Partner Nations Bolster Air Defense to Counter Narcotrafficking

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo April 24, 2018 Hundreds of Colombian and foreign officers and noncommissioned officers trained with the Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) through its National Air Defense System School (ESDAN, in Spanish). In the last five years, 1,830 officers participated in ESDAN’s airspace control program. The objective is to bolster defense systems and effectively detect illegal drug flights in Colombia, Central America, and the Caribbean. The training events are held at FAC’s 1st Air Combat Command in the central region of Cundinamarca. “Colombia is a world leader in the fight against narcotrafficking because of its record,” FAC Lieutenant Colonel Juan Diego Páez González, director of ESDAN, told Diálogo. “Our military forces have wide-ranging knowledge and experience that we share with other countries to keep this threat from impacting regional security.” In 2018, FAC will offer 10 courses to enhance regional knowledge, tactics, techniques, and procedures in air defense. The training program is part of the U.S.-Colombia Action Plan on Regional Security Cooperation for Central America and the Caribbean, an initiative of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and the Colombian Ministry of Defense. “Through SOUTHCOM, the U.S. government became a strategic ally in this initiative,” Lt. Col. Páez said. “The U.S. provides the funds, while Colombia contributes its experience and lessons learned to train other countries.” Air defense program Service members and security agents from Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, who trained between 2013 and 2017, learned about operational doctrine, air defense, regulations, control of illicit goods, and legal and strategic context. They also received training in aviation safety, tracking and analyzing illegal trafficking, mock situations, ground operations, and international law. “There is little time to block an illegal aircraft,” Lt. Col. Páez said, explaining that the air defense program comprises various courses. “Students learn to do radar calculations and complete the entire interception process step by step, as set forth by ICAO’s [International Civil Aviation Organization] global standard on the interception of civil aircraft with a military aircraft.” “We were impressed by FAC’s air interdiction procedures,” Agent Brayan Arrieta, an air control operator with Costa Rica’s Tactical Monitoring Center, told Diálogo. Agent Arrieta participated in the air defense course in October 2017. “Everything is strictly regulated and controlled as to how to carry out the operation.” Other courses that make up the academic program on air defense are airspace control, aircraft tracking and analysis, airspace management, and a command and control course. Of all the students trained since 2013, 200 were international students. “Thanks to this training, we develop key skills for communication, [information] analysis, coordination, and cooperation,” Agent Arrieta said. “We learn how to direct our resources toward the objective: to facilitate the tracking of aircraft that smuggle drugs or violate flight regulations in our countries and the region.” Alliances and agreements “ESDAN’s instruction must be in line with regional realities. Narcotrafficking evolves just like any other type of crime. [Offenders] constantly change their techniques to avoid being captured or neutralized. Illegal flights change from country to country each month,” Lt. Col. Páez said. “Narcotrafficking, illegal air trafficking, and transnational crime are ongoing crimes.” According to the 2016 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, narcotraffickers’ main route to ship cocaine to the United States and Europe is via the Central American and Caribbean region. Although the majority of drug shipments are moved by land and sea, transits via small planes over Central America still represent a significant percentage, the report indicated. “The combined effort of the United States and Colombia is to show the region how to fight these scourges,” Lt. Col. Páez said. “The more alliances and agreements we have with our sister nations, the more we can reduce the rate of illegal flights—not just domestically, but throughout Latin America,” Agent Arrieta added. ESDAN seeks the support of international counternarcotic agencies. “Colombia also wants to share its experience with South American nations because the problem with illegal flights remains the same,” Lt. Col. Páez said. Agent Arrieta concurred, adding that “cooperation, information exchanges, and coming together in these courses are the most important ways to have more resounding success in air defense operations, with strict adherence to human rights.”last_img read more

Feel like you are in Tuscany upon entering this mega mansion

first_img12 Becker Place, Mount Ommaney.Mansions in this southeast Queensland suburb are something out of the ordinary.The latest multimillion-dollar home to be listed with NGU Real Estate Toowong’s selling agent Emil Juresic is this stunner at 12 Becker Place, Mount Ommaney.The property is in the same street as 32 Becker Place, which has a $6 million price tag.Two large balconies further add to the property’s holiday Tuscan villa vibe.The five-bedroom, five-bathroom home is a Mediterranean-inspired, three-storey grand masterpiece.Mr Juresic said: “Upon entering the home you instantly feel like you are in Tuscany, a true family home feel with open space for all to enjoy the surroundings”.“The house itself is massive and has the most amazing outlook with extensive city and river views,” he said.Perfect for a few laps, the pool area also benefits from an undercover dining spot.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours agoAesthetics include wrought iron and terracotta tiled balconies off every bedroom, timber shutters, marble bathrooms, feature tiling and striking columns.Mr Juresic said the Tuscan villa was the ideal house for entertaining.Other features include a four-car basement, tennis court, swimming pool, cinema room, two kitchens and two offices.From court to pool in one effortless step.A timber and wrought iron staircase weaves its way between all three levels.The lower basement level offers the perfect option for extended families or when guests decide to stay.What a view.The second level is for larger groups as it includes the main kitchen and meals area, a dining room, study, two living rooms and a billiards room.The top floor has four bedrooms, three of which have an ensuite, as well as another lounge room and three balconies off either the front or rear.last_img read more

Chapman conquers SportMod qualifier

first_imgBen Chapman won the Tuesday qualifying feature for Northern SportMods at Super Nationals. (Photo by Carl Larson)BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 4) – Ben Chapman beat the rain and beat the rest of the Northern SportMod field to win a front row starting spot at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.Chapman topped the Tuesday qualifier cut a lap short by rain and will start at the front of the middle row in Saturday’s main event at Boone Speedway.He’d worked his way up from seventh starting and into the lead on the ninth of 25 circuits, then stayed in front of ninth starting Jake McBirnie over the final circuits.Lining up behind Chapman and McBirnie in the big show will be fellow top eight finishers Austin Luellen, Reese Coffee, Arie Schouten, 2017 runner-up Cory Rose, Doug Cook and Cody Thompson.Luellen had started 13th, Coffee 21st, Rose 27th and Cook 15th. Mark Rodgers was disqualified from a transfer spot because of an illegal carburetor.Rose and Cook both make career fourth main event starts. McBirnie is in for the third time, Chapman and Schouten both for the second and Coffee, Luellen and Thompson each for the first.Qualifying feature results – 1. Ben Chapman, Clarence; 2. Jake McBirnie, Boone; 3. Austin Luellen, Minburn; 4. Reese Coffee, Hinton; 5. Arie Schouten, Blair, Neb.; 6. Cory Rose, Boone; 7. Doug Cook, Algona; 8. Cody Thompson, Sioux City; 9. Jake Sachau, Denison; 10. Jarett Franzen, Maquoketa; 11. Rusty Montagne, North Sioux City, S.D.; 12. Vern Jackson, Waterloo; 13. Eric Bassett, Mankato, Minn.; 14. Brian Konz, LeMars; 15. Travis Burger, Manhattan, Kan.; 16. Jared Waterman, Milan, Ill.; 17. Hunter Longnecker, Woodward; 18. Dallas Nutt, Armstrong; 19. Robby Rosselli, Minot, N.D.; 20. Colby Fett, Algona; 21. Wes Hochstein, Randolph, Neb.; 22. Ryan King, Tama; 23. Dustin Lynch, Boone; 24. Doug McCollough, Webster City; 25. Lucas Lamberies, Clintonville, Wis.; 26. Kole Nordquist, Beresford, S.D.; 27. Keith Brown Jr., Pittsburg, Calif.; 28. Kyle Bentley, Fairbank; 29. Jeff Lloyd, LeCenter, Minn.last_img read more