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The Air Forces of Colombia and Perú Train Together to Fight Terrorism, Drug Trafficking

The Air Forces of Colombia and Perú Train Together to Fight Terrorism, Drug Trafficking

By Dialogo
December 01, 2014





The Air Forces of Colombia and Perú recently trained together to maximize the effectiveness of their cooperative battle against international drug trafficking organizations and terrorist groups.

The exercise, “Percol III,” featured simulated drug interdiction missions. It was held in Peru at the Santa Clara Air Base (BACLA) in the Department of Loreta and in Colombia at Leticia from October 27 to November 1.

“We are training to combat mutual threats, such as drug trafficking, terrorism, smuggling, and illegal mining and logging,” said Lt. Gen. Julio Valdez Pomareda, commander of operations for the Peruvian Air Force (FAP) at the exercise’s opening ceremony. Operational chief of the Colombian Air Force Col. Carlos Eduardo Bueno Vargas was also in attendance.

Simulated operations against terrorists and drug traffickers


The training included joint simulated missions against terrorists and international drug traffickers who use airplanes to transport drugs and weapons. Those missions included intercepting drug trafficking aircraft, reconnaissance and Aeronautical Search and Rescue (SAR) in airspace on both sides of the Peruvian-Colombian border.

FAP Col. Edgar Robles de la Cruz, from the Air Space Control Command, coordinated training exercises in which the air forces worked cooperatively to intercept the aircraft of drug traffickers. FAP Col. Marco Posito Luján coordinated the overall training.

During Mission One, the FAC informed the Command and Control Center for Air Wing No. 5 that an unidentified aircraft had entered Peruvian airspace and was possibly involved in criminal activity. Quickly, two interceptor aircraft took off from the Santa Clara Air Base to look for the suspicious airplane. Within a few minutes, the air force pilots identified and approached the suspect aircraft and forced it to land on the main airstrip of the base.

Continuing the simulation, prosecutors, Colombian National Police (PNC) officers, agents from the Solicitor’s Office, and a military canine trained in detecting illegal drugs, as well as its hander, arrived to investigate. FAP personnel from BACLA forced the aircraft’s pilots to disembark, and the pilots were questioned by military and police authorities. Their FAP drug-sniffing dog alerted to the presence of illegal substances, which PNC agents and prosecutors confirmed; police then arrested the pilot and the co-pilot.

A successful military exercise


Later, security forces from Colombia and Perú celebrated “masterfully completing this first ‘Consolidation’ in Percol III, an exercise that promises only more successes,” according to an October 28 FAP press release.

Throughout the five days of exercises, the two air forces used radar to command and monitor each mission. Both air forces also used VHF bands and satellites for communications.

“These joint operations seek to standardized current operational procedures and to strengthen the air defense abilities and the aeronautical infrastructure available to both countries to combat effectively illegal flights,” the FAP reported.

In the simulated missions and other exercises, the Peruvian Air Force participated with Cessna A-37 Dragonfly interceptors, Fairchild C-26B reconnaissance planes, Twin Otter DHC6-400 and Hercules L-100 transport planes, and a Bell 212 Twin Huey helicopter, according to the Colombian military website Infomil.


Meanwhile, the Colombia Air Force participated with Embraer A-29B interceptors, Merlin SR-26B and King Air 350 reconnaissance planes, Caravan C-208 and CASA C-212 transport planes, as well as Black Hawk UH-60 Angel helicopters.

Providing social assistance


At the end of the five days of exercises, the air forces from both countries conducted simultaneous seminars on social assistance in the framework of the Percol III joint training, concentrated in the border integration zone..

In one of the final training exercises, the air forces from each country crossed the border to help people in the other. On October 31, personnel from the Peruvian Air Force arrived at Marandúa in three DHC-6 Serier 400 planes from Iquitos, while personnel from the Colombian Air Force arrived at El Estrecho in C-295 and C-212 planes aboard flights from Bogotá and Leticia. The air forces transported medical personnel to help the civilian populations on both sides of the border.

Teams of gynecologists and pediatricians provided examinations to about 1,000 people on both sides of the border. Medical personnel also provided vaccinations and donated medication, bottled water, and food.

“The joint exercises are an important, international effort where the Peruvian and Colombian Air Forces are working together to attack and seek (terrorists) and drug traffickers operating in these rural areas,” said César Ortiz Anderson, president of the Pro Citizen Security Association (APROSEC), headquartered in Perú.

The interdiction actions also included intelligence, monitoring and well-designed strategies to combat drug trafficking, said Ortiz Anderson.

“All government institutions should add articulated efforts to combat this scourge that today truly is of concern to both nations,” said Ortiz Anderson.




The Air Forces of Colombia and Perú recently trained together to maximize the effectiveness of their cooperative battle against international drug trafficking organizations and terrorist groups.

The exercise, “Percol III,” featured simulated drug interdiction missions. It was held in Peru at the Santa Clara Air Base (BACLA) in the Department of Loreta and in Colombia at Leticia from October 27 to November 1.

“We are training to combat mutual threats, such as drug trafficking, terrorism, smuggling, and illegal mining and logging,” said Lt. Gen. Julio Valdez Pomareda, commander of operations for the Peruvian Air Force (FAP) at the exercise’s opening ceremony. Operational chief of the Colombian Air Force Col. Carlos Eduardo Bueno Vargas was also in attendance.

Simulated operations against terrorists and drug traffickers


The training included joint simulated missions against terrorists and international drug traffickers who use airplanes to transport drugs and weapons. Those missions included intercepting drug trafficking aircraft, reconnaissance and Aeronautical Search and Rescue (SAR) in airspace on both sides of the Peruvian-Colombian border.

FAP Col. Edgar Robles de la Cruz, from the Air Space Control Command, coordinated training exercises in which the air forces worked cooperatively to intercept the aircraft of drug traffickers. FAP Col. Marco Posito Luján coordinated the overall training.

During Mission One, the FAC informed the Command and Control Center for Air Wing No. 5 that an unidentified aircraft had entered Peruvian airspace and was possibly involved in criminal activity. Quickly, two interceptor aircraft took off from the Santa Clara Air Base to look for the suspicious airplane. Within a few minutes, the air force pilots identified and approached the suspect aircraft and forced it to land on the main airstrip of the base.

Continuing the simulation, prosecutors, Colombian National Police (PNC) officers, agents from the Solicitor’s Office, and a military canine trained in detecting illegal drugs, as well as its hander, arrived to investigate. FAP personnel from BACLA forced the aircraft’s pilots to disembark, and the pilots were questioned by military and police authorities. Their FAP drug-sniffing dog alerted to the presence of illegal substances, which PNC agents and prosecutors confirmed; police then arrested the pilot and the co-pilot.

A successful military exercise


Later, security forces from Colombia and Perú celebrated “masterfully completing this first ‘Consolidation’ in Percol III, an exercise that promises only more successes,” according to an October 28 FAP press release.

Throughout the five days of exercises, the two air forces used radar to command and monitor each mission. Both air forces also used VHF bands and satellites for communications.

“These joint operations seek to standardized current operational procedures and to strengthen the air defense abilities and the aeronautical infrastructure available to both countries to combat effectively illegal flights,” the FAP reported.

In the simulated missions and other exercises, the Peruvian Air Force participated with Cessna A-37 Dragonfly interceptors, Fairchild C-26B reconnaissance planes, Twin Otter DHC6-400 and Hercules L-100 transport planes, and a Bell 212 Twin Huey helicopter, according to the Colombian military website Infomil.


Meanwhile, the Colombia Air Force participated with Embraer A-29B interceptors, Merlin SR-26B and King Air 350 reconnaissance planes, Caravan C-208 and CASA C-212 transport planes, as well as Black Hawk UH-60 Angel helicopters.

Providing social assistance


At the end of the five days of exercises, the air forces from both countries conducted simultaneous seminars on social assistance in the framework of the Percol III joint training, concentrated in the border integration zone..

In one of the final training exercises, the air forces from each country crossed the border to help people in the other. On October 31, personnel from the Peruvian Air Force arrived at Marandúa in three DHC-6 Serier 400 planes from Iquitos, while personnel from the Colombian Air Force arrived at El Estrecho in C-295 and C-212 planes aboard flights from Bogotá and Leticia. The air forces transported medical personnel to help the civilian populations on both sides of the border.

Teams of gynecologists and pediatricians provided examinations to about 1,000 people on both sides of the border. Medical personnel also provided vaccinations and donated medication, bottled water, and food.

“The joint exercises are an important, international effort where the Peruvian and Colombian Air Forces are working together to attack and seek (terrorists) and drug traffickers operating in these rural areas,” said César Ortiz Anderson, president of the Pro Citizen Security Association (APROSEC), headquartered in Perú.

The interdiction actions also included intelligence, monitoring and well-designed strategies to combat drug trafficking, said Ortiz Anderson.

“All government institutions should add articulated efforts to combat this scourge that today truly is of concern to both nations,” said Ortiz Anderson.
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