U.S. Air Force Preparing to Build More Counterdrug Deployment Sites

The U.S. Air Force is conducting "market research" of various equipment suppliers and service providers in preparation for future counterdrug surveillance missions staged from Ecuador, Curacao, and Aruba. The agency's Air Combat Command last month released a special notice for potential contractors that can provide all "personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision, and other supplies" in support of U.S. "forward operating locations" (FOLs) in the three nations. The document indicates that this increased need for logistical and material support isn't simply to satisfy existing drug war requirements; on the contrary, agency planning documents accompanying the notice say that future contracts will be awarded to support the deployment of U.S. counterdrug forces from existing facilities as well as from "new/additional locations" within the U.S. Southern Command's (USSOUTHCOM's) "area of responsibility."

DynCorp International developed the FOLs for the U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD) following the closure of Howard Air Force Base in Panama, a move stemming from the 1999 implementation of the Panama Canal Treaty. The three existing FOLs are located at Eloy Alfaro International Airport (IAP), Manta, Ecuador; HATO IAP, Curacao; and Reina Beatrix IAP, Aruba.

USSOUTHCOM, the U.S. State Dept., the U.S. Customs Service, "and multi-counter drug agencies now operate from the FOLs to assure air superiority and continued counter drug surveillance in the Caribbean and Central and South America theaters," Air Combat Command Contracting Officer Ralph L. Westphal said in a "memorandum for potential offerors" dated April 11.

Contracts could be awarded for projects involving communications, logistics, civil engineering, firefighting, health and safety, human resources, and even for financial operations. Details of these needs are expected to be released in a "statement of work" in the near future, the memo said.

Meanwhile, an "Industry Day" for government and industry representatives is tentatively planned for the first week of June in Newport News, Virginia. The gathering will serve to officially launch the acquisition phase of DoD’s latest expansion of Drug War bases across the hemisphere.

[Plans for the new FOLs https://narcosphere.narconews.com/story/2005/3/31/1 3529/5779] coincide with the U.S. Army’s recruitment of mercenaries to establish posts – known as Combined Country Personnel Recovery Centers – throughout the Caribbean and Latin America to rescue pilots downed during surveillance and crop-eradication missions.

Sources:

FOL Special Notice

Air Force/DynCorp FOL Backgrounder

About Stephen Peacock

I'm currently a high school English teacher and writer. I'm also a former Washington, DC, journalist, having worked for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily (WID), investigative newsletters that cover the telecommunications, broadcast and Internet industries. Following the 9/11 attacks, my news beat expanded beyond Capitol Hill telecom/TV/IT policy and began to include technology-policy coverage at the Pentagon and Dept. of Homeland Security. I've written over a thousand articles about government and industry affairs, and I'm pleased to say that I was the reporter who broke the story about the Total Information Awareness surveillance/data-collection initiative of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. I've written articles for publications including NACLA Report on the Americas, Drug Enforcement Report, Corrections Journal, and The Tampa Tribune. I've also written a memoir about my former career as a plainclothes security officer of the Helmsley Palace hotel in New York City, Hotel Dick: Harlots, Starlets, Thieves & Sleaze.

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About Stephen Peacock

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Biography
I'm currently a high school English teacher and writer. I'm also a former Washington, DC, journalist, having worked for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily (WID), investigative newsletters that cover the telecommunications, broadcast and Internet industries. Following the 9/11 attacks, my news beat expanded beyond Capitol Hill telecom/TV/IT policy and began to include technology-policy coverage at the Pentagon and Dept. of Homeland Security. I've written over a thousand articles about government and industry affairs, and I'm pleased to say that I was the reporter who broke the story about the Total Information Awareness surveillance/data-collection initiative of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. I've written articles for publications including NACLA Report on the Americas, Drug Enforcement Report, Corrections Journal, and The Tampa Tribune. I've also written a memoir about my former career as a plainclothes security officer of the Helmsley Palace hotel in New York City, Hotel Dick: Harlots, Starlets, Thieves & Sleaze.