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Cablegate: Air Bridge Denial: November 2009 Program Update

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0214 0212108
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 212107Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2150
INFO RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHEHOND/DIR ONDCP WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DIRJIATF SOUTH
RHMFISS/DIRJIATF SOUTH J3
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUWDQAC/US INTERDICTION COORD WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 000214

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR INL/LP

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

REF: 03 STATE 265910

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. This is the monthly Air Bridge Denial (ABD)
activity report for November, 2009, as required by Reftel. The
Government of Colombia (GOC) sorted 2,808 tracks during November.
There were three Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS) for the month. END
SUMMARY.

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Tracks

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2. (SBU) In November, 2009, there were 2,808 air tracks over
Colombia with three declared Unknown, Assumed Suspect (UAS). Host
nation did not react to one due to no assets being available at the
time. They responded to the other two but could not locate one.
For the other UAS, on November 1, 2009, a Cessna 210 flew from
Barrancabermeja to Caucasia then filed a legal flight plan to
Medellin. It took off Sunday afternoon November 2nd, and instead
of going to Medellin it headed elsewhere and was picked up again
near the Gulf of Uraba northbound to Honduras. A Citation was
scrambled , performed a Visual Identification over the Caribbean
after coordinating with Panama Air Traffic Control and passed it
off to a Customs P-3 that followed it until just short of Honduras.
The aircraft was later picked up departing Honduras by the
Relocatable over the Horizon Radar (ROTHR) and a Citation was
scrambled to intercept it over the Caribbean. As it approached
Colombia, it was replaced by another Citation and an A-29 Super
Tucano from Barranquilla (An AH-60 Arpia later joined them). Once
within 12 miles of the Coast, ABD Phase I was started with no
response. Phase II was started and before the warning shots the
pilot responded and gave false information. The A-29 again told
them to land. The pilot landed in Ayape and two people left the
airplane and got into a small boat. An A-29 stayed over the
aircraft and another followed the boat. The CNP arrived on a CNP
helicopter and impounded the aircraft with a suitcase containing
$2M USD. They later impounded the boat and arrested the owner of
the boat.

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Flight Operations

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3. (SBU) In November 2009, the Citations flew 164 hours in 79
sorties with a 97% OR rate. Of the 79 sorties, 41 were for GOC ABD
intelligence gathering and patrolling, seven for training, 16 were
for maritime patrolling, two were in reaction to GOC-provided
information, 12 for operational support, and one for Search and
Rescue.
NICHOLS

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