> our title:

Colombia Deploys Full UAV Squadron for Referendum Security

> original title:

Air Force Activated Unprecedented Security Measures for Referendum

(Source: Colombian air force; issued October 02, 2016)

(Issued in Spanish; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

Although procured for primarily military missions, the Hermes 450 remotely-piloted aircraft operated by the Colombian air force have been widely used to support the government’s civil or social programs. (Colombian AF photo)

For the first time, the Colombian Air Force deployed its full squadron of Hermes 450 remotely-piloted aircraft in order to fully monitor the vote for the October 2 referendum as part of the Democracy Plan.

Air Combat Command No. 2, located in Apiay, Meta, activated this reconnaissance aircraft to cover the municipalities of La Macarena, Vista Hermosa, La Uribe, Mapiripán, Villavicencio, and in general the entire department of Meta, up to San José del Guaviare.

These aircraft, with strategic capabilities, employ sophisticated systems with day and night vision with a range of up to 16,000 feet to monitor normal operations on election day on the main roads and on the energy infrastructure.

The deployment of the unmanned aircraft squadron began during the night of Saturday, October 1, and continued for 35 hours without interruption.

A team of more than 30 people -- among them experienced pilots, supervisors, analysts air intelligence and flight technicians -- are fulfilling this mission.

These aircraft have been used in missions as diverse as monitoring rivers during the recent rainy season or security and delimitation of land in support of the Land Restitution Unit, and they now will be critical to provide security on the election day of the referendum.

Thus, crews and aircraft of the Air Force continue more than ever to serve Colombians.