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Cablegate: Air Bridge Denial: October 2008 Program Update

VZCZCXYZ0016
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #4265 3361338
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011338Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5779
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RUEAWJC/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUWDQAC/US INTERDICTION COORD WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC//ICE/CNO//
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUMIJTF/DIRJIATF SOUTH KEY WEST FL

UNCLAS BOGOTA 004265

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR INL/LP

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

REF: 2003 STATE 265910

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. This is the monthly Air Bridge Denial (ABD)
activity report for October, 2008, as required by Reftel. The
Government of Colombia (GOC) sorted 6262 tracks during October.
Seven were Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS). There was one Phase II
event where the aircraft departed Colombian airspace for Venezuela.
There were two events in missions in Support of Suppression of
Illegal Maritime Traffic (SSIMT) that ended in a law enforcement end
game with two vessels and 1.1 Metric Ton of cocaine impounded. Four
crewmembers were arrested. END SUMMARY.

-------
Tracks
-------

2. (SBU) In October 2008, there were 6262 air tracks over Colombia
of which seven were declared Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS). Host
Nation responded to all seven. Two were not located by the tracker
aircraft. Two were visually identified over the Caribbean and the
information was passed on to Central American and Caribbean Law
Enforcement Agencies. Two landed in Colombia and Colombian National
Police and Colombian Army personnel responded to the landing sites
and impounded the aircraft. No illegal substances were found. The
remaining UAS was intercepted as it was flying from Central America
to Venezuela and overflew the La Guajira peninsula of Colombia.
Colombian Air Force intercepted the aircraft with an SR-560 tracker
and an A-37 aircraft. Phase I was accomplished with no response
from the UAS. The event ended after getting approval for phase two
due to the UAS entering Venezuelan airspace.

-----------
SSIMT
-----------

3. (SBU) On October 12, 2008, an SR-560 on SSIMT patrol sighted a
vessel in the Caribbean Sea off the Guajira peninsula coast. A
COLNAV vessel was directed to the suspect boat, which was impounded
and four crewmembers were arrested. There were 64 packets of
cocaine weighing 52 kilos and 174 packets of marijuana with a weight
of 325 kilos.

4. (SBU) On October 14, 2008, an SR-560 on SSIMT patrol located a
GOFAST vessel off the Colombian coast. A COLNAV vessel was directed
to the area and impounded the GOFAST after it was run aground in the
Colombian Island of Tintinan. 755 kilos of cocaine were impounded.
The crew escaped before the COLNAV arrived to the site.

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

5. (SBU) In October 2008, the Citations flew 177 hours in 83
sorties with a 68% OR rate. Of the 83 sorties, 25 were for GOC ABD
intelligence gathering and patrolling; seven for training; five were
for operational support; 26 were for maritime patrolling, and twenty
were in reaction to GOC-provided information. The SR-26 aircraft
5741 flew 57 hours in 33 sorties with a 69% OR rate. Twenty six
SR-26 sorties were in support of ABD, of which twenty two were
maritime missions. Seven SR-26 sorties were for non-ABD purposes.


BROWNFIELD

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