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Cablegate: Air Bridge Denial: July 2008 Program Update

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DE RUEHBO #3003 2281131
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R 151131Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4187
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RUEAWJC/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUWDQAC/US INTERDICTION COORD WASHDC
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RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUMIJTF/DIRJIATF SOUTH KEY WEST FL

UNCLAS BOGOTA 003003

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR INL/LP

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

REF: 2003 STATE 265910

1. (U) SUMMARY. This is the monthly Air Bridge Denial (ABD)
activity report for July, 2008, as required by Reftel. The
Government of Colombia (GOC) sorted 7,268 tracks during July. Three
were Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS). There were no Phase I/II/III
events. There were three events in missions in Support of
Suppression of Illegal Maritime Traffic (SSIMT) that ended in law
enforcement end games with one GOFAST boat and two other vessels
impounded with 172 kilos of cocaine and seven arrests. END
SUMMARY.

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Tracks
------

2. (SBU) In July 2008, 7,268 tracks were sorted over Colombia, and
three were declared UAS aircraft. Host Nation responded to all
three, but was unable to locate one of the UAS. The other two were
visually identified in the Caribbean Sea and the information passed
on to other Central America Nations. Honduran authorities located
one and impounded the aircraft, but no illegal substances were
located.

------------
Maritime Ops
------------

3. (SBU) On July 6, 2008, an SR-560 on SSIMT patrol sighted a vessel
at coordinates N0233W07830 heading 060 at five knots with two
crewmembers and a large number of containers. The vessel turned
around and entered a river in Colombia. Eventually the crew landed
the aircraft at coordinates N0230W07827, where Colombian marines
arrested the two crewmembers and impounded the vessel with 43 fuel
containers.

4. (SBU) On 13 July, an SR-26 on SSIMT patrol sighted a vessel at
coordinates N0241W07826. The information was relayed to a Colombian
Coast Guard interceptor vessel in the area. The Coast Guard
intercepted the vessel, arrested five crewmembers and impounded the
vessel and 1,815 gallons of gasoline

5. (SBU) On 23 July, a USN helicopter was following a vessel and
handed monitoring over to an ABD SR-26. The SR-26 led Colombian
Navy vessel to the suspect vessel. The COLNAV impounded the vessel
and 172 pounds of cocaine. Five persons were arrested.

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

3. (SBU) In July 2008, the Citations flew 203 hours in 85 sorties.
Of the 85 sorties, 23 were for GOC ABD intelligence gathering and
patrolling; 17 for training; five were for operational support; 24
were for maritime patrolling; one was for search and rescue, and 15
were in reaction to GOC-provided information. The SR-26 aircraft
5741 flew 62 hours in 42 sorties with. Thirty one SR-26 sorties
were in support of ABD, of which 30 were maritime missions. Eleven
sorties were for non-ABD purposes. SR-26 tail number 5742 is still
out of commission after a ground mishap. Further investigation
disclosed that it cannot be brought back to operational status.
Usable spare parts will be removed and the remains turned over to
GOC for disposal

BROWNFIELD

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