Month: December 2020

  • China ‘Is Getting Serious’ About Scaling Back Coal

    first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Keith Johnson for Foreign Policy:The Chinese government is halting construction of hundreds of coal-fired power plants across the country, a major move that highlights the sudden and accelerating death throes of the fuel that powered the creation of the modern world.Beijing’s decision to build fewer coal plants than planned is the latest blow to the prospects of coal, which alongside crude oil remains the globe’s most important energy source.In the United States, which after China has the second-largest electricity sector, natural gas use in the power sector will surpass coal this year for the first time ever. In the United Kingdom, where coal launched the Industrial Revolution, Scotland this week shuttered its last coal plant; this month, England sealed off its very last coal mine. Huge coal companies like Peabody and Arch are tottering into bankruptcy, and major international banks are fleeing from coal projects in many countries. What initially began as a series of pinprick setbacks for coal in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, in other words, seems to be turning into a rout.On Wednesday, Chinese media reported that government officials ordered the halt of more than 250 coal-fired power plants slated for construction in more than a dozen provinces. The measure will scupper planned power plants with a combined capacity of 170 gigawatts — or as much generation capacity as there is in all of Germany.The move is part of China’s ongoing plan to cap the use of dirty energy like coal that has contributed to massive air pollution and, in turn, sparked major protests by a growing Chinese middle class. Late last year, China announced a freeze on opening new coal mines, and is closing thousands of smaller mines.Other environmental concerns — such as the massive consumption of water by coal plants in water-stressed regions such as northern China — also played a role. As did economics: A burst of cleaner energy options in China, including renewable energy such as hydroelectric power, has made coal plants increasingly economically unviable. Many coal plants in the areas targeted by Beijing’s new order operate less than half the time.And many of those same headwinds are working against coal in other parts of the world. A flood of cheap natural gas — rather than environmental regulations — is crippling coal’s future in the United States. International agreement to start tackling climate change, such as last year’s Paris climate accord, is pushing governments and companies around the world to focus on cleaner energy options.Global investment in renewable energy like wind and solar power hit a record in 2015 of $286 billion, more than twice as much as was invested in coal- and gas-fired electricity projects, the United Nations Environment Program said Thursday. For the first time, renewable energy — not even counting big hydroelectric projects — made up more than half the new electricity-generating capacity in the world.Meanwhile, huge gains in energy efficiency mean economies in both the rich world and the developing world are squeezing more growth out of less energy, making investments in huge, centralized power plants something of a black elephant.Even so, coal’s not dead yet. It still accounts for the bulk of Chinese electricity generation, and will probably continue to do so for years, if not decades, to come, because power plants can operate for half a century. Even in Chinese provinces targeted by the new order, hundreds of coal plants will forge ahead, dismaying environmental campaigners. And halting the construction of newer, more efficient coal plants could paradoxically end up leaving older, dirtier coal plants operating for longer, said John Deutch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.And coal’s future isn’t limited to China. India is massively expanding its electricity sector.Full article: China Is Getting Serious About Kicking Its Coal Addiction China ‘Is Getting Serious’ About Scaling Back Coallast_img read more

  • Vistra backs coal to solar and storage proposal in Illinois

    first_imgVistra backs coal to solar and storage proposal in Illinois FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Facing a potential wave of coal-fired power plant retirements in downstate Illinois in 2019, Vistra Energy Corp. is backing legislation to be introduced in the state’s General Assembly that lays out a “visionary and comprehensive transition plan” for its subsidiaries’ coal plants, the company said in a March 26 news release.The Illinois Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act would spark the redevelopment of sites now home to coal-fired facilities with roughly 500 MW of utility-scale solar-plus-storage power plants going online between 2021 and 2022, according to the Texas-headquartered independent power producer. The Illinois Power Agency would facilitate the projects through 15-year power contracts, generating an estimated $450 million in investment, Vistra added on a website launched to promote the forthcoming legislation.Stand-alone storage projects would qualify for 10-year grants built at existing coal plants that cannot accommodate large-scale solar facilities, Vistra said.The proposal, which lawmakers had not officially introduced as of this writing, would “responsibly retire existing downstate capacity by keeping otherwise at-risk plants online through 2024,” Vistra said. “This provides sufficient time for new renewable generation, transmission, and energy efficiency projects to materialize while also providing more stability for grid reliability and power prices.”The preview of the legislation in Illinois comes as utilities around the U.S. turn away from coal amid increasingly competitive renewable energy resources.More ($): With coal under pressure, Vistra backs solar-plus-storage bill in Illinoislast_img read more

  • Best Trail Contest Winner!

    first_imgIt’s like choosing your favorite child. Inconceivable. With so many amazing trail systems in the Southern Appalachians, is it even possible to pick one trail that’s better than all the rest?BRO recently challenged our readers to do just that and name the Single Best Trail in the Southeast, and after wading through numerous entries we’ve come to a conclusion.The winner of our Best Trail Contest is Jon Livengood, who offers a vivid and detailed description of the Honey Creek Loop in Tennessee’s Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Opinions were (literally) all over the map, but Honey Creek seems to have a little something for everyone. But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s Jon’s take on his favorite footpath…My favorite trail is the Honey Creek Loop in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area near Rugby, Tennessee. This trail has the biggest variety of conditions per mile that I’ve every seen. It doesn’t have the longest climb, or highest peak, but it makes up for that by having almost every kind of terrain packed into six miles you could ever want. It’s a slow moving six miles, due to the amazing natural obstacles and beautiful distractions along the way—rock scrambles and squeezes (must remove backpacks on some of them), big views, canyon hiking, Indian rock houses, waterfalls (one in a cave), wooded sections, steep ladder climbs, and open rock faces. It also connects with the John Muir Trail to allow you to expand your mileage and do a longer weekend hike.The trail starts among pristine wooded forests along, beautiful cascading creeks, and winds around many unique trees. It then passes by huge rock walls with amazing embedded formations. Portions remind me of coral. Next, it gives you the option to climb up a couple of ladders to get an incredible view of the Big South Fork Cumberland River and the gorge it has carved out. You then descend from the overlook to get up and personal with the river with options to set up camp or take a swim. The trail changes again, as now you start hiking thru 50-feet wide canyons and crawling thru tight crevasses in the rocks. Hikers should expect to get wet, as the trail and the creek cross at times. You can take a short ladder to a huge Indian rock house that over looks the trail. It has a second room that requires you to get down on your stomach and crawl through a small opening to gain access. Back on the trail, you pass through a few more tight squeezes and a rock tunnel that has a waterfall in it. Finally, you climb up the hill to a flat slab of rock—maybe 50 feet long by 100 feet wide—a fantastic place to absorb some sun and have a bite to eat. Finish out the trail by walking along the rim of the gorge and pass above and then below Honey Creek Falls. It’s hard to do Honey Creek justice with words, but it is a trail I hope everyone in the Southern Appalachians has a chance to experience.——————–Runners UpBartram Trail from Nantahala River to Cheoah BaldThe North Carolina trail starts at mouth of Ledbetter Creek and goes four miles to the top of Cheoah Bald following Ledbetter’s cascades most of the way. You gain close to a 1,000 feet in the first mile and have to give one last good effort along the Appalachian Trail to the bald. There are great views in both the north and south directions from the peak. From the top you can see Wesser Bald, Wayah Bald, Blood Mountain, and most of the mountain peaks in Georgia. Northern views include Lake Santeetlag, Snowbird Mountains, Clingman’s Dome, Lake Fontana, and the Stecoah Valley.-Reeve McNamaraApple Orchards FallsThis seven-mile loop trail with multiple waterfalls starts near Arcadia, Va.– Tim MosesBays Mountain ParkBays Mountain Park, Kingsport, TennesseeThe combination of the Indian Pipes, Kiner Hollow, Laurel Run, and Lakeside Trails in the park includes a 3,440-acre nature preserve, a 44 acre-lake, steep ridges, gorges, waterfalls, creeks, and opportunities to see wildlife.– Mark SkeltonSlickrock Creek Trail (Cheoah Dam to Lower Falls)The Slickrock Creek Trail in North Carolina’s Slickrock Wilderness is a 13.3-mile trail filled with stream fords, cascades, waterfalls, swimming holes, and much more. However, you don’t have to hike the entire trail to enjoy all this. From Cheoah Dam (famously seen in the film “The Fugitive”), you can hike just 3.1 miles to enjoy all the aforementioned scenes. Within the first mile and a half a few of the scarce yellowwood trees can be seen to the observant viewer. After hiking a sketchy portioned of the trail washed out by a mud slide several years back, the trail turns sharply following the creek. The trail then becomes adventurous as you hop boulders and large rocks along the river. After a little more than 2.5 miles you reach the first ford of the creek and our now in Tennessee. Be careful of the “slick rocks.” Heavy rains could make this creek impassible so use caution. Just 3/10 of a mile after the crossing you come to the spectacular Lower Falls. The large pool below the falls makes for a nice swimming area. This hike will be thoroughly enjoyed on the warmest of summer days. Turn around and head back after a swim, or hike just 7/10ths of a mile to the Ike Branch Trail for a loop back towards Slickrock Creek. Adding the Ike Branch loop will give you an additional two miles.-Jerry Spanlast_img read more

  • The Best Mid-Sized Mountain Town

    first_imgHidden Valley: Roanoke is nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.The city of Roanoke is perfectly located: In the heart of the valley, with a river running right through town, and adjacent to George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Not surprisingly, it’s rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the country’s top outdoor destinations.From its beginnings as a railroad depot and industry-central town in southwest Virginia, Roanoke has transformed itself into an outdoor mecca. Built on the backs of blue-collar, industrious railroad workers, the city initially did not put much effort into its outdoor infrastructure because there was never a demand for it. As the population began to age, young people left in droves after high school, creating a generation gap. Many saw Roanoke as a quasi-retirement community.That began to change in the late 1990s as a group of concerned citizens made the push for a large system of greenways tracing the Roanoke River as it flows through downtown. Then in 2007, Roanoke Outside was created to promote the city as an outdoors destination, and soon after, Virginia Tech opened its medical school in the city. These two events had a dramatic effect on the populace, simultaneously bringing an influx of young professionals and revealing Roanoke’s world-class outdoor offerings.“Roanoke has started to tout its amazing outdoor assets,” says Aaron Dykstra, owner of 611 Bicycles. “People who work for the city, even if they don’t ride bikes or hike or do anything like that, still support the outdoors because they know the impact it already has made here.”Dykstra is a case in point. After growing up in Roanoke, he bolted the city with all of his friends as soon as possible. Following stints in Chicago and New York, he returned to his hometown to start his business—611 makes handmade steel bicycle frames in a downtown shop—due to the low cost of living. As the city has changed, so has his attitude towards it.“It’s exciting to be a part of it and see the development,” he said. “I certainly take a lot of pride in the fact that every bike that goes out the door here has a ‘Made in Roanoke’ badge on it.”Stratton Delaney, who owns Starlight Bicycles, a bike shop that also produces custom apparel, says he would not have started a bike shop in Roanoke 10 years ago. Now his business is thriving, and he credits the community working together as a whole for the city’s changing identity: everything from the dedication of the parks and recreation department to the development of downtown living space to the creation of events like Go Fest and bringing the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s Radical Reels to town.“It’s our community that has made the difference,” he said. “You can’t just be a mountain town because you’re in mountains. You really need a community that’s going to promote it and get new people out. It seems like now every other car has a bike or kayak on top.”The outdoor opportunities have been here for decades. The Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail run right outside of town. You can see McAfee Knob from downtown, and you can ride singletrack on Mill Mountain right from the greenway and Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is Virginia’s largest conservation easement, holding over 40 miles of multi-use trails. There’s also Douthat State Park, Smith Mountain Lake, and the New River all within an hour’s drive.Brent Cochran is another Roanoke local who returned after years out West. He has since helped create farmers markets and local non-profits, along with a climbing gym integrated into a new residential/commercial space. He believes all these aspects of the community are connected.“People are coming here and saying, ‘These are the type of things we want in a community; we want that work/play lifestyle.’ That’s driving the food scene, that’s driving the music scene; it all works together. You don’t have one without the other,” he said.You can see it firsthand in the renovated Market Building downtown where locally sourced food is served at Firefly Fare or in the Carvins Cove parking lot after a Roanoke Outdoor and Social Club meet up. Delaney credits outings like communal bike rides every day of the week and group hikes organized by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club with developing a social scene outside of bar hopping for people just moving to the area.The city’s reinvention over the past five years has been remarkable, and Cochran only sees good things coming in the future.“Roanoke is definitely having a renaissance,” he said.Best Mountain Town – Roanoke from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.ROANOKE QUICK HITS5 minutesGrab your rod and fish the delayed harvest section of the Roanoke River as it flows downtown; check in with Tom at the Orvis store for info (orvis.com). Bike up local favorite Monument Trail or Big Sunny to the top of Mill Mountain, and don’t stop till you hit the star.15 minutesCycle out to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy the best riding on the East Coast in either direction. Explore Park, right off the Parkway, has 10 miles of IMBA-built mountain biking trails.30 minutesHop on the A.T. and hike 3.5 miles to the most photographed spot on the entire trail, McAfee Knob. Over 40 miles of trail await hikers, bikers, and trail runners at Carvins Cove, just 20 miles outside downtown. Roanoke River Roanoke Greenway The Roanoke River as it flows through downtown RUNNERS UPASHEVILLE, N.C.Asheville may suffer from its reputation: it has been the prototypical East Coast mountain town for so long, people may be tired of hearing about it. Maybe it’s envy, maybe it’s just being worn down over time, but the undeniable fact is that Asheville could be the most authentic mountain town on this, or any, list.First, and most important, is Asheville’s location. Western North Carolina has everything the outdoors enthusiast could ever want, and Asheville is the hub. With the French Broad River dissecting town and the Nantahala and Nolichucky nearby, there is Class I-V whitewater for every level of paddler right out the back door. But Asheville is not just a river town. Mountain bikers can hop on the trails at Bent Creek Experimental Forest, a favorite of locals for an after-work ride. Beyond Bent Creek is Pisgah National Forest with its extensive, world-renowned network of trails. For the road biker, the Blue Ridge Parkway section that runs just west of town holds some of the steepest climbs of its whole route.If hiking is your thing, you could not ask for a better place to start. Just to the south are the steep gorges and waterfalls of Nantahala National Forest or the Linville Gorge to the north. Don’t forget about Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the Appalachian Trail and miles of backcountry streams teeming with native trout. Back in downtown you can kick back to enjoy one of Asheville’s 11 craft breweries and, if you time it right, the Mountain Sports Festival along the banks of the French Broad. See what we mean about outdoor envy?MORGANTOWN, W.VA.With all the small mountain towns in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, it would be easy to overlook Morgantown as an outdoor destination. That would be a mistake, however, as the city has more to offer than most its size. Located in the extreme northeast of the state, this college town nearly doubles in size when school is in session, but all that youth gives Morgantown a year-round buzz of energy. Two rivers flow near Morgantown – the Monongahela right through the middle and the Cheat to the east – giving the city a reputation as a river city. The Cheat has Class I-V rapids and flows into the 1,800-acre Cheat Lake before meeting the Monongahela just north of town.Morgantown has more than just water fun, however. A lengthy system of river-side rail-trails provide scenic river views and a one-of-a-kind personal rapid transit system put Morgantown ahead of its time. They shut down city streets on Halloween weekend to hold the Mo-Town Throwdown, a ski and snowboard rail jam. Easy access to Coopers Rock State Forest and Cathedral State Park provide endless opportunities for hiking, biking and camping. Shoot over to Maryland’s Wisp Resort or down to Canaan Valley for skiing and the best mountain biking in the Mid-Atlantic.CLOSE CONTENDERSCHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.The home of Mr. Jefferson’s University is located at the heart of it all, just a short jaunt from GW-Jefferson National Forest, Shenandoah National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.BOONE-BLOWING ROCK, N.C.Another western North Carolina entry, this metropolitan area is home to Grandfather Mountain and Appalachian Ski Mountain.TRI-CITIES (JOHNSON CITY-KINGSPORT-BRISTOL), TENN.Cherokee National Forest, Roan Mountain, and the Holston River make this triple dip an outdoor lover’s paradise.HARRISONBURG, VA.Sandwiched between Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Forest, Harrisonburg is a mountain bike mecca.CUMBERLAND, MD.The western terminus of the C&O Canal Towpath hosts DelFest and is within striking distance of Wisp Resort.LYNCHBURG, VA.The James River runs right through this mountain town that Liberty University has turned into their own personal outdoor playground.BEREA, KY.Located just outside Daniel Boone National Forest, this arts-focused community is the fastest growing town in Kentucky.center_img Mill Mountain Star The Greenway was a key to the city’s revitalization. The Star of Mill Mountain greets locals and visitors alikelast_img read more

  • Trail Mix: Fly Golden Eagle

    first_imgDuring a conversation with a friend whose opinion on music I respect very much, it was mentioned that originality in music was dead. At first, I was taken aback by that and wanted to dissent. I have always imagined originality at the heart of any artist. Having labored over the idea for some time, though, I understand what my friend was saying. Nothing is original. Everything is rooted in the past. Perceived innovation is nothing but regurgitation and reinterpretation of bygone sounds.And, now, I am good with that, namely because so many of the bands that I dig, listen to regularly, and end up featured here on Trail Mix are so very good at pulling inspiration from the past. It only stands to reason that bands making music now are absolutely drawing from the bands they grew up listening to. Those styles and sounds most certainly find their way into the music being created. Thus, the past lives on in the sounds of the new.For evidence, take a listen to country aces like J.P. Harris & The Tough Choices or Cale Tyson, both of whom call to mind the golden era of country music, or St. Paul & The Broken Bones, whose take on vintage soul is resonating with listeners around the country. Plenty of great bands are bringing back to life great sounds from the past and giving honor to the artists who came before while introducing those sounds to a whole generation of new listeners.Add to that list Fly Golden Eagle, a Nashville quartet whose combination of glam rock and psychedelia seems ripped from the soundtrack of a Quentin Tarantino film. Fly Golden Eagle – Ben Trimble on guitar, Mitch Jones on keys, Matt Shaw on bass, and Richard Harper on drums – represent best the not-so-country-anymore sounds emanating out of Nashville these days. The players have been featured on records from Benjamin Booker and Hurray For The Riff Raff and made up part of Thunderbitch, the side project of Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard.Fly Golden Eagle recently released Quartz, a 26 song epic record that, remarkably, draws inspiration from The Holy Mountain, a film released in 1973 that was directly tied to John Lennon and George Harrison for financial backing. Trimble found himself crafting songs that mirrored the movie during the songwriting for Quartz and ended up with a record that could, indeed, run in tandem with the film.Recorded in a former college in Texas, Quartz – or the shorter twelve track Quartz Bijou – is a powerful collection of songs. The songs clamor with the Detroit rock scene, where Trimble grew up, and the brash bravado of The Doors and The Who. At the same time, there are hints of gospel from the Deep South and undertones of punk rock peaking through.Highlight tracks from Quartz Bijou include “Stepping Stone,” with its soaring organ, “You Look Good To Me” and “Horse’s Mouth,” both of which glisten with glam rock guitar effects, and the album closer, “Death Myth,” an absolute instrumental rocker. Also, be sure to check out “Medicine Hat,” another favorite track, on this month’s Trail Mix.For more information on Fly Golden Eagle, when the band might be hitting a stage near you, or to find out how you can grab a copy of Quartz, surf over to www.flygoldeneagle.net.last_img read more

  • Man murdered on Appalachian Trail found solace from his PTSD in the outdoors

    first_imgAsheville’s Urban/Suburban bear study shows bear movements throughout city In the past three months, Mid Atlantic Climbers, a non-profit dedicated to preserving climbing access in the region, has collected more than five hundred signatures from the climbing community requesting restored climbing access in the park and asking that future climbing management decisions allow for public process.    Man murdered on Appalachian Trail found solace from his PTSD in the outdoors The man who was stabbed and killed on the Appalachian Trail last week has been identified as Oklahoma resident and Army veteran Ronald Sanchez. Sanchez served three tours of duty in Iraq and came away from his years of service suffering from depression and PTSD as well as back and knee injuries that made his outdoor pursuits even more difficult. In an effort to pull himself out of the darkness, Sanchez joined a cycling group and a dragon boat team and began showing horses. His biggest pursuit, however, was his hike on the Appalachian Trail. Sanchez’s sister, Brenda Sanchez, told CNN that her brother was especially proud of his hike. “To survive those deployments in Iraq and then to die like this is just devastating,” she said. North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s Urban/Suburban Bear Study has entered its second phase. The study began back in 2014 when researchers began catching bears within a 1-mile radius of the city, outfitting them with radio collars that fall off on their own over time, and tracking the bear’s movements with the hope of using the data to inform future bear management decisions. That data is now being analyzed and a full report is expected to be released this fall. In the meantime, the study is on to phase two. During the second phase researchers are looking for 1,000 people in both the Haw Creek and Town Mountain neighborhoods, which have the highest amount of bear activity in the city, to participate in their “Bear Wise” program and agree to the six BearWise principles which teach residents how to live in harmony with bears. Roughly 7,000-9,000 black bears live in WNC and another 11,000-13,000 live on the coast of North Carolina.center_img James Jordan, 30, was arrested and charged with one count of murder and one count of assault with the intent to murder. In addition to allegedly stabbing Sanchez, Jordan is also accused of attacking and stabbing a female hiker who played dead and managed to escape. Climbers in the Mid-Atlantic region are asking Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to lift its climbing closures which began in 2017 when the park withdrew access to all rock climbing and bouldering activities in the Virginia and West Virginia sections of the park. A year later in 2018, climbing locations in Maryland Heights, the only multi-pitch climbing in the state, were also deemed off-limits due to a landslide and construction vehicle traffic. Climbers point out, however, that the landslide is not located near climbing areas and the park never closed the Maryland Heights hiking trail to the public. Local climbers ask Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to restore climbing accesslast_img read more

  • Brazil Will Send Two Helicopters For Rescue Operations In Chile

    first_imgBy Dialogo March 04, 2010 Brazil will send two Brazilian Air Force (FAB) helicopters with dialysis equipment to Chile on an emergency basis, to assist with rescue operations following Saturday’s earthquake, the Institutional Security Cabinet (GSI) announced Tuesday. The two Blackhawk H60 helicopters will depart immediately, and the FAB will subsequently send Hercules aircraft to set up a field hospital in Chile with an operating room and an Intensive Care Unit. The Hercules planes that take the equipment for setting up the field hospital to Chile will then be used to bring back Brazilian citizens who have requested this assistance from the Brazilian embassy in Santiago, the GSI announced. The installation of a field hospital in Chile was announced Monday by Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who added that the hospital will remain in operation for the length of time that the Chilean authorities request. The GSI will decide on aid for Chile using the same model adopted for sending donations and assistance to Haiti, which also suffered a devastating earthquake in January. An FAB plane landed in São Paulo Tuesday with thirty Brazilian citizens who had been stranded in Chile as a result of the earthquake. The government still does not know whether any Brazilians were among those killed by the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated the country early Saturday. According to official estimates, around twelve thousand Brazilians live in Chile.last_img read more

  • Operation MARTILLO seizes more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine

    first_imgBy Dialogo May 01, 2014 ALAMEDA, U.S.A. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Active seized an estimated 1,043 kilograms of cocaine in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean about 225 kilometers off the coast of Panama as part of Operation MARTILLO in late March. The cocaine was valued at about US$37 million. The USCG Cutter Active, home ported in Port Angeles, Wash., was on a routine patrol in the region when it was directed to intercept a suspicious Panamanian fishing vessel sighted earlier by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection P-3 aircraft. A Coast Guard boarding team was launched as Active approached the fishing vessel. During an inspection of the vessel, the boarding team discovered more than 40 burlap sacks filled with cocaine. The fishing boat, the contraband, and five suspected smugglers were turned over to Panamanian authorities. “I am extremely proud of this crew. They have continually lived up to the cutter’s nickname, the ‘Li’l Tough Guy’,” Cmdr. Philip Crigler, Active’s commanding officer, said in a prepared statement. “Through their tenacity we have had great success on this patrol keeping illegal drugs from reaching the shores of the United States.” Operation MARTILLO is a multinational effort that includes Canada, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Unites States. It strives to disrupt transnational criminal organizations by limiting their ability to use Central America as a transit zone. [USSOUTHCOM (United States), 24/04/2014; US Coast Guard (United States), 23/04/2014; Military.com (United States), 24/04/2014]last_img read more

  • Continuing Promise 2017 Begins Honduran Operations

    first_imgBy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brittney Cannady, Expeditionary Combat Camera March 02, 2017 An opening ceremony marking the start of operations for Continuing Promise 2017’s (CP-17) second mission stop took place on February 21 in Trujillo, Honduras. The event was attended by local government officials, United States and Honduran military personnel, and the honorable James Nealon, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras, who highlighted how the two nations’ partnership will make the 10-day mission stop successful. “I’m glad for the opportunity to be able to participate in the opening ceremony here today. The medical, dental, and veterinary services being provided to citizens all require an enormous amount of coordination with many people working together, and I am very thankful for the personnel here supporting Continuing Promise,” said Ambassador Nealon. Following the festivities, U.S. Navy Captain Errin Armstrong, Commodore Destroyer Squadron 40 (CDS 40) and CP-17 Mission commander, shared that the team was eager to work with their Honduran counterparts to provide services to local residents. “I know that our team is ready to get out into the local community and assist as many people as we can. This visit is a great chance for the team to work alongside host nation providers, learn from each other, and build partnerships that will continue to benefit the people of Honduras in the future,” said Capt. Armstrong. During the visit, host nation and mission personnel provide a variety of medical and dental services at a local elementary school in Trujillo and participate in several knowledge exchange and training (KET) events at Hospital Salvador Peredes. Also, CP-17 team members collaborate with the ministry of Public Health for family planning, nutrition, and infection control training at KET sites throughout Trujillo. Members of the veterinarian team provide animal sterilization and vaccination services for residents and local dairy farmers in conjunction with the Trujillo Pet Project. The U.S. Fleet Forces Band performs for students at the Centro de Educación Básica in Puerto Castilla and the Plaza Trujillo Parque Central while in Honduras, and the preventative medicine team conducts training with local public health officials on insect control, waste management, and water quality testing. Honduras is the second stop of CP-17’s humanitarian and civic assistance mission and will be followed by a scheduled stop in Colombia before concluding in April. CP-17 is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements, medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America.last_img read more

  • Brazilian National Defense Sector Gains More Ground in the World of Academia

    first_imgBy Nelza Oliveira/Diálogo July 19, 2017 The Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC per its Portuguese acronym), through the National Education Council (CNE, per its Portuguese acronym), has added national defense to the list of sciences studied in Brazil at the master’s and doctoral levels. There are now some civilian and military institutions offering sensu stricto (strict sense) courses related to this topic which did not exist prior to the regulation. By formalizing the subject, it becomes better known in academia and facilitates approval by the Foundation for the Coordination of Graduate Education (CAPES, per its Portuguese acronym), which is connected with MEC, for more courses in the area, whether they are requested by civilian or military institutions. The Brazilian Army made the request to CNE, and a favorable finding was published in the Official Gazette on May 15th. For the military, this initiative opens up a new world of well-qualified professionals who will compete for defense careers in the future. Students interested in this subject will now have greater access to strategic studies on issues that most affect national sovereignty. “This finding was a regulatory necessity. It is formal recognition that this is an area capable of attracting financing and training at the master’s and doctoral levels. With the creation and inclusion of this new field, CAPES now has the conditions necessary to list defense in its records and insert it as a knowledge area, allowing institutions to offer the course,” explained Councilman Luiz Roberto Liza Curi, CNE’s president and the author of the finding. “I think this qualifies the training of our human resources in a specialty that includes various subspecialties which must tie strongly to defense issues in other areas, not only for defense against invasion,” he added. More civilian involvement Seizing the moment, the Brazilian War College (ESG, per its Portuguese acronym) will propose that CAPES do a sensu lato (broad sense) evaluation of its pilot course for the International Defense and Security specialization, which could become the first sensu stricto course at that institution. Created in 1949, ESG is an institute within Brazil’s Ministry of Defense for political, defense, and strategic research and study, open to service members and civilians alike. “From the time it was created, ESG already had that pluralistic vision of bringing together civilians and service members from the three branches of the armed forces. The selection process is done through public notices and by invitation to civil institutions and businesses,” explained Brazilian Navy Rear Admiral Antonio Ruy de Almeida Silva, a graduate advisor at the ESG’s Graduate Studies Coordination Office. “When speaking of defense, the institution that most spreads the topic in the civilian world — I would even say to academia and the defense sector — is ESG. Our intention now is to have sensu stricto master’s and doctoral [programs] within the scope of CAPES,” he continued. Rear Adm. Ruy said that studies in the defense area have progressed greatly since 2005, when the Ministry of Defense launched the Program to Support Scientific and Technological Research and Education in National Defense (Pró-Defesa, per its Portuguese abbreviation), to promote cooperation between civilian and military institutes of higher learning in order to implement projects that produce scientific and technological research, as well as developing sensu stricto graduate courses in the field. For Brazil’s public and private institutions to be able to apply for financing from Pró-Defesa, they must have sensu stricto graduate programs recognized by MEC, with areas of concentration or lines of research in national defense, or must present a viable implementation project for those research areas. Among the projects considered by the program are those from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, entitled “Developing Composite Materials for Use in Military Vehicles,” and from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, entitled “Developing Biotechnology Tools for Rapid Detection of Pathogen Agents Potentially Used as Biological Weapons.” Rear Adm. Ruy also cited the creation, also in 2005, of the Brazilian Defense Studies Association, a civilian academic association that brings together professors and researchers pursuing studies linked to national defense and international security. “After that, several programs emerged. In reality, the recognition of defense now is a continuation of the process, a consolidation. It doesn’t end here. These are stages in a process that will keep moving forward: a larger opening, a greater understanding, bringing in civilians to learn about defense programs and to participate in defense policies. The more civilians and legislators who participate in these defense programs, the more credibility, legitimacy, and resources will be directed to this area,” Rear Adm. Ruy stated. Academic exchanges For Sergio Felicori, a specialist in public policy and governance at the Pandiá Calógeras Institute (IBED, per its Portuguese acronym), a research and advising portion of the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, the university can contribute to defense by producing technology, engaging in dialogue with the intellectual elite in society, preserving the history, and generating knowledge that is applied to strategy and international security. “We feel this is a great step towards recognizing the defense area as a scientific field of study. That opens the door for implementing specific lines of defense research at universities and other institutions of higher learning,” he pointed out. Since last year, IBED has promoted the Voluntary Service Program (PSV, per its Portuguese acronym), which offers students and researchers an opportunity for greater contact with defense issues, as well as grants for university academic work in this area, both in undergraduate and graduate courses. IBED designates tutors who provide access to databases and networks of contacts, giving scientific and technical guidance and acting as intermediaries with other institutions and researchers. In return, the Ministry of Defense is able to use the content the researchers create for the benefit of national defense activities. For 2017, the areas of research offered were Amazon, Blue Amazon, Defense Culture, Defense Economics, Strategic Environment, Peacekeeping and Defense Operations, and Parliament. “The themes developed through these projects relate to some of the Ministry of Defense’s priority issues in the areas of strategy (South America and the southern Atlantic, including the west coast of Africa) and defense economics,” explained Carlos Timo Brito, a public policy and governance specialist at the Ministry of Defense and coordinator of IBED’s Volunteer Service Program. “In addition to the contributions these research programs are making to the improvement of policies and activities developed under this portfolio, it is hoped that this will bring our governance closer to academia,” he concluded.last_img read more