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Cablegate: Air Bridge Denial: September 2009 Program Update

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #3256/01 2890000
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 152358Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0362
INFO RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
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 003256

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR INL/LP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR PREL MOPS MASS PGOV CO
SUBJECT: AIR BRIDGE DENIAL: SEPTEMBER 2009 PROGRAM UPDATE

REF: 2003 STATE 265910

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. This is the monthly Air Bridge Denial (ABD)
activity report for September 2009, as required by Reftel. The
Government of Colombia (GOC) sorted 1,703 tracks during September.
There were three Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS) for the month. END
SUMMARY.

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Tracks

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2. (SBU) In September 2009, there were 1,703 air tracks over
Colombia with three declared Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS). Host
nation responded to two of the UAS, with the third departing
Colombian airspace in the Caribbean Sea before a response could be
made.

3. (SBU) On September 21, 2009, a flight plan was filed from
Medellin, Antioquia Department, to Vigia del Fuerte, Antioquia.
The crew diverted from its flight planned route, declared an
emergency, and landed at Quibdo airport, in the Choco Department.
The Colombian Air Force notified the Colombian National Police unit
at the airport. The Police inspected the aircraft and found the
pilot was using false name and identification and the aircraft did
not have the necessary certifications for flight in Colombia. The
aircraft was impounded. No illegal substances were found.

4. (SBU) On September 24, 2009, an aircraft departing Barranquilla
turned off its position reporting equipment and departed Colombian
airspace. Information was passed to Panamanian authorities, that
inspected the aircraft upon landing at Albrook airport in Panama.
The inspection resulted in positive indications of drugs. The
pilot was arrested and the aircraft impounded.

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

Maritime Missions

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

5. (SBU) On September 6, 2009, the SR-26 located a vessel in the
Pacific Ocean carrying unidentified cargo. The crew coordinated
with the Colombian Navy, which intercepted the vessel, impounding
80 55-gallon drums of gasoline and the vessel.

6. (SBU) On September 7, 2009, The SR-26 coordinated with the U.S.
Navy and the Colombian Navy to locate a self propelled semi
submersible (SPSS) at coordinates N0209 W 7937. The crew scuttled
the SPSS when they observed the approaching vessels. The SPSS sank
with its cargo before the cargo could be identified. The four
crewmembers were arrested.

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

Flight Operations

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

7. (SBU) In September 2009, the Citations flew 191 hours in 86
sorties with an 88% OR rate. Of the 86 sorties, 59 were for GOC
ABD intelligence gathering and patrolling; five for training; eight
were for maritime patrolling, and 14 for operational support. The
SR-26 aircraft 5741 flew 74 hours in 35 sorties. Thirty four SR-26
sorties were in support of ABD, of which 25 were maritime missions.
One SR-26 sortie was for non-ABD purposes.

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

Nationalization

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

8. (SBU) All SR-560 On The Job training was completed before the
September 30, 2009 deadline. Additional training will be
accomplished for the new avionics system being installed in the
aircraft and in two SR-560 aircraft undergoing Depot-Level
maintenance.

NICHOLS
NICHOLS

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