Operations Memorandum 02-005, Aerial Eradication Procedures

Report on Issues Related to the Aerial Eradication of Illicit Coca in Colombia
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

13 December 2002

TO: DynCorp Operations Manager PSD

FROM: INL/A - Director of Operations

SUBJECT: Operations Memorandum 02-005, Aerial Eradication Procedures

  1. Although INL/A has established an impressive record of avoiding damage to legal crops in our mission to eradicate illicit crops there is always the possibility of an errant application. In an effort to further reduce the possibility of unintentional spraying of legal crops the following will be accomplished as soon as possible but NLT by 30 December 2002.

    1. All pilots, F/W and R/W, will receive a briefing on the potential negative impact spraying may have on the environment and techniques to minimize potential collateral damage to legal crops and the environment. This briefing will be conducted semi-annually, stress the unique Colombian operational aspects of our program, and will solicit feedback from mission pilots on techniques to maximize application effectiveness and avoid collateral damage.

    2. SAR crews will monitor drift patterns from altitude to assist in insuring that spray does not drift off target crops and will notify fixed wing flight lead when conditions might merit canceling spraying.

    3. Pilots will continue to report possible damage to legal crops, time, date and location to their flight lead who will then forward the report to the NAS for investigation and compensation if validated.

    4. Fixed wing standards will review the Aircrew Training Manuals and will insure cautions are adequate for spray drift and environmental impacts that chemical spraying can have are included in the spray tasks.

    5. Future ground verification missions will document the existence and extent of any damage to crops or foliage not targeted for eradication.

    6. Documentation of training will be retained on file for two years and will be inspected during Operations Evaluations.

  2. Inadvertent damage to legal crops is always a possibility in aerial application of chemicals of any type. We must continue to take all steps possible to reduce the possibility of damaging legal crops or the environment, and report instances where the possibility of damage exists. Pilots must continue to be vigilant to avoid conditions that could allow for off-target applications and report those instances where inadvertent damage may have occurred. SAR pilots need to monitor spray patterns for drift and inform leads if wind conditions appear to be approaching the limits. SAR crews should also provide input to Fixed Wing Leads if individual pilots appear to be off target so that they can receive additional training to correct any deficiencies.

  3. This memo will be posted in the Aircrew Reading File and will remain in effect until rescinded by INL Operations.

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Director of Operations

cc Dyn Operations (PSD), Dyn Operations (Col), EAST FW Chief Pilot, DynCorp RW Chief Pilot (Col)