The Air Force executes and keeps the air dominion and executes air operations to contribute in the national territory defense of the sovereignty, independence, integrity and constitutional order, counting with 13 Air Units distributed in the country, being the Combat Air Commander No 3 the in charge in the Colombian Caribbean coast.
Our governors imagine that with the creation of the Barranquilla Air Base 28 years ago, sensible aspects as the reestablishment of the internal order, will rebound in the feelings of the coast people.
In 1942 when Colombia break relations with Germany, due the sinking of two Colombian boats by as Germany submarine, after the sinking of the boat Resolute, is organized in Barranquilla the combat and recognize squadron endowed with 6 T-6 aircrafts, depending on the Palanquero base, that operates until the end of the Second World War.
On December 1, 1976 is named as commandant of the FAC General Alfonzo Rodriguez Rubiano, which main worry was to establish an air base in the Atlantic coast to denies an air and maritime traffic of marijuana, that come from La Guajira to the U.S. due to what he talked with General Abraham Varon Valencia, defense minister in that time and to General Luis Carlos Camacho Leiva, commandant of the military forces. The proposal was well received and was approved by the government. The biggest cost of this project was to obtain the terrains and the construction of the runway, taxiing roads, platforms, control tower, illumination, etc. Use the airport that already exists there was cheaper, Barranquilla was the solution.
Presented this inquietude to the director of the Civil Aeronautical, Carlos Saenz de Santamaria, was obtained the authorization to use the terrains of the Ernesto Cortissoz airport by the Colombian Air Force. On February 8, 1977 is signed in Barranquilla a contract renting the terrains to the Colombian Air Force. The 8.7 hectares were located at the right side of the head 04 in the runway, immediately follow of the taxiing street.
Due the increment of the drug traffic from La Guajira and the augment of the contraband from clandestine runways, is evident the urgency to act as soon as possible, without wait the construction of the new Air Base. The Air Force command, across the Rotatory Found, negotiate and bought it on a cost of 2 million pesos, the administrative installations and the parking platform of Aerocosta that cancel its operation, the section of air installations plan and execute the renewal of these installations to lodge an Air Group.
In November 8, 1977, by means of the disposition 7077 from the Defense Ministry, was created the North Air Group Ganor, being the first commandant Major Santos Enrique Cueto, endowing it with personnel, materiel and equipment indispensable to begin its operation. The flying equipment was composed of T-41, U6A, C-47 and T-33 aircrafts, these last ones in commission from the Apiay base and the helicopters OH-6A.
The budget in 1978 was of 30 million pesos to build the concrete platform in the new air base with 2 taxiing that connect to the main taxiing of the airport, also was planning and designing the rest of the installations of the future air base.
The air control operation, obligate the T-33 aircrafts enter in open sea looking for illicit aircrafts with destination to the U.S. with an operation risk due that the T-33 only counts with one engine, due to what is take advantage of the visit of the FAC commandant Alfonzo Rodriguez Rubiano to the U.S. and show in the Pentagon to General Jones, chief of the USAF operations this problem, requesting the assignation of bombing aircrafts type A-37 Dragon fly to Colombia, that were twin engine jets and counts with more armament capacity than the T-33.
Few time later were assigned to Ganor 12 A-37B aircrafts, initially on December 1978 arrive the FAC 2151 and 2152 then, at ends of 1980 arrive the other 10 (FAC 2153 to 2162). With the support of the U.S. Air Mission, is talked about the training of the personnel and support equipment.
On November 13, 1978 was inaugurated Ganor with the presence of General Luis Carlos Camacho Leiva, defense minister and the high military commandants, on a ceremony done by the cadets of the Aviation Military School. Time later, by orders of the FAC command, by means of the resolution 1555 from 1979, receive the category of Combat Air Commander No 3, with military equivalence of an Army Brigade and officially inaugurated on July 23, 1982, being the republic president Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala; defense minister General Camacho Leiva and Air Force commandant General Raul Alberto Paredes Diago.
In answer to the good work done by the Air Force commandants, the USAF assigned two squadron of A-37 in 1984 and 1989.
On November 11, 1999, during the celebration of the 80 years of the Air Force and the 20th anniversary of the Cacom-3, was named the unit with the name of Major General Alberto Pauwells Rodriguez due his important work in behalf of the Air force.
The jurisdiction of the Cacom-3 cover the continental north zone in Colombia, insular area of the San Andres and Providencia archipelago and the jurisdictional waters of the Caribbean sea.
Today under the command of Colonel Guillermo Leon Leon, after 26 of existence in the development of its activities, this air command as important part of the Joint Command No 1 Caribe, have execute support operations to the First Division in Santa Martha and the brigades 2, 4, 10, 11 and 17 from the army, among others; to the troops of the Caribbean naval force as the BRIM1, launching air transported units of the navy infantry, maritime recognize operations, air transport for the Atlantico governor office, air medical evacuations of officers, NCOs, soldiers wounded or assassinated by the narco-terrorist organizations, etc; on relation with its own surveillance tasks and in exercise of the national sovereignty, have intercepted a big number of aircrafts that violate the air space and have identify around 100 runways that operate without authorization of the Aerocivil.
In relation with the security, the Cacom-3 do activities as broadcasting and pamphlets launching allusive to the demobilization of groups out of the law; day and night air patrols that gives security to the roads and towns in the Coast, with the participation of A-37B, AC-47T Phantom, SA-237, C-95 aircrafts and helicopters type B-212 Rapaz and Huey II, helping with the control of the vehicles flux that moves from and to the Atlantic Coast; search and rescue missions, cooperating with the civil aeronautical, and with the private aviation; detection and eradication of garbage that are close to the airport Ernesto Cortissoz to diminish the presence of birds that are a latent danger for the aircrafts and cause many air disasters; control of the border zone with the use of air medias and radar located in Riohacha; production of the Technical intelligence, reception and monitor of radio signals; use of infrared systems that permit to detect the concentration of people to locate the narco-terrorists and the common delinquency that can cause a threat against the population and the transport of the public force.
In relation with the terrestrial security, accomplish with patrols in march and motorized in neighbors close to the command, diminishing the delinquency actions of the gangs and common delinquency, that permit the capture of the same; execute operations in which could be recover vehicles; captured of people.
Also execute integral action activities where participates the Reserve Professional Officers, that looks to give medical services and wellbeing to the most needed families. Also counts with the program Plan Corazon Amigo that consist on sponsor a school with the collaboration of the military and civilian personnel from the unit. All these activities look to obtain a better future in the Caribbean coast.