55 hours in 31 sorties with a 91% OR rate. Twenty four
SR-26 sorties were in support of ABD, of which 20 were maritime
missions. Seven sorties were for non-ABD purposes.

NICHOLS

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