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Diplomacy in Action

INL Air Wing

Fact Sheet
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
May 18, 2010


The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Office of Aviation (INL/A, also known as the INL Air Wing) oversees a combined fleet of more than 240 active airplanes and helicopters in some of the most challenging, remote, austere, and dangerous countries in the world. INL’s fleet of aircraft flies over 37,000 hours annually in support of counternarcotics, counterterrorism, border security/law enforcement, and embassy transportation missions in eight countries. In six countries, these operations are in partnership with host nation military or national police organizations. The scope of operation varies at each location – from oversight, quality control, and training in some countries, but as much as full contractor operations and maintenance in others. The Air Wing has robust logistics and maintenance facilities to provide core level services to the overseas operating locations to ensure high aircraft availability rates. The INL Air Wing received the Federal Aviation Program Award in recognition of being the most outstanding in aviation management among all large non-military federal aviation programs for 2000 and 2005.

Program Goals

  • Provide aviation expertise and resources to eradicate and interdict illicit drugs, strengthen law enforcement, and support counter-terrorism efforts

  • Build host nation capacities to operate and maintain aircraft and to use them effectively for the missions described above

  • Provide aviation support to selected Embassies for security and transportation purposes

  • Provide centralized maintenance and logistical support for the aircraft fleet

  • Maintain safe and effective operation of a combined fleet of 240 aircraft.

INL Aircraft Perform Various Missions

  • Emergency Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC)

  • Logistical resupply

  • Personnel and cargo movement (air transportation)

  • Interdiction operations on stationary and ground mobile traffickers

  • Command and Control for counter-narcotics operations

  • Reconnaissance and surveillance operations

  • Support of the aerial spray program (currently only in Colombia)

  • Other missions as agreed upon between the U.S. Embassy and the Host Nation.

Countries in which INL has aircraft: Afghanistan, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, and Peru.

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