SPMAGTF-SC Ends Multinational Deployment on a High Note

first_imgBy Kay Valle/Diálogo October 30, 2018 For the first time since its inception, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Southern Command (SPMAGTF-SC) conducted a multinational mission in Central America. The participation of partner nations, in the most recent deployment of SPMAGTF-SC, marked the first step in the creation of a multinational maritime task force to build capabilities and respond jointly to any crisis that demands humanitarian aid and disaster response. Three Latin American officers joined SPMAGTF-SC’s six-month mission that ends November 2018. Colombian Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Erick Del Rio assumed the duty of deputy commander of SPMAGTF-SC, while Honduran Naval Force Lieutenant Milton Roldán Meza Sánchez serves as a liaison officer between SPMAGTF-SC and the Honduran Naval Force. Chilean Navy Captain Jorge Keitel also assisted as executive advisor to the initial task force. “This is something we are very excited about,” U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Michael Oppenheim, commander of SPMAGTF-SC 2018, told Diálogo. “This year is our first time as a multinational special purpose force. Our partner nations join our formation as we are trying to build a multinational maritime task force together. We all recognize that we have problems and we know that we want to share our resources to address those challenges and get the benefits.” The participation of Latin American nations benefited the special purpose task force thanks to experience exchanges. United under the same structure and a common goal—to develop the capabilities of security forces in the region and respond to natural disasters and crisis situations—participants forged bonds of friendship and learned from one another. “This opportunity I have is very important, because it’s a regional experience. I have the chance to interact and share with service members of Central America and other countries, and share my experiences and find similarities,” Lt. Col. Del Rio said. “They [SPMAGTF-SC units] are receiving orders from a foreign officer; I’m leading troops from a different nation, but the relationship has been very professional. […] This assignment also gives me the chance to have a better understanding of something as complex as the region, and it makes me think about ways to create a joint response to face the future.” Humanitarian mission and training More than 300 marines and sailors from 43 units, mostly of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve, combined to form SPMAGTF-SC 2018. The troops deployed in early June to Soto Cano Air Base, headquarters of SOUTHCOM’s Joint Task Force-Bravo in Comayagua, Honduras. From their camp—recently renamed after U.S. Marine Corps hero First Lieutenant Travis Manion—the force’s command planned humanitarian aid projects, engineering works, and exercises in the region. In early July, about 40 units of SPMAGTF-SC worked with the Guatemalan Army Corps of Engineers on a temporary housing construction project for victims of the Fuego Volcano eruption. Together, service members built more than 200 shelters to house hundreds of people from areas most affected by the volcano’s eruption. “This is exactly the type of mission we’re designed to do,” said Col. Oppenheim. “In this case we helped the Guatemalan engineers build shelters, bathrooms, and other facilities for the victims. The lesson we learned in working with Guatemala is that we need to cooperate. Our trust has been developed and we are now very efficient together.” Other engineering projects in Guatemala consisted of refurbishing and modernizing schools and medical clinics in Escuintla and Sacatepéquez departments, where service members installed doors, windows, roofs, floors, and electric wiring, while community members helped paint walls. In Honduras, U.S. marines carried out a water supply project in Puerto Castilla Naval Base, in the Caribbean coast of Honduras. They also repaired a faulty reservoir that affected the neighboring town. In Belize, marines worked on two schools and solved issues with the sewage systems. In addition to humanitarian projects, SPMAGTF-SC conducted several exercises with partner nation forces, as well as subject matter expert exchanges, so as to reinforce the capabilities of Latin American institutions and guarantee regional security. Units of SPMAGTF-SC trained Guatemalan police forces, conducted mobile training with Honduran and Salvadoran marines, and carried out subject matter expert exchanges in Chile, Brazil, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. In Belize, SPMAGTF-SC also conducted an exercise simulating the landing of a hurricane, putting to the test response capabilities and evacuation procedures in case of a natural disaster. Developing concept With the addition of officers fromColombia, Chile, and Honduras, SPMAGTF-SC demonstrated that the concept of a multipurpose and multinational force can be a reality. The developing concept of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South seeks to create a multinational maritime force to provide common capabilities—troops, ships, aircraft, and equipment—during the hurricane season, to provide humanitarian aid and respond to potential crises in the region. According to Capt. Keitel, a force consisting of Latin American service members would facilitate operations in the region, as the countries share cultural and social aspects. Its multinational character, he added, would also help legitimize operations worldwide. “None of us has unlimited military resources. A multinational force with the contribution of each partner nation enables us to confront problems together,” Capt. Keitel said. “When multiple nations work together and contribute their experience, knowledge, and capabilities, the force grows stronger and more effective.” Col. Oppenheim hopes the 2019 deployment of SPMAGTF-SC will have more guest officers from partner nations. The goal: demonstrate that the concept is good and that it works. “That is exactly our plan; of course arrangements and agreements have to be made at the government level,” said Col. Oppenheim. “We are trying really hard at the tactical level to demonstrate why it’s such a good idea and how it could benefit all the citizens of the Americas.”last_img read more

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Team Nigeria in Morocco to Win 12th All Africa Games, Says…

first_imgHe reiterated that Nigeria was in Morocco to win the Games and win it clean.“We are here to win the Games as you can see Morocco is our home. Definitely, we will win but our athletes must stay away from what can tarnish the image of the country,” Gumel, the International Olympic Committee member concluded.The Nigeria contingent was admitted into the Games Village in a colourful ceremony yesterday in Rabat, Morocco.The contingent of about 300 athletes was welcomed into the Games Village, by it’s Mayor, Youssef Oliewzar.He thanked the Nigerian government for releasing the athletes to participate in the Games and welcomed everyone as the country’s green-white-green flag was hoisted along with those of other countries that have arrived earlier.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram *Mayor welcomes Team Nigeria contingent into Games VillagePresident of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Habu Gumel, has expressed confidence in the ability of Team Nigeria topping the overall medals table at the end of the 12th All Africa Games officially starting today in Rabat, Morocco.Speaking during the welcome ceremony of the Nigerian contingent to the Games Village, Gumel charged the athletes to be good ambassadors of the country, while thanking the government of Morocco for welcoming the team.last_img read more

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NFL Draft 2017, revisited: Why Bears picked Mitchell Trubisky, let Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson fall to Chiefs and Texans

first_imgHere’s quick look back at how it went down.NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020:Three quarterbacks selected in first roundWhy the Bears drafted Mitchell TrubiskyThen third-year general manager Ryan Pace was the driving force behind the Trubisky selection. With 49ers GM John Lynch in attendance for Trubisky’s pro day at North Carolina, they looked like the team most interested. Instead, Chicago made San Francisco an offer it couldn’t refuse to trade up from No. 3 overall to No. 2: that pick, two third-rounders over two years and a fourth-rounder.There were different questions about Trubisky, Mahomes and Watson going into the draft. For Trubisky, those concerns were mainly about his limited college starting experience. In terms of arm, pocket awareness, accuracy and athleticism, Trubisky checked the most boxes with his tape and workouts. Mahomes had the bigger arm. Watson had the championship-winning pedigree.The perception was Mahomes was a bit raw coming out of Texas Tech. The knock on Watson was that he needed to become more consistent, related to his delivery and accuracy. Some teams also were uncomfortable catering to his running ability. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/2e/b9/deshaun-watson-111416-getty-ftrjpg_c66ivfzxg1631vn6umwtpn9m3.jpg?t=1668423848&w=500&quality=80 The Chiefs had the luxury of already having a playoff team and a strong veteran QB solution with Alex Smith. They were aggressive, too, in trading up to get Mahomes, giving up the No. 27 overall pick, a third-rounder and a 2018 first-rounder to move up all the way to No. 10.In recent drafts, quarterback boards have varied from team to team based how they feel a particular player can fit their offensive system and philosophy, rather than a pure ranking of QBs. The Bears’ and Chiefs’ front offices simply were called to different QBs.In reality, the Bears didn’t pass on Mahomes because he didn’t really get the consideration Trubisky did. Had the Chiefs been the ones picking first, Mahomes would have gone ahead of Trubisky.Why the Texans drafted Deshaun WatsonThe Texans had an affinity for taking players from Clemson (DeAndre Hopkins, first round in 2013) and South Carolina (Jadeveon Clowney, first overall in 2014) high in recent drafts. Late team owner Bob McNair was a native of North Carolina and went to South Carolina.Watson got plenty of attention for dominating in the Palmetto State, leading Clemson to the 2016 national championship and having a stellar individual college career that fell just of a Heisman Trophy. The Texans also aggressively traded up to No. 12 by giving up No. 25 and a 2018 first-rounder to the Browns to make sure they got Watson. Bears coach John Fox was a big presence at Watson’s pro day, where Clemson coach Dabo Swinney sold Watson as “Michael Jordan.” But between signing Mike Glennon to a big deal as a bridge QB and a real debate on whether Trubisky, Mahomes, Watson or Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer was the best QB prospect in the class, Chicago wasn’t seen as a team locked into addressing the position so early.Pace, knowing the Bears’ recent revolving-door history at quarterback, wanted the stability with which he became familiar while working as the Saints’ director of player personnel. Trubisky was impressive enough in the most ways at the time for Pace to think he could as efficient as Drew Brees.Fox was headed toward being replaced after one more season, so the near future won over the immediate present. Glennon, as expected, proved he was badly overpaid. Trubisky started 12 games, hinting at his promise despite a shaky supporting cast.​MORE: Why Trubisky will stay in Chicago in 2020Mahomes enjoyed a meteoric rise up the draft boards, and there was a boom-or-bust feeling with him. There was sound reasoning for the Bears to go with Trubisky as their “safest” pick between a few unknown quantities.The Bears made the 2018 offseason all about lifting Trubisky, as they hired Matt Nagy to replace Fox and then invested free-agent and draft capital into significantly upgrading the receiving corps. Pace backed up his Trubisky pick as Sporting News’ Executive of the Year. Trubisky passed and ran the Bears to a division title, but it was overshadowed by Mahomes becoming the runaway NFL MVP in his first season starting in Year 2.​​Trubisky and Nagy have not meshed, and for some reason, Trubisky reined in his running skills to his detriment in 2019. He is now facing a make-or-break fourth season to determine his status moving forward in Chicago.Why the Chiefs drafted Patrick MahomesNagy was still in Kansas City as Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator during the 2017 draft. John Dorsey was still the GM before being fired later in the offseason. Brett Veach, before being promoted to replace Dorsey, was the co-director of player personnel.That four-man combination made the Chiefs the team the most enamored with Mahomes.Dorsey once saw the rifle of Brett Favre work for him in Green Bay, and Mahomes’ arm proved to be comparable. Veach vouched most for Mahomes after warming up to his massive pro-ready talent early in the draft process. Reid accepted how Mahomes could master his offense with his accuracy and his athleticism. Like Mahomes, Nagy was a confident, prolific, high-volume downfield college passer at Delaware. The stars aligned for Mahomes to get his shot in Kansas City.MORE: Projecting Mahomes’ record contract with Chiefs (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/49/1d/patrick-mahomes-100715-getty-ftr_1ut4cu18gst4z13ds5t0zcb3e9.jpg?t=1133000240&w=500&quality=80center_img Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson are in the NFL playoffs for the second consecutive season, playing against each other in the AFC divisional round. While the Chiefs and Texans won their divisions again, Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears didn’t qualify for a return to the playoffs, finishing behind both the Packers and Vikings in the NFC North.All three quarterbacks were taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. As time goes by and Mahomes and Watson increasingly look like much better NFL players, the question remains: How did the Bears take Trubisky (No. 2 overall) over both Mahomes (No. 10 overall) and Watson (No. 12 overall)? (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/5/c4/mitchell-trubisky-041017-getty-ftrjpg_4fy74hcnjr971bb8ksx4ufvm1.jpg?t=1482386947&w=500&quality=80 Now former GM Rick Smith was all over scouting Watson and what the QB could bring to Houston with off-the-charts intangibles to go with a special skill set, much like Veach was with Mahomes and Pace was with Trubisky. Coach Bill O’Brien buying into Watson as a potential prized pupil was huge, because we know what has happened since Watson as a rookie quickly displaced Tom Savage as starter. Knowing what we know now about all three QBs, 20-20 hindsight says the order would have been Mahomes, Watson, Trubisky. Because NFL drafting is an inexact science based on prospect projections, the Bears did their best based on the information they had.The bottom line: Between quarterbacks like Mahomes, Watson, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, NFL teams thinking outside the box and more about upside has rewarded them. There’s no such thing as a safe pick at the league’s most important position.last_img read more

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