Intelligence detected that a group of terrorists plans to take an airport and several civilians as a shield. The information has been analyzed for three days, and due to the seriousness of the threat, it was defined to carry out a coordinated assault operation between the armies of the United States and Colombia.
That is the scenario from which the Espada operation starts – the first bi-national military air assault exercise – between the National Army and the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army, the elite unit for the development of transnational operations,
which takes place on the morning of this Sunday at the military base of Tolemaida, located in the Nile, Cundinamarca.
At the head of the theater of operations is General Luis Fernando Navarro, commander of the Colombian Military Forces. From that command it was possible to establish (within the exercise) that the enemy will begin to mobilize about 10:30 a.m. m. And that he will do it in three cars with the support of a mobile tactical group of enemy forces.
In real time, it is coordinating, based on NATO’s international protocols, the operation and air assault that by the standards allows the uniformed to understand in one language (regardless of whether it is Spanish or English) the orders and instructions to neutralize the shot.
There are 150 paratroopers – 75 Americans and 75 Colombians – who will jump over 11:30 a.m. m. at the airport facilities (imaginary) that would be taken by terrorists to neutralize the attack and capture the enemy’s boss.
In the binational exercise, which seeks to strengthen the planning of combined operations and the strategies to follow, two North American C-130 aircraft, a Colombian C-295 and three UH-60 helicopters will be used.
From the C-130 skydivers will jump, which in the case of Colombia are part of the Special Operations Command (those who have captured or discharged or several high-value targets). The first to jump are General Daniel Walrath, commander of the US Southern Army. UU. and General Eduardo Zapateiro, commander of the Colombian Army.
General Zapateiro made his first jump in 1989 and from there he has made 60 military jumps and 153 free.
Moments prior to the approach of the paratroopers to the aircraft, review the planning phase of the operation; parallel to that another group helps them to mount the equipment and the parachute whose total weight can be for the 50 kilos.
The equipment is secured within the maneuvering elements and the Gladiator Joint Task Force set is called, whose operational objective is: avoid taking the airport, block exits from the place, capture the enemy boss and remove him from the place in the middle of an air extraction action.
To develop the exercise, three observation scenarios were defined, in which the United States ambassador to Colombia, Philip S. Goldberg, and the Minister of Defense, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, are present.
It is expected that the exercise will be completed by one in the afternoon and its results will be evaluated. This binational exercise has been planned for three months – the US troops arrived in Tolemaida last Wednesday – and the full program will end on January 30.
ALICIA LILIANA MÉNDEZ
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