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first_imgBy Dialogo October 11, 2011 Geographically unique, Chile is more than 2,700 miles north to south yet only 150 miles east to west at its widest point. Chile’s military is tasked with defending more than 4,000 miles of border with the sea along South America’s western coast. Expanding their capability to face this challenge, Chilean military officials welcomed a group of American special operations sailors during a four-week Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) that took place in Viña del Mar, Chile, during the month of September. This JCET was the first formal training event between U.S. Navy Special Boat Team trainers assigned to Naval Special Warfare Unit Four, based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and members from the Chilean Comando de Fuerzas Especiales, known as the COMFUES. Within the Chilean military, the COMFUES is considered a top-notch element of the nation’s security forces. Chilean Marine Major César Aguirre Rivera, who serves as the chief of training for the COMFUES, said the command and its personnel always look for ways to improve their skills. “We asked for this training in order to create a Special Boat Team in the command,” he said. “This has been a great experience for us, and we hope to continue this great communication with our U.S. partners.” The JCET is part of Special Operations Command South’s Theater Security Cooperation program that enables partner nations to better protect their borders and increase their capacity to conduct special operations. SOCSOUTH is responsible for all U.S. Special Operations activities in the Caribbean, Central and South America and serves as a component for U.S. Southern Command. Throughout the JCET, members of the Special Boat Team trained with their Chilean partners on skills and tactics such as Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS), a maritime boarding action designed to capture hostile vessels and high value target there may be onboard. Boat inserts and extraction techniques, live-fire water-board training and boat handling maneuvers on small tactical boats were also covered during the training. Members of the COMFUES view this JCET as a great opportunity to learn from some very experienced U.S. Special Operations Forces. “Working with our American partners has been great because they have so much knowledge and skill,” said Chilean Marine Lieutenant Patricio Arriagada. Established in 2005, the COMFUES is an operational level command comprised of 10 Special Operations Units – six Marine Commandos Regiments and four Combat Driver elements. The COMFUES’s mission is similar to its U.S. Special Operations Forces counterparts as it can perform direct action, surveillance and other tasks such as humanitarian relief. The COMFUES already participated in several high-profiled events including humanitarian relief operations in Haiti following the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January 2010 and assisting their own nation just weeks later, when a 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Chile leaving hundreds dead and millions displaced. The JCET ended with a closing ceremony where each Chilean participant received a certificate of training from their American counterparts. “Their motivation and dedication is outstanding, and I would fight side by side with these guys any day,” said the Special Boat Team Chief in charge of the JCET. Major Aguirre Rivera uttered those same sentiments and hopes this is just the first of many exchanges between the two nations.last_img read more

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first_img Share 31 Views   no discussions InternationalLifestyleLocalNewsRegional CARPHA Salutes Lab Professionals in Celebration of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week by: – April 23, 2020 Share Sharing is caring!center_img Tweet Share In recognition of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), celebrates and thanks all laboratory professionals for their dedication to providing an essential health care service, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.Executive Director, CARPHA, Dr. Joy St. John said, “At CARPHA, we have always recognized and appreciated the work of laboratory professionals, but now COVID-19 has seen the entire world applauding them, as lab professionals along with other healthcare workers, continue to provide yeoman service in the frontline of this global crisis.”The CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML), headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, is the regional reference laboratory, which currently conducts tests for suspected COVID-19 cases for 18 of its Member States.CARPHA’s Head of Laboratory Services and Networks, Dr. Gabriel Gonzalez-Escobar, was high in praise for his CMML team.“The lab staff works deep into the night, on a shift system, to deliver timely COVID-19 results to the Region,” he said.“This diligent work has resulted in a consistent turnaround time of less than 48 hours for test results,” he added.Dr. St. John further expressed pride and sincere gratitude for the other hard-working laboratory teams at CARPHA’s Medicines Quality Control and Surveillance (MQCSD) Department, located in Jamaica, and its Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Department (EHS) in Saint Lucia.MQCSD is the Region’s sole ISO/IEC 17025 accredited pharmaceutical quality control laboratory. The staff analyses and verifies the adherence of medicines marketed in the Caribbean to international quality and safety standards.The CARPHA EHS is also accredited to ISO 17025 by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA). This full-service microbiological and analytical laboratory provides environmental analyses, including water quality monitoring, plant, soil and tissue analyses, food microbiological testing, indoor environmental quality monitoring and noise testing.Medical Laboratory Professionals Week was initiated in 1975 and is an annual celebration, which takes place in the last full week of April. It provides the profession with an opportunity to increase public understanding of and appreciation for clinical and public health laboratory personnel.last_img read more

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first_imgIn yesterdays County Senior Hurling Championship action Portroe were 8 point winners over Cappawhite – 3-16 to 1-14 the final score in Newport. There was one game in the County Senior Football Championship last evening.Kilsheelan Kilcash and Thomas McDonaghs locked horns in Templemore with the south side coming out on top with 16 points to spare.6-12 to 1-11 the final score.last_img

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first_img By Paul VoosenJun. 24, 2019 , 12:35 PM NASA rover catches big whiff of methane on Mars—but where did it come from? NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS center_img Last week, NASA’s Curiosity rover caught its strongest whiff yet of martian methane. While exploring a clay-rich region of the Red Planet, the rover detected the highest levels of the gas it has ever observed, some 21 parts per billion. That’s three times the level it sniffed out for several months in 2013.The finding, if it holds up, will only deepen the mystery of methane on Mars. Methane can be a byproduct of microbial life, but it can also be produced through geological reactions or created in the atmosphere from carbon in solar system dust. Until now, the large spike seen by Curiosity in 2013 has never been repeated; instead, the rover has documented minute levels of methane that shifted with the seasons. Adding to that mystery, last year the European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), which started scanning Mars’s atmosphere for methane in 2016, did not detect any of the gas, despite carrying instruments far more sensitive than Curiosity’s.Curiosity’s scientists say it might be possible for thousands of small seeps in Mars’s surface—none of which would be detectable from orbit—to release the gas. Follow up work with the TGO and Mars Express, another orbiter, will reveal whether their instruments picked up this latest martian burp. If they did, they might give scientists some sense of the plume’s origin and how long methane lasts in the planet’s atmosphere.last_img read more