Cablegate: Combined Colombian Police and Army Aviation

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





E.O 12358: N/A

Ref: Bogota 0956

1. (SBU) Summary: Colombian Army (COLAR) helicopters
recently supported a Colombian National Police (CNP)
airmobile assault on cocaine hydrochlide (HCL) processing
laboratories. The eight-day operation was notable not only
for its operational results - three laboratories were
destroyed and nearly two metric tons of cocaine HCL seized -
but also for the cooperation between the COLAR and the CNP.
Employing combined assets improved effectiveness. End

2. (SBU) Following a spike in hostile ground fire directed
at aerial eradication aircraft in CY2003 (Reftel), a number
of countermeasures were undertaken to improve security. In
addition to increased use of intelligence, ground troops
conducted active screening operations in advance of aerial
operations in areas of higher risk. The effect was a nearly
fifty percent reduction in ground fire impacts in CY2004
compared to CY2003.

3. (SBU) Aerial spray operations in Narino Department have
always been difficult and meteorological conditions limit
the number of days when spray is possible. This major coca-
producing area is highly contested between AUC and FARC
elements. The CNP Antinarcotics Police (DIRAN) had
insufficient available assets to conduct effective

4. (SBU) In response to our request, COLMIL Commander
General Ospina directed that COLAR's Plan Colombia
Helicopter assets support the DIRAN operation. A Joint Task
Force was established: the COLAR provided three UH-60
Blackhawks and four UH-II gunships, and one UH-60 Blackhawk,
three UH1-N gunships, and one C-26 intelligence/command-and-
control platform was provided by the CNP. The CNP also
provided 80 DIRAN Special Forces (Junglas) troops.

5. (SBU) The eight-day operation was successful: three
cocaine HCl laboratories were destroyed and nearly two
metric tons of processed cocaine HCl were seized, along with
equipment and precursors. This was the first time that CNP
personnel were transported by COLAR aircraft to conduct an
airmobile assault. Despite several minor operational and
communications disconnects, the training and tactical
doctrines of the COLAR and CNP proved to be sufficiently
compatible. After Action Reviews, which involved candid
critiques and appraisals, were conducted in a spirit of

6. (SBU) Comment: The COLMIL has been slow to embrace the
concept of combined operations. We are hopeful that this
positive experience will result in greater acceptance of the
concept in the future. End comment.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: ‘Things Have To Change’ Canada’s Trudeau Declares Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that the world must change, as multilateral systems established decades ago are not working as they should, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada told the UN General Assembly on Friday. “The world is in crisis, and ... More>>

Assange's Hearing: Latest Observations From Court

Despite severe restrictions on observers, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the only NGO that has gained access to the hearing, and we’ve managed to monitor proceedings on most days. We will continue to do so whenever possible. Yesterday I was in court ... More>>

ILO: Impact On Workers Of COVID-19 Is ‘catastrophic’

COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic” impact on workers, the head of the International Labour Organization ( ILO ) said on Wednesday, with lost working hours higher than originally forecast, and equivalent to 495 million full-time jobs globally in the ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>