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For First Time, Chile Leads Ground Component of Panamax 2016 Exercise


first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo August 23, 2016 For the first time, the Chilean Army, in coordination with the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), directed the organizing and command of the ground component of the Panamax 2016 multinational exercise. The annual exercise brought together the Armed Forces of 19 Latin American countries to put into practice their capacities for guaranteeing security against terrorist threats at the Panama Canal and the surrounding areas. Between July 29th and August 5th, more than 70 members of the Armed Forces of various countries combined their aerial, ground, maritime, and cybernetic efforts to practice virtual operations in defense of the canal, both from the Chilean Army War Academy (ACAGUE, for its Spanish acronym) in Santiago and from various military bases in the United States. According to a report from the Chilean Army, José Antonio Gómez, the Chilean Minister of Defense, as well as General Huberto Oviedo, Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army, and deputy secretaries of defense for the Chilean Armed Forces attended the training event at ACAGUE. They participated in the presentation on the development of the international exercise. PANAMAX in Action The Chilean Army’s leadership of the ground component signified an unprecedented milestone in the historical development of the exercise. The air and sea commands were headed by Colombia and Peru, respectively, while Brazil served as Overall Deputy Commander of the Multinational Force. The exercise was held under a resolution of the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council. “We appreciate that SOUTHCOM and the U.S. Army South trusted us to participate at this level from Chile. These challenges are the result of our maturing relationship over time,” Chilean Army Major General Luis Chamorro, Commander of the ground component during the multinational exercise, told Diálogo. The main focus of the virtual exercise was a simulated confrontation between members of the Multinational Force and the violent extremist group Martyrs of Liberation, who attempted to take control of the Panama Canal. The U.N. requested the aid of the international military force to protect the important maritime route and to prevent the violent terrorists from advancing towards a fictitious country called New Centralia, on the border with Panama. To defend the Panama Canal, the Commanders of the Multinational Force began a strategic operation. “Various battalions made up of 5,104 men were mobilized to go to the fictitious Central American country. Their broad knowledge of the terrain allowed them to contain the terrorist threat and avoid a global catastrophe,” Gen. Chamorro indicated. The simulation was carried out in five stages: unit deployment; initiation of the activity; taking control of the ground in all operations (in this phase, the ground component achieved control of the critical situation with unit deployment); in the fourth phase, the fictitious country was stabilized, and in the last stage, the transition took place in which the units return to their countries of origin. Military doctrine and communication became immediate challenges as the multinational exercise unfolded. “The biggest challenge we faced was the different doctrines of the participating countries for the development of the exercise. Each country has its own way of dealing with the military planning process. It is important for the development and the process of military planning to get on the same level in terms of knowledge of military doctrine,” Gen. Chamorro said. Thanks to the efforts of the Chileans, the forces participating in the exercise benefited from the “Military Planning Process (PPM, for its Spanish acronym) Support Book.” The book provides information on the military planning process that is necessary to solve military problems such as: the commander’s vision, analysis of the mission, plan development and review, the confrontation, the target acquisition process, the battlefield integration process, relationship of the military planning process to intelligence assessment, and organizing the headquarters of joint forces. The book allows for knowledge to be standardized and for coordination and control of the exercise’s air, sea, land, and special forces components. From a development point of view, another challenge for the forces was becoming familiarized with the exchange network for classified and secure information, which allows for better communication and coordination with ally countries. The Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System, known as CENTRIXS, is used by the U.S. Army. “We achieved a good connection. It wasn’t easy at first. As the activity went on, our ability to use this type of equipment improved,” Gen. Chamorro explained. “Language was not a barrier. We worked with interpreters in some cases. All of the challenges were adequately and efficiently sorted out with the valuable support of the U.S.” The virtual operations that were conducted during Panamax 2016 afforded participants the opportunity to share techniques, tactics, and procedures on how to defeat a terrorist attack on the canal. Lessons Learned During the seven-day exercise, military personnel and members of the integrated general staff participated from Chile, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, the United States, Argentina, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Uruguay. “Everyone who participated in this exercise was a winner. We are leaving with a lot of experience and knowledge, and also, the whole world wins because we have a Multinational Force that is prepared to act jointly and in a coordinated manner against terrorist threats,” Chamorro pointed out. “The exercise has been a sucess. We have successfully carried out the established missions.” Through this training, the United States “is transferring greater responsibility” to Chile as a relevant actor in terms of security in Latin America. “The Chilean Armed Forces and staff have demonstrated their capacity to organize and direct this type of exercise,” indicated Miguel Navarro, researcher for the National Academy for Political and Strategic Studies in Santiago. History Panamax was created in 2003 as a military exercise among the navies of Panama, Chile, and the United States. In 2006, Panamax expanded its sphere of activity to incorporate land, air, and naval resources from the rest of the countries of the Americas. “Panamax is a necessary training activity, because the threat looming over the Panama Canal is not related to conventional threats, but it is a terrorist issue. And these types of actions need to be counteracted through international cooperation, especially now that the Canal has expanded, thus being more profitable for global commerce,” Navarro concluded. The Panama Canal is a maritime link between 144 routes serving 1,700 ports in 160 countries worldwide. According to its website (micanaldepanama.com), its main users are the United States, Chile, China, Japan, and South Korea. Currently, the canal supplies 6 percent of global commerce, which is equivalent to 400 million metric tons of goods.last_img read more


GCB/Jaguars 50-Overs League postponed


first_imgTHE play-offs of the 2017 GCB/Jaguars One Day 50-Overs League, which were scheduled to be played today at the Albion Community Centre ground, have been suspended until further notice.This suspension is due to weather conditions that have made scheduling and playing matches very challenging.The preliminary rounds of 2017 GCB/Jaguars One Day 50-Overs League were conducted over two periods. The first period consisted of four rounds of matches which were played from November 21 to 27.The second round of matches was scheduled for December 19 to 23.The seven preliminary rounds saw the 2017 GCB/Jaguars 3-Day League Champions Essequibo emerge as the leaders on the points table, thereby securing an automatic place in the finals, while defending champions of the GCB/Jaguars One Day League, Lower Corentyne, placed second.As a consequence, Lower Corentyne are scheduled to play Georgetown who gained third position by virtue of having a better net run rate than West Demerara. Both Georgetown and West Demerara teams had ended the preliminary rounds with an equal number of wins and points.last_img read more


Divorce Spats Between Lucy and Designated Replacement


first_imgLucy was the darling of the 1980s, but with Australopithecus sediba taking center stage, her fans are not happy.Science gave Lee Berger, Sedi’s agent (4/10/2010), prominent coverage in a special issue on April 12, with six papers about the south African rising star, Australopithecus sediba, that made him famous.  In the Introduction piece, though, Berger didn’t seem confident about what show it belongs to:This examination of a large number of associated, often complete and undistorted elements gives us a glimpse of a hominin species that appears to be mosaic in its anatomy and that presents a suite of functional complexes that are different from both those predicted for other australopiths and those of early Homo. Such clear insight into the anatomy of an early hominin species will clearly have implications for interpreting the evolutionary processes that affected the mode and tempo of hominin evolution and the interpretation of the anatomy of less well-preserved species.What’s clearly clear from the glimpse, in other words, is not the interpretation of this fossil, but rather the implications that evolutionists’ prior interpretations need revision.Ann Gibbons in a related piece on Science made it clear Berger is trying to take Lucy down. “This suggests, as Berger has argued for years, that the South African species may knock the queen of australopithecines, Lucy—a member of Au. afarensis—off her long-held perch as the most likely ancestor of Homo.”National Geographic is not happy about this doubt-casting on its cover girl.  Brian Switek began with her theme jingle,Everybody knows “Lucy.” For nearly four decades, this famous partial skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis, dated to 3.2 million years ago, has been an ambassador for our prehistoric past, and her species has stood as the most likely immediate ancestor of our own genus—Homo.How dare Lee Berger smite the reputation of the reigning superstar:But in a spate of new studies, paleoanthropologist Lee Berger, of the University of the Witwatersrand, and a team of collaborators have put forward a controversial claim that another hominin—Australopithecus sediba—might be even closer to the origin of our lineage, possibly bumping Lucy from the critical evolutionary junction she has occupied for so long.This is intolerable.  It must not go unchallenged:Together, the papers on the teeth, jaw, limbs, and spine of Australopithecus sediba highlight the fact that this early human possessed a strange mixture of traits seen in both early australopithecines and Homo. These findings make the fossils a significant point of contention among those devoted to understanding where and when our genus evolved.With sediba possessing features that seem pieced together from Au. africanus and even Homo habilis, hopes for a reconciliation seem grim.  This pigeon-toed rising star does not make a better presentation:No other known hominin walked like this, hinting that the way humans walk isn’t the outcome of an ever-improving evolutionary trajectory, but one result out of several possible alternatives that evolved among our ancient relatives.NG doesn’t seem impressed with Berger’s attempted compromise.  He thought sediba‘s feet represented a “compromise locomotion of a hominin that had features of the foot that are adaptive for both upright walking and tree climbing.”  Switek claims there is still “an enduring controversy” among all the handlers.Because of all these varied skeletal clues, Australopithecus sediba is said to possess a “mosaic” of traits that mix the archaic and the derived. But are the ways that Australopithecus sediba resembles early Homo species true indicators of a close evolutionary relationship—or are they traits that evolved independently in both lineages?Few scientists believe this question has even begun to be settled. Berger himself has more confidence.Berger laughs off Lucy’s handlers for their “nostalgia” for previous scenarios.  His bones are more informative, he contends, than the 1970-era trove with “fragmentary and disassociated record of a small number of bits and pieces, many of which have simply been cobbled together into the basket we call early Homo.”Them’s fightin’ words.  But then, Berger tried to knock out the previous designated replacement.  He called Ardi, the Ethiopian jawbone (10/02/09, 6/22/2010) “shockingly bad,” in a transparent attempt to bolster the “glimpse” that sediba gives into the origin of Homo.  Switek retorted with a swipe of his own: “Most other researchers, however, concur that the Ethiopian jaw is indeed Homo and that the trail of our own genus significantly precedes the Malapa [location of Au. sediba] finds.”  Berger, not on the bandwagon, is undeterred.Berger doubts that the new papers will convince those who disagree with him, but affirms that “across the body, head to toe, sediba has a remarkable number of shared derived characters with definitive members of the genus Homo, including H. erectus, Neanderthals, and humans,” thus underscoring a possible evolutionary connection.Lucy has been waiting in the wings all this time.  She never makes a reappearance while Berger, Switek and the other handlers fight it out.  John Hawks comes in to offer his confusions, saying “little is known of early genus Homo species,” and the “story could be more complicated,” while he cautions the handlers “about interpreting more fragmentary human remains found elsewhere.”  Another agent is simply gobsmacked by it all:Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History paleoanthropologist Rick Potts is uncertain of how Australopithecus sediba might be relevant to the origin of Homo, especially since the earliest Homo fossils are hundreds of thousands of years older, but notes that the combination of features in Australopithecus sediba “is astonishing.”Under the spell of astonishment, Potts dreams up a Darwinian vision.  Au. sediba, he prophesies, represents “the highly experimental nature of evolution in the several hundred thousand years around the time of the origin of Homo.”  Coming out of the trance, he admits he doesn’t know whether it’s the whole picture or the bits and pieces that carry more meaning.  We need more debates, he thinks.  Switek gives Potts the last word.  “The hominin ‘is so curious in its totality,’ Potts says, ‘it might lead to some rethinking of how we classify fossil humans and place them in our evolutionary tree.‘”But then again, it might not.We hope you enjoyed this rerun of I Love Lucy.  Switek was unable to rescue the darling of TV documentaries from the surprise ratings of African Idol.  National Geographic had invested so much public capital in Lucy shows after Don Johanson, with his flair for P.R., whisked her anatomy to superstar status.  Now, NG is left with the prospect of a bad R.O.I., but Johanson couldn’t care less.  He laughed his way to the bank years ago.  Maybe he is secretly mentoring Berger on how to play the game.Read Potts’ last line carefully.  He said there “might” be some rethinking of “of how we classify fossil humans and place them in our evolutionary tree.”  That’s a key line.  The bones don’t classify or interpret themselves.  They are useless without their handlers.  The shamans of secular culture decide where they fit into the secular creation myth.  Using their tools of divination, they place them into the tree vision Father Charlie sketched in his scriptures.  Without help, the unwashed masses might just look at the bones as being nothing more than extinct ape bones.  To crystallize the vision in the public mind, the handlers wow them with computer animation, send out superstars like Lucy to be an “ambassador for our prehistoric past,” and teach them spirituals to memorize.Dry BonesThe lemur bone connected to the ape bone,The ape bone connected to the Lucy bone, [alternate version: Africanus bone]The Lucy [or Africanus] bone connected to the Sediba bone,The Sediba bone connected to the Habilis bone,The Habilis bone connected to the Erectus bone,The Erectus bone connected to the Neanderthal bone,The Neanderthal bone connected to the Sapiens bone,Now hear ye the word of Darwin!(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


South Korea counting on red-hot Son Heung-min to shine on Asian Cup quest


first_imgSouth Korea’s forward Heung Min Son celebrates after defeating Japan during the men’s football gold medal match at the 2018 Asian Games in Bogor on September 1, 2018. (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP)South Korea is hoping Son Heung-min’s dazzling pace and goals can help them end a 59-year wait to be crowned continental kings as the newly expanded Asian Cup starts at the weekend.Holders Australia, four-time winners Japan, Carlos Queiroz’s Iran and hosts the United Arab Emirates are all formidable opponents, but none will relish facing Paulo Bento’s Koreans.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Saudi Arabia, who won the last of their three Asian Cup titles in 1996, should factor in the closing stages, and Syria, Uzbekistan and North Korea lurk as dark horses.One wildcard looks set to be the introduction of video assistant referees (VAR) from the quarter-finals, which could raise the likelihood of penalties after playing a role in the record number given at last year’s World Cup.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The 2015 runners-up have put their stamp on the international scene in recent times, stunning holders Germany at last year’s World Cup before winning the Asian Games football tournament in September.Son, 26, was at the heart of both successes and his delight was plain to see at the Asian Games in Indonesia, where victory earned the team an exemption from South Korea’s compulsory, 21-month military service.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionThe Tottenham Hotspur forward, who has a deadly shot with either foot, has been in scorching form for his club, scoring seven goals in his last seven Premier League games. But he will sit out South Korea’s first two games next week under a deal with his club in return for his release for last year’s Asian Games.Son, the most prolific Asian in Premier League history, will hope South Korea get the job done against the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan before he jets in for their final Group C clash against China on January 16. New sanctions loom as WADA confirm Russia misses doping deadline SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion MOST READ Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue The Koreans, edged 2-1 by Australia after the 2015 final went to extra time, haven’t won the Asian Cup since 1960 — a puzzling record considering their 10 World Cup appearances, including the 2002 semi-finals.Arnold’s predicamentJapan are among their chief rivals in UAE, after they were the only Asian side to reach the World Cup knock-outs before narrowly going down to Belgium in the last 16.The Blue Samurai, winners of four of the last seven editions, will demand improvements on 2015, when as defending champions they slipped up with a penalties defeat to UAE in the last eight.Recent results have been encouraging, including a 4-3 win over Uruguay, and Hajime Moriyasu has picked on form after ditching World Cup stars Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki in favour of younger players.ADVERTISEMENT Australia, however, seem to have gone backwards since they lifted the trophy in Sydney in 2015, and it’s a tall order for new coach Graham Arnold who is plunged into the title defense just four games into the job.After record scorer Tim Cahill retired, Arnold’s predicament worsened last month when midfield lynchpin Aaron Mooy suffered a serious knee injury and was ruled out of tournament.Three-time winners Iran look much more settled, and after winning plaudits for their narrow 1-0 defeat to Spain and 1-1 draw with Portugal at the World Cup, Carlos Queiroz’s side have gone unbeaten in their six games since.With attacking talent including Rubin Kazan’s Sardar Azmoun, with 24 goals in 40 internationals, and Brighton winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Iran will expect to do better than 2015, when they were ousted in a combustible quarter-final against arch-rivals Iraq.Dark horses and VAR UAE received a body blow with the loss of playmaker Omar Abdulrahman to a knee injury, but they have plenty of firepower and are redoubtable on home ground, where they were runners-up as hosts in 1996.Meanwhile, rivals Qatar are desperate to make a statement before 2022, when they will be the first World Cup hosts in the modern era never to have qualified for the tournament by right.Success in UAE would be doubly satisfying for Qatar, which has been at the center of a diplomatic storm in the Gulf and under blockade from their neighbors since June 2017.On Saturday in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and Bahrain will open the biggest Asian Cup yet after it grew from 16 to 24 teams, paving the way for Kyrgyzstan, war-torn Yemen and Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Philippines to make their debuts.Among many sub-plots, China’s stuttering attempts to become a football power will come under scrutiny, in what looks set to be Marcello Lippi’s last outing as coach, while India gets a rare chance to impress at the region’s top level. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid View commentslast_img read more