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Cablegate: Air Bridge Denial: October 2009 Program Update

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #3806/01 3342050
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 302049Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1281
INFO RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHEHOND/DIR ONDCP WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DIRJIATF SOUTH J3
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IP WASHINGTON DC//ICE/CNO//
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC//ICE/CNO//
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUWDQAC/US INTERDICTION COORD WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 003806

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

REF: 03 STATE 265910

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. This is the monthly Air Bridge Denial (ABD)
activity report for October, 2009, as required by Reftel. The
Government of Colombia (GOC) sorted 1,711 tracks during October.
There were five Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS) for the month. END
SUMMARY.

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Tracks

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2. (SBU) In October, 2009, there were 1,711 air tracks over
Colombia with five declared Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS). Host
nation did not locate two of the UAS.

3. (SBU) On October 17, 2009, a track was detected by the
Relocatable-Over-The-Horizon-Radar (ROTHR) departing Central
America towards Venezuela, declared a UAS, and intercepted by an
SR-560 over the Caribbean Sea. It was identified as a White PA-31
tail number YV-3271. The aircraft departed the ABD maritime areas
and entered Venezuela, where no further information was obtained.
That afternoon the ROTHR detected a track outbound from Venezuela
that was later declared a UAS. An SR-560 intercepted it and
identified it as the same PA-31 YV-3271, this time enroute to
Central America. The SR-560 followed it until it departed the ABD
maritime areas, where it was picked up by a U.S. P-3 that followed
it to landing in Guatemala. Local Law Enforcement authorities
responded and after an exchange of fire arrested one person,
impounded the aircraft, one rifle, two vehicles, and 625 kilos of
cocaine.

4. (SBU) On October 17, 2009, ROTHR detected a track outbound from
Venezuela headed to Central America. Once no information was found
about the flight, an SR-560 intercepted it and described it as a
low wing two-engine Cessna 310 but no tail number was seen. The
SR-560 handed off the aircraft to two U.S. P-3 aircraft that
followed the UAS to landing at night in Honduras. On landing, the
UAS sustained damage. Local authorities arrived at the site and
found blood in the aircraft. They impounded 30 kilos of cocaine
and a portable lighting system.

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Illegal Runway Destruction

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

5. (SBU) On October 30, 2009, the Colombian Air Force, in
cooperation with the Colombian National Police and the Colombian
Prosecutor's office, proceeded to destroy three illegal runways
near the town of Puerto Lopez, in the Meta department.

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Flight Operations

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6. (SBU) In October, 2009, the Citations flew 176 hours in 82

sorties with a 94% OR rate. Of the 82 sorties, 45 were for GOC ABD
intelligence gathering and patrolling; eight for training; seven
were for maritime patrolling, nine were in reaction to GOC-provided
information, nine for operational support, and four for Non ABD
missions. The SR-26 aircraft 5741 flew 53 hours in 19 sorties.
All 19 SR-26 sorties were in support of ABD.

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Nationalization

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

7. Nationalization efforts have been accomplished in accordance
with timeline. All maintenance training has been completed.
Inventories of facilities, parts, and equipment will be completed
in November.
BROWNFIELD

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