Ecuador’s “Amazonas” Train With U.S. Military To Become “River Rats”

first_imgBy Dialogo November 30, 2009 Dense jungle surrounds the Payamino River, an important water-way in Ecuador. This river, along with countless others in the eastern provinces of Ecuador, is a lifeline for local communities, the Ecuadorian military and illegal armed groups. Recognizing the importance of Riverine operations, the U.S. Military Group in Ecuador, in partnership with the Ecuadorian Army, began training together in October to enhance the capabilities of jungle units to control the rivers in their zones. “In the dense jungle environment the rivers serve as lines of communication for groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to conduct logistical support and illicit trafficking,” said Maj. Michael L. Burgoyne, a Foreign Area Officer with U.S. Military Group Ecuador. At the request of the Ecuadorian government, the Ecuadorian Army and the U.S. Military Group have been working together since 2007 to create, train and deploy small boat units in jungle terrain and along the border with Colombia. In a recent three week course, held in Coca, soldiers from the Ecuadorian 4th Division “Amazonas” mastered formations, Riverine patrolling, insertions, extractions and battle drills. During the course, the term “River Rats” was used to describe the Ecuadorian soldiers who will take their knowledge to the northern border with Colombia and the deepest reaches of the Ecuadorian Amazon. The training received enhanced the ability of the Ecuadorian Army to deploy their contingency of more than 40 boats and three Riverine battalions consisting of more than 550 personnel. These soldiers will be able to access remote outposts often only accessible by boat or helicopter, thereby preventing FARC units from establishing camps in Ecuador and preventing the flow of illegal drugs through the border. The relationships built and sustained with multinational partners in the Central and South American region through exercises, professional and military exchanges help tremendously in preserving peace and stability in the region. Since the Ecuadorian soldiers understand the U.S. commitment to the region, the two-year program has been successful in turning Soldiers into “River Rats.” “A big watch and cool knife get you only so far. Once they´re convinced you’re serious about their concerns (social, environmental and political) they take you seriously,” said Mr. Marty Martinez, a retired U.S. Navy Special Boat Unit member and Navy Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School instructor. But the learning was a two-way street. “I was able to learn a great deal about how the Ecuadorians maintain remote jungle outposts and patrol in a very unforgiving environment,” said Burgoyne. These types of training exercises are a major component of the U.S. Army’s regional engagement efforts and afford the opportunity to train ser-vice members while providing needed services to communities throughout the region. In conjunction with Vector Watercraft, a U.S.-based company, the U.S. Military Group also provided equipment upgrades to the Ecuadorian Army Riverine Program. As part of the program, the Ecuadorians have received numerous new and refitted patrol boats. These boats are equipped with water-jet engines and do not have the limitations of the outboard motors currently in use. With these new craft, the Ecuadorians can work in even the shallowest rivers to accomplish their mission. Besides creating an opportunity for the armed forces of Ecuador and U.S. Army counterparts to work side by side and learn from one another, this training also offered the opportunity for the Ecuadorian Army to share this training to all their units along their numerous waterways. “We’re very excited about the Riverine program,” said Lt. Col. Paul Lemke, U.S. Army Section Chief in Ecuador. “This is a great opportunity to work with our Ecuadorian partners to enhance their ability to secure their own territory and promote regional stability.last_img read more

No spitting, no fans: baseball restarts S. Korea’s sports season

first_imgTopics : Another online user said: “This doesn’t feel like the opening of a season at all. I’m watching baseball from home, hugging a pillow.”At the stadium, strict health checks and hygiene measures were enforced.Players must have their temperature checked twice before games, with face masks to be worn in all areas except the playing field and the dugouts, according to the KBO.Players have also been asked not to shake hands or exchange high-fives, while spitting is prohibited — putting a new complexion on what is South Korea’s most popular spectator sport. Instead, banners with photos of masked fans stretched across the empty bleachers at the Incheon-based SK Wyverns club’s Munhak Baseball Stadium.Banners carrying messages for victory were also put up at the LG Twins club’s Jamsil derby in Seoul, saying: “Even if we are apart, we are TWINS.”Fans were divided over the unprecedented format.”Baseball is finally back! But I wonder when I can actually go to the stadium,” tweeted one fan. US tunes in ESPN announced it will show six KBO League games per week to fans pining for live baseball in the US, while broadcasters in 10 foreign territories have snapped up rights to air K-League matches.South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the disease outside China, prompting professional sports to suspend or delay their seasons.But the country appears to have brought its outbreak under control thanks to an extensive “trace, test and treat” program.The start-up will bring welcome live action in a barren sports world where fans have had to make do with sports channels and broadcasters airing repeats of past events.The K-League, originally due to start in February, will kick off Friday with a blockbuster clash between Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, champions for the past three seasons, against FA Cup winners Suwon Bluewings.And South Korea will next week become the first country to see women’s professional golf resume after COVID-19.South Korean players dominate women’s golf with eight featuring in the world’s top 20, including number one Ko Jin-young.The $1.8 million the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Championship begins on May 14 in Yangju, east of Seoul with world number six Kim Sei-young and 10th-ranked Lee Jeong-eun in the 144-strong field.South Korea has been seeing only a trickle of new coronavirus infections in recent days, with three fresh cases reported on Tuesday taking the total to 10,804. South Korea’s professional sport returned to action after the coronavirus shutdown with the opening of a new baseball season Tuesday, while football and golf will soon follow suit in a ray of hope for suspended competitions worldwide.Friday will see the delayed start of football’s K-League, and next week some of golf’s leading women players will tee up in a domestic tournament as South Korea becomes a rare hotspot for live sport.Fans were not allowed in when any of Tuesday’s five opening Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) matches saw the first pitches thrown, a marked contrast from the packed stadiums of previous years when fans sang and cheered relentlessly no matter the score.last_img read more

Garden delight going to auction

first_img43 Albury Street, Pimlico.THE buyer of 43 Albury St won’t just get a beautiful five-bedroom home, they’ll also get some basil, a bunch of carrots and some rocket thrown in as well.The Pimlico home is going to auction on-site today at 11am and comes complete with a living veggie patch, vegetables included. The large home is set on fully fenced 809sq m block and located within the catchment for the hugely popular Pimlico State High School. 43 Albury Street, Pimlico. It’s a low-maintenance Queenslander with a modern twist which has been cladded meaning it will never require external painting.Smith and Elliott selling agents Tracey Stack and Emma Nancarrow said the house had an amazing outdoor entertainment area with some extras thrown in.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“They have a veggie garden there with carrots growing in it and rocket and basil which will be staying as well as a chicken coop,” they said.“The fire pit is special because the seller spent a lot of time in South America as an exchange student and he learnt how to cook this special kind of barbecue which he is in love with so you can slow roast meats with it.” 43 Albury Street, Pimlico.For more information call Tracey Stack on 0437 434 056 or Emma Nancarrow on 0418 773 987.center_img 43 Albury Street, Pimlico.The two-level home has been renovated while keeping the classic Queenslander features such as casement windows.Gleaming timber flooring has been used throughout the home.As well as five bedrooms, the home has two bathrooms, double remote-controlled garage and large deck overlooking the backyard.Ms Stack and Ms Nancarrow said the charming home was sure to capture the hearts of buyers which is why they had decided to have the auction on-site.“It’s good for buyers to have a look back through and see what they love about it because every time you walk through this house you see all the features and fall in love with it a little more,” they said.“The house pulls on your heart strings because it’s really pretty from the street. It’s got great street appeal.” last_img read more

Tomlin and Kidd join a select group with antics

first_imgIn this photo taken on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd, center right, watches as attendants clean up a spilled drink beside the Nets bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)Mike Tomlin’s sideline stroll was an expensive one, costing him $100,000 and possibly costing the Pittsburgh Steelers even more.Jason Kidd had to dig into his wallet to pay $50,000 for spilling a soda, arguably the priciest spilled drink in sports history.It’s been 35 years since Woody Hayes punched a Clemson player in the Gator Bowl, and almost that long since Bobby Knight threw a chair across the court to protest a call that went against his Indiana team. One thing hasn’t changed in all those years: Coaches aren’t behaving any better than they once did.Chalk some of that up to a lack of self-control by people who generally top the category of control freaks. But sometimes it’s a simple matter of trying to gain an edge or intimidate an opponent.That was the case when Kidd tried to buy some time for his beleaguered Brooklyn Nets by bumping into reserve Tyshawn Taylor with 8.3 seconds left against the Lakers, causing his drink to spill. Watch a video of the play and it shows Kidd seeming to ask Taylor to “hit me” as he walked toward the bench.While workers cleaned up the mess, Kidd drew up a play for his team. It didn’t help, as the hapless Nets still lost.What Tomlin’s intentions were will be debated long after he and the Steelers part ways. He claimed he was “mesmerized” by watching on a giant stadium video screen as Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff in his direction, swerving to avoid the coach in a move that possibly cost him a touchdown.NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t buy that, levying the second biggest fine against an NFL coach ever (Bill Belichick got the biggest, a $500,000 hit for Spygate) and warning that the Steelers just might lose a draft pick, too.Tomlin apologized and said his actions were embarrassing to the Steelers, then said he didn’t plan to discuss it any more. With good reason, because while he’s a Super Bowl winning coach with a .630 winning percentage, his legacy may forever be tied through video to the two-step he did on the sideline with his back turned to the play.“What Tomlin did, that was just rude, let’s be honest. You stepped on the field. You’re lucky,” San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone said. “I was kind of hoping Jacoby would run right in the back of him and forearm him in the back of the head. Stuff like that, that’s uncalled for.”So was the punch thrown by Hayes, who won three national championships at Ohio State but is remembered more today in YouTube videos showing him hitting Clemson nose guard Charlie Bauman after he intercepted a pass to cinch a 17-15 win in the 1978 Gator Bowl. And as much as Knight would like to be remembered as the tough but fair coach who won 902 games and three national titles at Indiana, he will always be the out of control coach who threw a chair and later choked a player during a practice.They both also lost prime jobs because of their tempers, with Hayes getting fired the next day after the Gator Bowl and Knight lasting just a bit longer after a video surfaced of him choking a player in practice in 1997.“Just a two-second choke,” Knight said in a 2002 book, unrepentant to the end.One other thing the two coaches had in common was that cameras were rolling, and it’s hard to defend what is caught on tape.Rutgers coach Mike Rice found that out when his career at the university came to a sudden end after he was caught on video screaming homophobic slurs at players in practice and throwing basketballs at them. The video was so disturbing that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Rice an “animal” after viewing it, and he was quickly dismissed.The unrelenting pressure of being a head coach, of course, can take a toll. Fans, alumni, and boosters demand wins and anyone making millions of dollars a year is a big target.Sometimes, though, the moment in a game simply becomes too much, like when Barry Switzer became so enraged after a call in the 1995 NFC Championship game that he may have cost the Dallas Cowboys a third straight trip to the Super Bowl.The Cowboys were trailing San Francisco 38-28 midway through the fourth quarter when Deion Sanders clearly interfered with a deep throw to Michael Irvin and no flag was thrown. A livid Switzer decided a demonstration was in order and went up and threw his hip into the head linesman the way Sanders did to Irvin, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that caused the drive to flounder.“I contributed to us getting beat — no question,” Switzer said afterward. “It’s damn frustrating.”And then there was the 2010 incident when cameras caught New York Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripping a Miami player on the sideline. Alosi was suspended by the Jets and eventually resigned after the season, while the team was fined $100,000.In Tomlin’s case, the coach claimed it was inadvertent, that he was lost in the moment with his back turned to the play and simply wandered too far. Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said that can happen to coaches immersed in what they’re hearing on headphones and concentrating more on the next play than the one that perhaps they should be watching.Pagano said most teams have a person designated to keep the coach off the field if he gets too close.“There’s a guy that has got the title of ‘get-back coach’ on the sideline,” Pagano said. “In college, when you wore the headset with the cords, they’d just pull you by the cord. Now you’re wireless so they grab you by the hoodie or the back of the belt.“It happens.”That can work, but sometimes the coaches don’t have headsets on at all. That happened in Detroit two years ago in a postgame handshake between two volatile coaches that almost turned into a brawl.San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh seemed to push the Lions Jim Schwartz over the edge with something he did or said — or both. Harbaugh ran across the field after the game and lifted his shirt, exposing his belly to attempt a victory chest bump and handshake that the Detroit coach wanted no part of.A livid Schwartz charged after Harbaugh as the two teams left the field before the two were separated by their respective sides.“I was really revved up. That was on me a little, too hard a handshake there.” Harbaugh said in what was as close to an apology as Schwartz would get.Didn’t matter. The game was over.For once it was a case of no harm, no foul.__AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley, Michael Marot, Arnie Stapleton and Larry Lage contributed to this story.last_img read more