By Carolina Contreras/Diálogo December 15, 2016 Chile’s and Argentina’s navies, armies, and air forces are ready to aid the population in the event of a natural disaster in either of the two countries at any time. Those were the conclusions reached by the military authorities of both countries on November 24, after evaluating the Solidarity 2016 Exercise, which was conducted from October 4-7. “(Solidarity) confirmed the coordination that exists between both countries’ defense institutions for organizing and providing mutual support. It also tested our compliance with the standards and protocols established for that,” said Air Force General Arturo Merino Núñez, chairman of Chile’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. This exercise provides training on combined joint military response capabilities and interoperability between the two militaries in order to confront a natural disaster, as provided by the Agreement for Cooperation in the Area of Disasters signed by Chile and Argentina in 1997. If needed, one country would assist the other. Since 2001, this exercise has been held every two years, alternating between both nations. Unlike other kinds of military training, Solidarity includes a military staff representing the personnel who would be dispatched in an actual emergency situation. The staff deployment depends on the needs that arise from the threat covered under the training. This year, 142 Chilean and 858 Argentine service members were deployed, in addition to airplanes, land and sea transport vehicles, and civil defense units. Remembering lessons learned During the process of compiling the experiences and lessons learned, “the service members showed a high degree of professionalism, which enabled them to carry out advanced-level training without any setbacks and with a high degree of effectiveness,” said Gen. Merino Núñez. As part of Solidarity 2016, the personnel responsible for resources in the event of an actual disaster established contact and ties among each other, “something that allows for more efficient communication when the time comes for implementation,” said Argentine Army Colonel José Antonio Saumell Robert, who led this eighth edition of Solidarity, in San Martín de los Andes, Argentina. Training by land, air, and sea Solidarity has land, air, and sea components, and it tests the armed forces’ joint-response capabilities when faced with a natural disaster. This year, the training exercises revolved around a volcanic eruption. This, after the April 22, 2015 eruption of Calbuco, the third most dangerous volcano in Chile, which threatened the population of Los Lagos region, and the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, and Chubut on the Argentine side of the border. The training taught them how to deal with such an emergency. During the volcanic eruption drill, 10 operational simulations were performed: volcanic eruption, forest fires, joint air operations, water purification in case of pollution, underwater search operations, setting up field hospitals, and the search and rescue of people trapped in collapsed structures. In each operation, the service members had to demonstrate their abilities on land, jumping from moving helicopters, making transport runs in speedboats, and providing medical care. From this experience, procedures were established for dealing with volcanic disasters, and the action protocols used by the Support Implementation Unit, which is in charge of operational and administrative tasks in the event of an actual disaster, were modified. For example, after mobilizing support personnel and resources from one country to another, “administrative details that cannot be clearly identified when carrying out simulated movements were ascertained,” Gen. Merino Núñez explained. In Chile’s case, the process involved determining which resources to employ, and how to prepare, transport, and use them in Argentine territory and then return them to Chile. This logistical, administrative, and leadership challenge was assessed satisfactorily by Gen. Merino Núñez, who highlighted the joint capabilities developed to carry out these kinds of activities. One of the exercises dealt with underwater search and recovery of bodies, aided by sonar technology. Twenty-one service members from the tactical divers and Marine Corps Commandos of the Chilean Navy’s Special Forces Command took part in this exercise, together with their trans-Andean peers. Members of this team provided aid to the population during the earthquake and tsunamis that struck the south of Chile in 2010. “Given that history, they knew how to expand their capabilities to support the citizenry,” said Vice Admiral José Miguel Rivera, commander of Naval Operations for the Chilean Navy. The air contingent comprised 25 service members from the 3rd Air Brigade of the Chilean Air Force (FACh, per its Spanish acronym), who trained on evacuating people from collapsed structures, aided by a Bell 412 helicopter and a FACh search and rescue unit. Seventy-three Chilean Army service members participated in cooperation system command-and-control procedures, testing the degree of effectiveness of the liaison methods and the communications employed by the participating entities. The armed forces’ response capabilities in the face of a volcanic eruption, which they simulated in Solidarity 2016, were added to their capabilities for confronting earthquakes and tsunamis after the 2014 exercise, and massive earthquakes after the 2012 exercise. “The synchronization and synergy that we have achieved with the Armed Forces of Argentina demonstrate that the job of supporting our people knows no boundaries and pushes the limits when answering the call for help imposed by nature,” Gen. Merino Núñez concluded. The next Solidarity Exercise will be held in Chile in 2018. The city and the theme to be developed will be determined next year.
Kolkata: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Monday once again rued that young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant would be sorely missed during the ODI World Cup, commencing on May 30 in UK.”India will miss Pant in the World Cup.I don’t know in whose place but he will be missed,” Ganguly told reporters at Eden Gardens. The explosive 21-year-old Pant was a notable omission from the India’s World Cup-bound squad as the national selectors picked an experienced Dinesh Karthik as the second choice wicketkeeper.Pant had a stupendous season amassing 488 runs from 16 matches at an average of 37.53 and with a strike rate of 162.66.With Kedar Jadhav sustaining a shoulder injury during an IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab, the medical staff is opting a wait and watch policy on his availability for India’s World Cup opener against South Africa on June 5.Asked whether Pant’s name can crop up in case Jadhav fails to get fit, Ganguly said: “He is injured. It’s difficult to say whether he will get fit or not.I hope Kedar gets fit.”Ganguly is the advisor of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals, a team for which Pant recently scored massive runs although it failed to make the final. “We played exceptionally well but two other teams made the final.The season just got over, we have not thought about it (the way forward),” Ganguly said about their loss to Chennai Super Kings in the Qualifier 2. Ganguly rated CSK’s MS Dhoni and Mumbai Indians’ Rohit Sharma as two best captains of the IPL. Two best captains of the IPL and one of them won. Everyone will learn under pressure. Both CSK and Mumbai were fantastic teams,” said Ganguly. For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
Drivers with unpermitted tinted windows may soon see a relaxation of the stringent tint policy or stronger enforcement of it depending on the contents of the report on a research survey which was presented to Cabinet.According to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, at his post-Cabinet press briefing on Friday, the report was presented by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan for Cabinet’s perusal and adoption. He noted that the survey was aimed at reviewing the policy by which vehicle tint permits are issued in Guyana.“The main purpose was to solicit the views of citizens on the use of vehicles with tinted windows in Guyana. The report also included information on best practices of a number of countries with regards to the use of motor vehicles with tinted windows. Cabinet accepted report and undertook to examine full content before approval,” Harmon informed.According to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act, “No person shall have fitted to his motor vehicle and glass or safety glass or any material used in the place of such glass or safety glass which is so tinted or otherwise treated or coloured in such a manner or to such extent, as would result in obstructing the identification of the driver of the motor vehicle or any other person travelling in the motor vehicle by any person from outside the motor vehicle.”Earlier last year, Minister Ramjattan had stated that the issue of tinted vehicles has been the cause of some amount of criticism against his Ministry and the Guyana Police Force (GPF), especially since sections of the population are allowed to have tinted vehicles. According to Minister Ramjattan, the ministerial discretion is a difficult thing. Persons who are suffering from a range of health conditions have also been granted approval to use tints on their vehicles.“As it is, I have restricted it to people who suffer skin disease and ultraviolet rays affecting their eyes and also for certain public officials who for security reasons, need it and some businessmen. But it is very narrow right now, but a lot of people are asking me how I can give others and not give them,” he was quoted as saying.He said while many people approach his Ministry with health issues as the reason for their need to use tint, the police have pointed out some persons are using tints so dark, it has become a threat to security.“But what is the view of the people out there?… we need to talk to the people and get their views on what should be the policy…How can I give the businessman and not give them… there is a need for renewing a policy orientation on the problem,” Minister Ramjattan had indicated, hence the reason he undertook the survey.