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2004-12-09 20:07:00
Embassy Bogota
Cable title:  

NAS Monthly Report November 2004:

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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BOGOTA 012575 





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: NAS Monthly Report November 2004:

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In November we sprayed 13,062 hectares of
coca and completed the fourth poppy campaign of the year.
Plan Colombia helicopters supported a request for a medical
evacuation by the 9th Brigade. During November the CNP
destroyed 20 Cocaine HCL labs. CNP also captured over 1.5
metric tons of cocaine and cocaine base, and 34 kilos of
heroin. End Summary.



2. (SBU) Eradication: During the month of November, OV-10's
operating from San Jose del Guaviare sprayed approximately
4,834 hectares of coca, and AT-802's operating from
Larandia, in Caqueta Department, sprayed approximately 4,779
hectares. T-65 aircraft operating from Villa Garzon, in
Putumayo Department, sprayed approximately 3,449 hectares of
coca. This combined effort resulted in a total of
approximately 13,062 hectares of coca for the month of
November. So far this year the T-65 aircraft have also
sprayed 3,061 hectares of poppy.

3. (SBU) Eradication and COLAR aircraft were involved in 12
incidents involving hostile fire during November, and
received a total of 27 impacts. Eradication AT-802 aircraft
received four impacts, T-65's received one impact, and OV-
10D's received five impacts, while UH-1N aircraft received
three impacts. Plan Colombia UH-1 helicopters received 14
impacts this month. Both incidents and impacts received
remain well below comparable levels from last year.

4. (SBU) Anti-Narcotics Police (DIRAN): During the month of
November, DIRAN conducted three joint operations. DIRAN and
the Colombian Air Force formed a Joint Task Force and
conducted a raid against the FARC's 16th Front in Vichada
Department. Six FARC combatants were killed. The Joint
Task Force also conducted an operation near Miraflores, in
Guaviare Department, against the FARC 1st Front. DIRAN
formed a Joint Task Force with the Colombian Navy, Colombian
Marines and Colombian Air Force in Narino Department. Under
"Operation Mapale" they attacked a series of FARC and AUC
base camps and destroyed three HCL labs and five base labs.

5. (SBU) DIRAN's Jungla (Airmobile Special Forces)
instructors trained three Carabinero (Rural Mobile Police)
squadrons in airmobile and antinarcotics operations. These
Carabinero squadrons will be attached to DIRAN to support
aerial eradication operations. United States Army Special
Forces conducted a three-week sniper course for 16 students
from DIRAN's Jungla companies. These sniper teams are
equipped with INL-funded M24 Sniper Systems to support
antinarcotics and antiterrorist operations.

6. (SBU) During November, the CNP destroyed 20 Cocaine HCL

labs and 71 Cocaine Base labs. The CNP also captured over
1.5 metric tons of cocaine and cocaine base, and 34 kilos of
heroin. Thus far, during CY2004 the following have been
captured and destroyed: 72.3 MT of cocaine HCL/coca base,
515 kilos of heroin/opiates, 190 HCL laboratories, 475 coca
base laboratories, and 6 heroin/morphine labs.



7. (SBU) In November, the three largest components of
ARAVI's fleet clocked 1,245 mission hours: the UH-1
helicopters flew 842 mission hours with an operational
readiness rate of 67 percent; Bell 212 helicopters flew 265
mission hours with an operational readiness rate of 80
percent; and UH-60 helicopters flew 138 mission hours with
an operational readiness rate of 51 percent. ARAVI
participated in joint operations with COLAR, COLAF, COLNAV,
NAS, and DEA that destroyed several HCL laboratories.



8. (SBU) During November, COLAR Plan Colombia helicopters
continued to support Counter-Narcotics (CD) Brigade troops
and eradication operations in Larandia, in Caqueta
Department, Tame, in Arauca Department, San Jose del
Guaviare, in Guaviare Department, and Neiva, in Huila
Department, as well as conducted training operations in
Tolemaida. Plan Colombia helicopters flew over 2,240 hours
during November. This included 1,240 sorties that
transported 3,318 passengers and 125,041 pounds of cargo.
Eleven flight hours were dedicated to evacuating 15 medical

9. (SBU) During November, Plan Colombia Helicopters were
also involved in training operations. UH-60 Training Group
VIII completed training on 5 November, while Group IX began
training this month with 10 pilots. In the current IERW
class, 12 of the original 18 students remain.

10. (SBU) On November 1, Plan Colombia Helicopters supported
a medical evacuation for the counter-guerrilla battalion of
the Ninth Brigade. Three UH-1's flew 7.9 hours and 12
sorties to evacuate four wounded soldiers. During the
operation, one helicopter received one impact without
sustaining injuries.

11. (SBU) On November 26 and 27, elements of the CD Brigade
captured two FARC cocaine HCL labs near Miraflores, in
Guaviare Department. The first lab had two chemical
recycling vats and 30 microwaves. The lab had an estimated
peak capacity of 10 metric tons of cocaine HCL per month.
The second lab had chemicals and equipment for processing
and packaging cocaine HCL.



12. (SBU) Interdiction: Base defense and road interdiction
assessments were conducted in Cucuta, in Norte de Santander
Department, Santa Marta, in Magdalena Department, and
Mariquita, in Tolima Department. Base Defense enhancement
projects are planned for these locations during FY05.

13. (SBU) Road interdiction operations and re-training
continued in Cucuta and Santa Marta. On November 30, DIRAN
police officers from Villavicencio seized 211 kilos of coca
base at an interdiction checkpoint near Granada, Meta
Department. The coca base was being transported in the roof
of a bus traveling from San Jose del Guaviare on roads that
by-passed military checkpoints.

14. (SBU) The 2005 Base Defense and Road Interdiction
Training Plan was approved for implementation. The plan
includes base defense maintenance and upgrades as well as
road interdiction equipment training.

15. (SBU) Carabineros: During November the Narino Squadron
supported manual eradication in Llorente, in Narino
Department. Carabinero squadrons continue to provide
security to the major lines of communications in Colombia,
support manual eradication efforts, and provide security in
the conflicted zones.

16. (SBU) In October, Carabinero Squadrons captured 35
narcotraffickers and 68 guerrillas. They seized 201
weapons, 150 kgs of coca base, and 10.8 kgs of marijuana. In
Narino Department, five Carabineros were wounded in a
firefight with the FARC.



17. (SBU) Port Security: NAS and ICE will fund and contract
for training of a polygraph unit for DIRAN's port security
unit. NAS visited seaports in Buenaventura and Santa Marta
to assess interdiction efforts by the ports and DIRAN.
DIRAN started constructing dog kennels in Santa Marta to
enhance their canine interdiction efforts along the northern

18. (SBU) Culture of Lawfulness: NAS delivered previously
donated equipment to Surgir, a drug prevention NGO in
Medelln. This equipment supports both demand reduction and
assisted in developing a culture of lawfulness by enhancing
their ability to train schoolteachers in teaching the
dangers of drug use.

19. (SBU) Budget levels for NAS's 2005 grant to the National
Security Information Center (NSIC), which administers
Culture of Lawfulness (COL) programs in Colombia, were
completed. This enabled the COL program to maintain its
current programs in schools and begin development of a COL
curriculum at the Colombian National Police's officer



20. (U) In November, the environmental office met with GOC
officials to schedule consultations with leaders of
indigenous tribes prior to spraying coca fields in tribal
reservations. The NAS staff toxicologist began teaching a
two-week course at the University of Rosario, in Bogot, to
Colombian physicians and other health professionals to aid
in recognizing and treating chemical poisoning.