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Cablegate: Air Bridge Denial: August 2009 Program Update

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #3062/01 2652021
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 222020Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC DC 0008
INFO RHEHOND/DIR ONDCP WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DIRJIATF SOUTH
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUWDQAC/US INTERDICTION COORD WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 003062

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR INL/LP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR PREL MOPS MASS PGOV CO
SUBJECT: Air Bridge Denial: August 2009 Program Update

REF: 2003 STATE 265910

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. This is the monthly Air Bridge Denial (ABD)
activity report for August, 2009, as required by Reftel. The
Government of Colombia (GOC) sorted 2,880 tracks during August.
There were three Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS) for the month. END
SUMMARY.

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Tracks

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2. (SBU) In August, 2009, there were 2,880 air tracks over Colombia
with three declared Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS). Host nation
did not locate two of the UAS. Information on the other UAS was
passed on to Guatemalan authorities. The aircraft aborted its
initial landing attempt when they sighted law enforcement
authorities at the landing airfield. They landed in another area
and left the aircraft. Guatemalan authorities impounded the
aircraft, five weapons, and 728 kilos of cocaine.

-----------------

Maritime Missions

-----------------

3. (SBU) On August 2, 2009, an SR-560 deployed to San Andres island
coordinated with the Colombian Navy to impound a small vessel with
two crewmembers and over four million dollars. Both Crewmembers
were arrested.

4. (SBU) During a maritime patrol in the Pacific Ocean on August 4,
2009, the SR-26 located a vessel with six crewmembers and 58
55-gallon drums. They guided a Colombian Coast Guard Midnight
Express to the area. The Coast Guard members arrested the six
crewmembers and impounded the vessel. The containers were full
with gasoline.

-----------------

Flight Operations

-----------------

5. (SBU) In August, 2009, the Citations flew 241 hours in 100
sorties with an 88% OR rate. Of the 100 sorties, 70 were for GOC
ABD intelligence gathering and patrolling; four for training; 17
were for maritime patrolling, two were in reaction to GOC-provided
information, and seven for operational support. The SR-26 aircraft
5741 flew 50 hours in 22 sorties. Twenty one SR-26 sorties were in
support of ABD, of which 18 were maritime missions. One SR-26
sortie was for non-ABD purposes.

---------------

Nationalization

---------------
6. (SBU) As of August 31, 2009, only one maintenance individual has not
completed the training program, which has a target completion date
of September 30. We expect to have all individuals in maintenance
training complete by early September. Logistics and maintenance for
the SR-26 was turned over to the GOC effective January 1, 2009.
BROWNFIELD

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