Colombian General Leads SOUTHCOM’s Exercises and Coalition Affairs with Partner Nations

first_imgBy Claudia Sánchez-Bustamante, Diálogo July 23, 2018 The friendly, fraternal, and mutually supportive relationship between Colombia and the United States is longstanding. It dates back to 1950, when the South American nation joined the United Nations multinational forces under the leadership of the U.S. Army to face North Korea during the Korean War. Since then, the partner nations have continued to forge bonds through combined cooperation efforts, exercises, and operations to ensure regional security and stability. So much so, that Colombian Army Brigadier General Juan Pablo Forero leads the Exercises and Coalition Affairs directorate at U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) since August 2017. It’s the first time a general officer from the military forces of a partner nation joins SOUTHCOM’s joint staff. Diálogo spoke with Brig. Gen. Forero to address his role and other issues. Diálogo: For SOUTHCOM to choose a general officer from a partner nation to head one of its directorates says a lot about combined efforts. Why is this an important milestone, and what message does it send to partner nations? Also, what does it say about U.S.-Colombian relations? Colombian Army Brigadier General Juan Pablo Forero, director of Exercises and Coalition Affairs at U.S. Southern Command: First of all, I want to say that I completely agree with that, but it’s fundamentally based on the confidence the United States has in Colombia and in other nations in the region. That’s one of SOUTHCOM’s goals: to build trust and gain the confidence of these nations. Such confidence is not won overnight, or from one day to the next. Trust is built through exchanges—through relationships—and such relationships need to be maintained over time through long-term policies, so that this union among our nations will continue to grow. For Colombia, the United States has been a source of unwavering support. SOUTHCOM has always been there whenever Colombia needed it. We’ve been at war for more than 50 years, and SOUTHCOM always assisted us. But the most important thing is that Colombia repaid the support we received in every area. Colombia showed results. Colombia demonstrated that it emerged from years of heavy crisis—very difficult years at the end of the 90s—and now serves as an example for the region. It’s an example of how you can break free from a struggle—a war—and still maintain relations even in the middle of a conflict. Finally, I’d like to say that one decisive factor in our relationship was when President [Andrés] Pastrana and President [Bill] Clinton of the United States implemented Plan Colombia, between 2000 and 2001. Plan Colombia brought our two countries even closer, and the result of Plan Colombia was that Colombia once again began to be seen differently. Prior to Plan Colombia, we were seen as a failed democracy with too many problems. But with help from Plan Colombia and the European Union, we moved past that and built tremendous trust in the region. Diálogo: The [J7/9] Exercises and Coalition Affairs directorate manages some of SOUTHCOM’s core focus areas, including exercises, trainings, humanitarian aid, and integration, among others. How will you leverage your experience in the Colombian Army to offer a new perspective on the [SOUTHCOM’s] formula? Why is it important for a partner nation’s perspective to be included in that formula? Brig. Gen. Forero: The fact that Colombia has always been an ally of the United States makes my job easier, because we’re used to working with SOUTHCOM. In the various leadership positions that I recently held, I had the opportunity to receive visits from SOUTHCOM, from U.S. Army South. As commander of the Rapid Deployment Force in Macarena [Colombia], I welcomed the commander of U.S. Army South, the director of the CIA, FBI staff, and members of U.S. Congress who all came to see how the funds they provide to different countries—in my case, Colombia—are used. That gives you a sense of what it’s like. I don’t come to SOUTHCOM with my eyes closed. I know how we can assist other nations that don’t receive the same level of support because they don’t have the same problems we do. But as soon as I begin doing my work here, I’ll be able to speak up and help other nations so they can get the same level of support. That experience allowed me to hold my job and still be able to remain on both sides. First, as director of Exercises and Coalition Affairs, where I have a lot of responsibility in this command, running the entire program of exercises and training events; and second, through coalition affairs, with all that involves assisting with emergency situations, providing humanitarian aid, [and responding to] natural disasters. Colombia also suffered such disasters. We have that experience, and we created a series of units that can be replicated in other countries. In my job here, apart from being in charge of exercises, training, and coalition affairs, I’m also responsible for the third line of the command’s efforts, which is rapid response. And we can look at rapid response from various standpoints. Some nations, due to natural causes, are always going to be the ones to suffer, but there are other nations that also suffered but built up their capacities. This is something that SOUTHCOM can leverage, enlisting these nations in support of others, which lack those capacities and are limited by such constraints. We also have countries like Chile, Peru, Brazil, and Colombia that developed a lot of capacity for natural disasters, and at SOUTHCOM we can request their assistance when it’s our turn to deal with a disaster or assist other nations—for example, in the Caribbean, where they don’t have the same capacities. Deploying such capabilities in other nations builds trust and brings us closer. When we go to the Caribbean during hurricane season, we build trust. We come with solutions; and at the same time, they believe in us. The latest example is Argentina—a nation we can count on once again and that’s been heavily integrating in recent years—and its unfortunate case with the ARA San Juan submarine in the Atlantic. The United States and SOUTHCOM gave their full support to Argentina, providing technical assistance using cutting-edge technology—first to rescue potential survivors, and later to locate and salvage the submarine. This built incredible trust between the two countries. It’s one way we can carry out the mission at SOUTHCOM. Diálogo: That is why your perspective gains greater importance, because of the experience that Colombia brings—from that perspective—and now from the perspective of other nations. It seems to be a key element to be able to talk with other nations and come closer together through trust. Brig. Gen. Forero: I have the benefit of seeing these problems from a different point of view. We always see SOUTHCOM as an organization with all the capabilities and potential to assist in all areas. But now that I’m here, I’m able to observe that, sometimes, there are also certain difficulties—but what matters most is to be willing to assist our nations. Diálogo: What do you expect to take away from this experience as a lesson learned when you return to Colombia? Brig. Gen. Forero: First of all, I want to help and contribute to achieving SOUTHCOM’s objectives. That’s the essential duty of every service member. Being able to carry out and complete the assigned mission in the time set. For me, it’s about completing the mission that I’ve been assigned here by SOUTHCOM, which is based quite directly on exercises: how to improve exercises; how to make sure exercises bring us into greater integration; and how to ensure that through these exercises, we bring in even more people, all extremely important. What will I take away from this? An awful lot, an awful lot. When I leave, I’ll return to my country with a better view of things. I’ll be able to have better relationships with the United States and with the various other nations, as I interact with a lot of countries here. That’s really important to me: at the end of this year, bringing back and replicating all the lessons that I might learn here—the way to do planning and procedures. Often, due to the resource limitations we face back in our countries, we do short-term planning: one or two years, maximum. But this helps me see that we can plan even more. In Colombia, we’ve been rolling out a transformation process since 2011, and that transformation process is vital to our military forces. I’d like to assist with that transformation process when I return to Colombia, bringing different ways of planning, and helping to use our resources better so that we can meet our transformation goal. Because transformations take place to change what needs changing—improve what needs improving—but certain processes that usually work well should continue as they are. You want to have everything that’s available here, but you have to be realistic when you get back to Colombia and know that, at times, there are some constraints. For other things, we have all the assistance needed, and that’s how I’ll be able to leverage what I learned here to the maximum in my country. Diálogo: What do you think your greatest challenge is in fulfilling your mission for exercises and coalition affairs? Brig. Gen. Forero: I think that my position at SOUTHCOM not only opens up opportunities for Colombia, but also for the region. My main challenge here is, first of all, quickly immersing myself in procedures and learning a lot. Although we’re all armies or military forces, some procedures are different. That would be the challenge: delving into a process where there’s already vast knowledge and power, while advising, supporting, and facilitating so these things can be carried out. And with the experience from my country and the region, that’s going to be wide-ranging. The challenge is to learn really fast so that I can develop or leverage all my capabilities to benefit the region. Diálogo: How do you think your presence in the J7/9 leadership will open up new inroads in SOUTHCOM’s interactions with partner nations? Brig. Gen. Forero: My presence here, as I’ve said, is a vote of confidence—in this case, a vote for Colombia—but it’s also a vote of confidence for the region, showing that SOUTHCOM knows and understands the capabilities our military forces have. That’s my reason for being here. It’s like a nudge to other countries, getting us to realize that what we do is being seen here at SOUTHCOM. First, my presence serves to support, assist with, and mainstream certain things, and help others in their countries. But it also builds trust that the United States and SOUTHCOM help in various areas, driven by a commitment to make the region more secure, with acceptable security levels and democratic authorities acting without detriment to sustainable economic development. This experience is a laboratory. It’s an experiment that perhaps can be replicated in the rest of the U.S. combatant commands. I’m the first one to take part in an experiment of association and collaboration among partner nations. Who knows whether, through my performance, the Pacific Command or European Command will want to include partner nations from their respective areas of responsibility in their directorates to improve relations and mutual collaboration. We pave the way to serve as an example in the future. Diálogo: Would you like to share anything else with Diálogo’s readers? Brig. Gen. Forero: Finally, I think I’d like to take this opportunity to send a message of gratitude—a message of brotherhood and friendship—to all nations of the region, because with the situations we face, all our nations have a great responsibility and make an immense contribution. All of our military forces are as one. Our military forces are the bastion for each of our nations. I want to congratulate them for their dedication and hard work in that important role, which is so essential in each of their nations.last_img read more

Continue reading

International Law Section logs some serious miles

first_imgInternational Law Section logs some serious miles International Law Section logs some serious miles August 15, 2003 Regular Newscenter_img There’s a reason it’s called the International Law Section.Lately, those reasons have been Russia, Monte Carlo, Brazil, Europe, Latin and South America, and, perhaps, Hungary.Those are all places the section has recently held or is planning to hold meetings and/or hold or participate in seminars. The section Executive Council met June 27 during the Bar’s Annual Meeting to review its plans.“You’ve got to get out there,” said outgoing section Chair Laurence Gore of the section’s globe-hopping activities.He said section members had just returned from a conference in Monte Carlo for the International Forum of Tourism and Travel Advocates. That meeting focused on alternative dispute resolution for the travel industry and training mediators to handle smaller cases. It also worked on coming up with standard language for travel contracts that will utilize mediation and arbitration.Just after the meeting, section members traveled to Russia for the July 6-12 seminar on doing business in Russia. Courses focused on comparing French, American, and Russian legal practices, handling banking and investments in Russia, and related topics. It included a presentation by the professor who instructed Russian President Vladimir Putin on international law during Putin’s college days, Gore said.Also, participants visited some of the leading landmarks and cultural centers in Moscow and St. Petersburg.In September, the section is co-sponsoring a program in Brazil, and in November, it plans to participate in trips to Belgium and England for seminars studying the European and British parliaments.The section is also exploring a program in Hungary, and it is actively involved in the efforts to bring the secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas to Florida. That organization seeks to offer mediation and arbitration services to promote business deals between different countries.“This is the area where it should be,” Gore said. “South Florida is the gateway to Latin America.”The council passed a resolution asking that proposed amendments to Bar rules dealing with multijurisdictional practices be reexamined to ensure they don’t conflict with those efforts. (See story in the July 15 News. )last_img read more

Continue reading

LandSec plans £1bn Victoria office fund

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Continue reading

Building design: Towering achievement

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Continue reading

Governor Wolf Announces Spartan Motors Selects Lancaster as the Best Place to Support its Major Manufacturing Expansion Project

first_imgGovernor Wolf Announces Spartan Motors Selects Lancaster as the Best Place to Support its Major Manufacturing Expansion Project Economy,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced Spartan Motors, Inc., will be leveraging the highly skilled workforce of Ephrata, Lancaster County, by expanding and creating nearly 200 new jobs at its truck body manufacturing facility.“Spartan’s decision to expand right here in Pennsylvania demonstrates the strength of our manufacturing sector, which has been a top priority of this administration since day one,” Governor Wolf said. “I applaud Spartan for expanding its Ephrata facility, which will provide a significant boost to the Lancaster-area economy and provide hundreds of manufacturing jobs for workers in the years to come. This is a big win for the region.”Spartan Motors, a provider of specialty chassis and vehicle design, manufacturing, and assembly, plans to expand its current site in Ephrata to fulfill a recently-awarded contract from the United States Postal Service (USPS) to manufacture cargo body vehicles for parcel delivery. The 2,000-vehicle, $214 million USPS contract award, the largest single order in Spartan’s history, required the company to look outside of its Michigan and Indiana fleet vehicle manufacturing facilities to accommodate the large order.Spartan chose to upgrade its existing Ephrata, Pennsylvania location and leverage a highly skilled workforce while expanding its East Coast operations. In so doing, Spartan will invest at least $2.4 million into the project, which will result in the creation of 189 new, full-time jobs and the retention of 76 existing jobs over the next three years.“We’re committed to this location, our workforce, and to better serving our customers by having a larger presence on the Eastern seaboard,” said Daryl Adams, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “Programs like the Pennsylvania First program and the corresponding tax credits offered by Governor Wolf and the PA Department of Community and Economic Development made that expansion easier.”Spartan received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for a $300,000 Pennsylvania First grant and $378,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs. The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in coordination with the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County.“Spartan Motors’ decision to invest in its Ephrata facility with a new production line, and a complementary use to its existing Emergency Response division already located here, is the type of business investment that we value and that helps drive our economy forward,” said John Biemiller, director of business retention and expansion at Economic Development Company of Lancaster County.Spartan Motors (NASDAQ: SPAR) was founded in 1975 by a small group of automotive engineers and has grown into a global vehicle-specific design, engineering, manufacturing, assembly, and service company. Spartan is diversified into three business units, including Spartan Fleet Vehicles & Services, Spartan Emergency Response, and Spartan Specialty Vehicles. Together, they produce more than 22,000 units annually, and employ over 2,300 associates in seven states and three countries.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED, visit dced.pa.gov, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img May 17, 2018last_img read more

Continue reading

Why Magnetic Island needs local support now

first_imgHorseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island is a great place to for an idyllic getaway.AFTER an intense first half of this year, I took my family to visit Magnetic Island for a few days of much-needed time out. Like many Townsville residents, Magnetic Island is practically in our backyard yet we don’t seem to visit nearly enough. The lack of interstate and international travel has had a significant effect on all facets of the island. Photo: Matt Taylor.Every time we make the trek, we are reminded what an absolute gem it is. Have you ever arrived to the island, looked at your partner or family and said: “Why don’t we come here more often?” or “I forgot how nice this place is?” It’s a conversation I seem to have every time I visit this gorgeous part of our region.On this visit, it offered a tiny glimpse of the impact COVID-19 is having on the island’s economy, and the valuable contribution many Townsville locals could make while also enjoying a staycation. With domestic borders shut until July 10 – pending medical review – and our international borders remaining closed for an indefinite period of time, why not make the most of what’s in our backyard? At the end of the day, we’re all Townsville locals and, if we commit to supporting our own region, we can make a real difference to our struggling tourism and hospitality sector. REIQ Townsville Zone Chair Ben KingsberryOne of the most striking things we noticed during our stay was the number of businesses that remain closed or on a restricted operation, despite the fact much of Townsville seems to have weathered the crisis better than expected. With the island’s economy relying heavily on tourism, numbers need to be back on the ferries before they can return to business as usual. 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 2020The lack of interstate and international travel has had a significant effect on all facets of the island, to the point where rock wallabies at Arcadia are being fed by locals because there isn’t enough tourists to keep them healthy.By supporting our community this way, we can make sure those businesses servicing the island and helping to attract out-of-area tourism will continue to operate for years to come, and further help our chances of moving through this pandemic with as little damage as possible.Remember, our property market is intrinsically linked to our local economy, an economy that improves leads into a healthier property market.So, if you’ve been thinking about getting away for a few days, or if your grander plans have been put on hold thanks to COVID-19, please consider supporting our friends across the water and book a few days away. I promise it will make a real difference – to our economy and your overall wellbeing.last_img read more

Continue reading

Solstad Offshore finds work for six vessels

first_imgThe vessels in question, according to the company, are the Normand Supra, Normand Surfer, Normand Serenade, Normand Sitella, and Sea Spear platform suppliers in addition to the AHTS Far Sigma. To remind, Solstad previously won contracts for the Normand Surfer and Normand Supra in December 2019. The vessels were contracted for a firm period of 60 days each by Saipem for work in the Mediterranean. Normand Sitella, formerly the Far Sitella, has been employed until recently with Spirit Energy. It started work for the energy company in March 2018 under a 23-month contract for the support of Paragon B391 rig’s drilling campaign. It is worthnoting that the contracts will significantly reduce the company’s North Seaspot market exposure in 2020. The Normand Serenade, previously named the Far Serenade, last worked with Equinor in Brazil. In August 2019, Solstad won an extension for the vessel which was bound the Far Serenade until November 2019. SolstadOffshore said on Monday that all six vessels were hired for a period of 80 to170 days each. Solstad addedthat the start of the contract would be around 1 July and the operations wereset for outside of the North Sea. Norwegian vessel owner Solstad Offshore has entered into medium-term contracts for six of its vessels with undisclosed clients. The last time Offshore Energy reported on Sea Spear receiving a contract was in February 2019. Namely, The vessel has been fixed to an undisclosed client for three months, plus options, with beginning in the second quarter of 2019.last_img read more

Continue reading

Vietnam says F1 track completed ahead of debut

first_img Loading… Read Also: NBA: LeBron outguns Zion as Lakers clip Pelicans Vietnam’s determination to hold the race will likely be welcomed by Formula One chiefs, left scrambling to rearrange the suspended Shanghai race. Football leagues in China, Japan and South Korea as well as the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament have been suspended in the wake of the global public health emergency. burs-rs/apj/gle FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too MuchFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Art6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually True7 Thailand’s Most Exquisite Architectural WondersBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?You’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldZodiac Signs Reimagined As Women Look IncredibleBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadePretty Awesome Shows That Just Got CanceledTop 10 Tiniest Phones Ever Made The Southeast Asian nation shares a porous border with China, where the virus first emerged, and so far has 16 confirmed cases. Vietnam’s Formula One Grand Prix race track has been completed, organisers said Friday, ahead of the inaugural event in April the country insists will go ahead despite the global coronavirus epidemic. Numerous sports events and other public gatherings across the region have been cancelled or postponed because of the outbreak Numerous sports events and other public gatherings across the region have been cancelled or postponed because of the outbreak. “The Hanoi F1 race track has been completed not only to deadline but also meeting all standards on safety,” Vietnam Grand Prix chief executive Le Ngoc Chi said in a statement. No reference was made to the spread of the COVID-19 infection, which has so far killed more than 2,800 people and infected nearly 84,000 people worldwide. If the event does go ahead, it will be the communist country’s first taste of Formula One glitz and glamour as the sport targets new markets in Southeast Asia. Hanoi has big money at stake after signing a 10-year deal with Formula One last year which state media said would cost the country $60 million per year. Vietnamese authorities told state media last week the April 5 race would proceed as planned.last_img read more

Continue reading

Batesville Bulldogs Fall Sports Update

first_imgFall Sports at Batesville High School are scheduled to start on Saturday, August 15, and the Batesville Bulldogs have two home events. The Girls Soccer Team is hosting Seymour at 10 AM. followed that evening by a Football scrimmage vs. Triton Central at 7 PM.    The current COVID – 19 pandemic has forced many changes to the processes that we have taken for granted. One of those changes is attendance at sporting events this fall.   The sporting events on Saturday and moving forward will have limited access. Players and coaches will receive a predetermined number of “vouchers” that can be redeemed for tickets at the gate. Only those fans with a ticket voucher will be permitted to attend the game. Specific details on procedures for game entry, concessions and facility use will be posted at the event.  The Ripley County Health Department and school administration have approved this plan.  “We understand there are many people that want to come out and watch the Bulldogs,” BHS Athletic Director Bryan Helvie commented. “Unfortunately, we will be limiting our attendance to help meet health/safety concerns and capacity requirements.   “This plan will be in place until Gov. Eric Holcomb and the State of Indiana lift the restrictions on gathering sizes,” he added.  The governor’s mandate on face coverings will apply at both indoor and outdoor events.   There will not be any All-Sports Passes sold for the fall season.last_img read more

Continue reading

Silence is deafening at City

first_img Mancini did not stop to speak as he headed for training with the team, or when he left separately afterwards. The mood contrasts sharply with that of exactly a year ago, when City beat QPR in thrilling fashion to win the Barclays Premier League. Mancini was rewarded with a five-year contract after that victory but his failure to build on last season’s achievements has seen his position come under regular scrutiny. City were unable to sustain a credible title defence and they slumped out of the Champions League at the group stage for a second successive season. Pellegrini’s name has been one of several linked with City in the light of their disappointments but, until now, Mancini has always brushed off the speculation. He has spoken with confidence about his job security based on the progress he has overseen at the club since his appointment in 2009, but the loss to Wigan has been another blow. And even though results do still look healthy for a club that had not won a trophy in 35 years prior to their FA Cup success in 2011, there have been other difficulties this season. Comments from Mancini relating to Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Samir Nasri and even influential captain Vincent Kompany have attracted criticism and may not have helped dressing room harmony. Mancini was also criticised for indulging controversial striker Mario Balotelli, who left the club in January, for too long. Despite the rumours, Pellegrini has denied he has an agreement in place with City. The Chilean’s agent was reported to have met with City director of football Txiki Begiristain last month. He has made it known he is to leave the club at the end of the season but has dismissed City talk. Manchester City have maintained a silence throughout another day of intense speculation over the future of manager Roberto Mancini. Press Associationcenter_img Rumours the Italian is about to be axed and replaced with Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini have gathered momentum since Friday, the eve of City’s shock FA Cup final loss to Wigan. Mancini hit out at City officials for failing to extinguish the speculation after that humbling defeat at Wembley but there has been no comment from the club since. City have remained in London since the weekend to train ahead of Tuesday’s fixture at Reading in the Barclays Premier League. Reporters and TV crews have been based outside the team hotel and at QPR’s Loftus Road ground, where City have trained, during the day. last_img read more

Continue reading