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Cablegate: Nas Bogota Monthly Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

id: 13061
date: 1/6/2004 20:35
refid: 04BOGOTA88
origin: Embassy Bogota
classification: UNCLASSIFIED
destination: 04BOGOTA11175|04BOGOTA11582
header:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 000088

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR INL/RM
DEPT FOR INL/LP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER SNAR MOPS CO
SUBJECT: NAS BOGOTA MONTHLY REPORT

Reftel A: Bogota 11175
Reftel B: Bogota 011582

1. This is a summary of NAS Bogota activities for November 2003.

Eradication and Interdiction
----------------------------

2. Eradication: In November, the Colombian National Police (CNP)
sprayed 6,268 hectares of coca. Spray aircraft and support
helicopters took a total of six hits from ground fire.

3. On November 20, NAS supported a Counter-narcotics Brigade
mission in Meta Department in a successful combined-arms operation
involving ground troops, intelligence, transport, and strike
aircraft operating in concert. Four UH-60 Plan Colombia
helicopters, escorted by four UH-1N Plan Colombia aircraft,
transported the assault force to the target area. The UH-1N
escorts destroyed two trucks transporting enemy reinforcements,
resulting in an unknown number of enemy casualties. The Colombian
Air Force supported the mission with preplanned fire from fixed-
wing and helicopter gun ships. Ground forces seized or destroyed
the following assets: estimated 16,000 gallons of liquid chemical
precursors; 2.2 MT of solid precursors; three MT of ANFO
explosives; 79 explosive cylinders of varying sizes (20, 40, and
100 pounds); 21 mortars; four trucks; three motorcycles; 40 mines;
500 meters of detonation cord; and 50 car alarms used in remote
detonators. Four personnel were also captured. This successful
action will serve as a model for future operations. (See Reftel
A).

4. Narcotics Police (DIRAN): In November, DIRAN units captured
and destroyed five cocaine HCL labs, 17 coca base labs, and two
potassium permanganate labs. DIRAN also seized fourteen MT of
cocaine/coca base and ten MT of marijuana.

TRAINING
--------

5. The Inter-American Air Forces Academy in San Antonio, Texas,
invited the first CNP officer (a DIRAN Lieutenant) to be a guest
instructor at the school for the next two years.

6. The Deputy Director of Colombian National Police Training and
the Director of the Prosecutor General's Investigation School
attended the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA)
Conference in Quito to discuss requirements for the proposed ILEA
South to be established in Costa Rica.

7. The US Army Special Forces team began a six-week Close
Quarters Combat training course in Espinal for 68 members of the
DIRAN's three Airmobile Companies (Junglas). The course includes
60mm mortar and MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher training.

JOINT COMMUNICATIONS
--------------------

8. The DIRAN and the Colombian Military (COLMIL) completed
integration of a DIRAN UHF radio repeater with the COLMIL
Microwave network (RIC) at the repeater site in Caqueta
Department. Supported by NAS, they now have a total of seven
sites throughout Colombia that integrate DIRAN UHF repeaters with
the RIC. The new repeater proved successful after linking the
Florencia DIRAN Company with a Colombian Army (COLAR) Battalion
located in southern Colombia. This integration represents a major
step towards achieving joint communications in Colombia. The
final repeater installation in Valle Department will complete this
phase of the project.

AIR BRIDGE DENIAL (ABD)
-----------------------

9. In November, ABD tracked 2,530 aircraft, 47 of which were
unidentified assumed suspect aircraft. One single engine plane
and one helicopter were destroyed on the ground. (See Reftel B).


CNP Aviation (ARAVI)
--------------------

10. In November, the three largest components of ARAVI's fleet
clocked 1,191 mission hours: the UH-1H II helicopters flew 840
mission hours with an operational readiness rate of 79 percent,
the Bell 212 helicopters flew 211 mission hours with an
operational readiness rate of 76 percent, and the UH-60L
helicopters flew 140 mission hours with an operational readiness
rate of 66 percent. ARAVI continued to support other crucial
mission-supported operations, including assisting the FBI with a
controlled delivery in Cucuta on November 10 that resulted in the
seizure of over 13 kilos of quality heroin and subsequent arrests
in the United States and Colombia.

Law Enforcement/Public Security
-------------------------------

11. Carabineros: Squadrons seized five Kgs of coca base and one
Kg of marijuana; arrested 163 suspects; and seized 81 firearms.
Training for three more Squadrons (numbers 21-23) continues in
Espinal, with graduation scheduled for 13 Dec 03. Seventy new
Field Medics graduated on November 21 and were deployed to their
departments. The Carabineros conducted a large operation in Huila
Department, capturing 35 suspected FARC militia.

12. Port Security Program: NAS Bogota co-sponsored a Port
Security Seminar in Guayaquill, Ecuador, attended by 240 foreign
and U.S. officials from the region. Post also provided canine
training at a similar seminar in the Dominican Republic.

Rule of Law
-----------

13. Bureau of Prisons (BOP): BOP officials traveled to Combita
Penitentiary to conduct audits of security and administration, to
review canine usage, and to donate an electrical stabilizer for
ITEMIZER equipment. BOP also provided a BEAMHIT firing simulator
to the Penitentiary training facility.

Administration
--------------

14. NAS Contracting Officer issued separate solicitations for the
aviation fuel requirements of the CNP and COLAR; awarded
construction contracts to refurbish a NAS warehouse; and issued
seven Notices-to-Proceed on projects ranging in value from USD
25,000 to 250,000. NAS received proposals for the construction of
one new barracks, the remodeling of one barracks, and the
construction of a new heliport in San Jose del Guaviare.

Environment
-----------

15. From November 11-26, officials from NAS, the Ministry of the
Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, the DIRAN, and the
National Directorate for Dangerous Drugs used helicopter over-
flights to assess the efficacy of aerial eradication. The group
visited Nario, Putumayo, Caqueta, Guaviare, Meta, Arauca, Norte
de Santander, and Antioquia Departments. A final report is being
drafted, but preliminary findings indicate that replant rates
remain high and damage to surrounding crops and vegetation is
minimal.
WOOD

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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