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Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report July 2005

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BOGOTA 007737

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR INL/LP AND INL/RM
DEPT FOR WHA/AND

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR SENV KCRM PTER CO
SUBJECT: NAS Monthly Report July 2005

1. (SBU) Summary: Eradication aircraft sprayed over 6,000
hectares in July. The program surpassed its 100,000 hectare
goal almost three months ahead of schedule. So far this
year, the Colombian National Police (CNP) has seized almost
60 metric tons of cocaine HCL AND 500 kilos of heroin. The
CNP has also destroyed 70 HCL labs. Afghan police received
briefings on programs in Colombia and successful joint
operations with Police, Army, and Air Force were carried out
in Putumayo. End summary.

Eradication
-----------
2. (SBU) During the month of July, OV-10's operating from
Villavicencio and Larandia sprayed approximately 1,697
hectares. The AT-802's, oepratin first from Caucasia and
then from Barrancabermeja, sprayed approximately 4,327
hectares of coca. The T-65s, operating from Popayan and
Tolemaida, sprayed 446 hectares of poppy and 242 hectares of
coca.

3. (SBU) This combined effort resulted in a total of
approximately 6,266 hectares of coca sprayed during the
month of July, in addition to the 446 hectares of poppy
sprayed. Though the coca total was approximately 3,700
hectares below the monthly goal, the program managed to
surpass the 100,000-hectare goal almost three months ahead
of schedule. The program has sprayed approximately 101,778
hectares of coca and approximately 1,468 hectares of poppy
to date.

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4. (SBU) Eradication and COLAR aircraft were involved in
fourteen incidents involving hostile fire during July,
resulting in a total of 43 impacts for the month. In the
Eradication program, AT-802s received twelve impacts, and T-
65s received eight impacts, while OV-10Ds received sixteen
impacts and UH-1Ns accounted for two impacts. In the Plan
Colombia Helicopter Program, UH-1HIIs received five impacts
in July.

5. (SBU) During the month of July, COLAR Plan Colombia
helicopters continued to support CD Brigade troops and
Eradication operations in Caucausia, Apiay, and Larandia,
and ISS training and operations in Saravena, as well as
training operations in Tolemaida. This month saw Plan
Colombia helicopters flying over 1,699 hours, while
transporting 115,703 pounds of cargo and 2,407 personnel.
This month PCHP conducted numerous medical evacuation
missions, flying over 77 hours, resulting in the evacuation
of 28 patients.

6. (SBU) During the month of July, the Plan Colombia
Helicopter program graduated nine new Pilots-in-Command;
four in the UH-1N, three in the UH-1HII, and two in the UH-
60L. In addition, Training Group Ten is nearing completion.
PCHP helicopters continued to provide support to Eradication
operations. In the Barrancabermeja area, PCHP helicopters
were credited with killing seven guerrillas during one
engagement.

Interdiction
------------

7. (SBU) As of 31 July, the CNP has seized almost 60 metric
tons of HCl and 500 kilos of heroin, and destroyed 70 HCl
laboratories.

8. (SBU) During the period June 30 thru July 2, DIRAN (3 x
UH60s, 4 x UH-IIs, and 100 Jungla Comandos) supported CNP's
unsuccessful efforts to capture Diego Montoya and members of
the Cartel Norte del Valle in the area of the Canyon de
Garrapatas on the Western Cordillera.

9. (SBU) On July 3, an estimated 150-200 FARC attacked the
16-man Police detachment in Caldono, Cauca Department. The
CNP and COLMIL responded quickly. DIRAN forces (2 x UH60s,
3 x UH-IIs, 1 x Hughes 500, and 65 Junglas), CNP (1 x EMCAR
section), COLAF (1 x Arpia, 1 x AC47), and COLAR (1 x
Motorized Company, 1 x Counterguerrilla Company) arrived
rapidly on the scene, preventing the FARC from leveling the
Police station and a good portion of the town. Two civilians
and one DIRAN helo pilot were wounded. FARC gas cylinders
caused damage to five houses around the Police Station. None
of the 16 Caldono Police were injured. The Police station
suffered only very minor damage. As in the Toribio attack
(April 14), the FARC combatants fired from inside the
outlying farm houses on the high ground. This negated COLAF
ARPIA and AC47 efforts. Most of the FARC wore civilian
clothes, many wearing white T-shirts and firing from houses
that flew white flags.

10. (SBU) On July 4, DIRAN destroyed two HCL labs and one
large base lab located 45 miles south of Popayan. A BBC
crew filmed these events for their upcoming 30-minute
documentary on Plan Colombia. On July 14, the Santa Marta
DIRAN Jungla Company found a cocaine cache on containing 2
metric tons of cocaine (near the Sierra Nevada).

11. (SBU) During the period July 12-16, the Colombian Army
Plan Colombia Helicopter Program (PCHP) flew three missions
in support of the Colombian Antinarcotics Police (DIRAN) in
Caucasia, Antioquia. DIRAN was pleased with the PCHP
support and cooperation. The PCHP pilots flew the missions
exactly as requested. The PCHP helos are currently in
Barrancabermeja supporting coca spray operations. DIRAN has
several cocaine HCL lab targets in this area and the PCHP
and DIRAN plan to work together again in August.

12. (SBU) On July 16, an Afghan Antinarcotics Police
Delegation visited the Junglas and Carabinero training at
the Pijaos Farm in Espinal, Tolima. DIRAN gave a briefing
on the Antinarcotics Training Center and on the DIRAN
Interdiction Group planning process. The U.S. Army 7th
Special Forces Group (SFG) Alpha training team gave a
briefing on their support to Junglas and EMCAR. Following
the briefing, the Afghans saw Jungla and EMCAR ongoing
training around the farm. This farm is being purchased by
the CNP and will become a more formal training site for the
jungles and Mobile Carabinero Squadrons (EMCAR.)

13. (SBU) On July 27, DIRAN thwarted an attack on their base
in San Miguel Putumayo. A DIRAN sentry posted on the hill
overlooking the base spotted suspicious activity in the wood
line. A patrol was sent out and discovered a FARC guerrilla
installing a gas cylinder ramp. In the ensuing engagement,
DIRAN killed the FARC guerrilla.

Joint Operations
----------------

14. (SBU) During the period July 19-26, the CNP (60 Junglas,
40 COPES, 3 x UH60s, 4 x UH-IIs, 1 x C26B Intelligence
Platform) and the COLAF (2 x OV-10, 4 x Tucano, 1 x AC-47, 1
x Schweitzer, 1 x UH60 transport, 1 x Rapaz) formed a Joint
Task Force and conducted a series of five operations against
the infrastructure of the FARC 48th Front in Putumayo
Department. Four FARC guerrillas were captured along with
35 automatic rifles, six mortars, two machine guns, six
rockets, fifteen pistols, and 2,000 mortar rounds.

Reestablish Police Presence Program (Carabineros)
--------------------------------------------- ----

15. (SBU) Three new Mobile Carabineros Squadrons (EMCAR)
graduated in July from the basic seven-week course at
Espinal, and a new combat medic course was started with 30
of the new graduates. A new basic course started
immediately with three new squadrons and 50 replacement
police.

16. (SBU) There are now 44 EMCAR squadrons, equipped and
trained by NAS, operating throughout Colombia; the objective
of having 62 EMCAR squadrons should be reached in 2006. The
majority of squadrons are involved with the manual
eradication groups and with security for the major lines of
communications throughout the country.

17. (SBU) In June, the EMCAR Squadrons captured 39 narco-
traffickers and 97 members of terrorist groups (68 FARC, 29
AUC). Carabineros also seized 4,072 gals of liquid
precursors, 6,914 kgs of solid precursors, 687 kgs of coca
base, 171 kgs of marijuana and recovered 34 vehicles.


Training
--------

18. (SBU) In July, NAS processed a total of 68 police
students (54 DIRAN and 14 Carabineros) to attend courses in
the United States. In addition, 12 police officers are
attending the International Law Enforcement Academy pilot
course in El Salvador. Of special note, a CNP Captain is
assigned to the Western Hemisphere Institute Security
Cooperation (WHINSEC, Ft Benning, GA) as a Guest Instructor
for intelligence courses. (The DIRAN/CNP currently has two
Guest Instructor positions at WHINSEC, one Jungla Instructor
and the intelligence officer.)

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

19. (SBU) ARAVI's fleet flew 2,699 mission hours in July.
The UH-1H II helicopters flew 867 mission hours with an
operational readiness (OR) rate of 44 percent (26 percent
being in depot due to major structural repairs), our Bell
212 helicopters flew 345 mission hours with an operational
readiness rate of 76 percent, and our UH-60L helicopters
flew 351 mission hours with an operational readiness rate of
74 percent.

20. (SBU) ARAVI supported "Relevos" (rotation) of municipal
police stations with approximately 170 hours of air
transport and provided air support for the semi-annual
verification of Eradication missions.

Counter Drug (CD) Brigade (BDE)
-------------------------------

21. (SBU) The CD BDE 1st Battalion (Bn) completed operations
in Caucasia and started training with the 7th SFG in
Larandia. The 2nd Bn completed training with the 7th Group
and started operations in support of aerial spray
eradication in Caqueta and Putumayo. The 3rd Bn completed
operations in Meta and moved to Barrancabermeja to support
spray operations in the south of Bolivar.

22. (SBU) The NAS-funded training installations project that
started in February in Larandia is almost complete. The CD
BDE and other Colombian Army units will have a human rights
course, a de-mining course, a mine recognition course, a
fast-rope tower, and UH-1H Huey and UH-60 Blackhawk mock-ups
for training once the project is completed.

Air Bridge Denial
-----------------

23. (SBU) There were 4,884 tracks monitored over Colombia,
of which 33 were declared unknown, assumed suspect. One of
these developed into a Phase III event, but the target
aircraft reached Venezuelan airspace before disabling fire
was authorized.

WOOD

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