Judge in Arizona Lets Stand 25-Year Life Extension for Aging Coal Plant

first_imgJudge in Arizona Lets Stand 25-Year Life Extension for Aging Coal Plant FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Santa Fe New Mexican:A U.S. district judge cited tribal sovereignty in dismissing a lawsuit aimed at shutting down a coal-fired power plant and adjacent mine near the Arizona-New Mexico border.The lawsuit, filed by a group of environmental advocacy organizations, was targeting the 2015 approval by the U.S. government of a lease extension for the Navajo Mine and the Four Corners Power Plant, which has for decades provided electricity to customers throughout the Southwest.The groups argued that the Interior Department and other agencies did not consider clean-energy alternatives or possible effects on endangered species in the region when they approved the 25-year extension.In the order issued Monday, Judge Steven Logan of Phoenix tossed the case because the mine is owned by a corporation created by the Navajo Nation, which makes it immune from such legal challenges. The judge said the case could not move forward without the mine as a defendant.Navajo Transitional Energy Co. was allowed to intervene in the case last fall, citing its interest in the operation of the mine. The company argued that if the environmental groups were successful in their challenge, the tribe’s solvency and economic development strategies could be jeopardized.The tribe created the company in 2013 for the purpose of purchasing the mine from BHP Billiton for $85 million through a three-year loan. The company obtained a new loan to pay off the original note and to maintain working capital.If mine operations were hampered, tribal officials were concerned the company could default on the loan and lose ownership of the mine, which would cost the Navajo Nation millions of dollars.The judge ruled that the tribal entity’s interests in the outcome of the case far exceeded the federal government’s interest in defending the validity of its environmental review and decision-making process.The Four Corners Power Plant is one of three coal-fired generating stations in the region that are scaling back operations as utilities shift toward natural gas and renewable sources such as solar due to regulations and economic forces.The Navajo Generating Station in northwestern Arizona is scheduled to close in 2019, but the Navajo Nation is pushing to keep it open longer. The San Juan Generating Station near Farmington will be closing two of its stacks by the end of the year, and Four Corners has closed three of its units.Environmentalists argued in their complaint that the Four Corners and San Juan plants together emit more pollution than any other source in North America and that pollution from the plant and the mine degrade air and water resources throughout the San Juan Basin, which includes parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah.As it braces for revenue and job losses expected with the ramping down of coal-fired generation, the Navajo Nation recently opened its first utility-scale solar farm near the sandstone buttes of Monument Valley.In addition, Navajo President Russell Begaye signed an executive order last week aimed at building up the tribe’s clean energy economy.More: U.S. judge cites tribal sovereignty in dismissing coal lawsuitlast_img read more

Editorial: ‘Same old trick’ in debt restructuring at Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

first_imgEditorial: ‘Same old trick’ in debt restructuring at Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Caribbean Business News:The most recent announcement of a preliminary deal between Prepa and its bondholders includes a transition charge to help pay for a bond exchange with creditor constituencies that do not include the monoline bond insurance companies and the fuel-line lenders. This is akin to stalled hyper-mitosis in cell division prior to birth—a Prepa deal takes at least two-thirds of the creditor groups brought into the fold to bind the holdouts in a consensual deal. Much work remains to be done.Early in Puerto Rico’s debt game, the complex makeup of that bankrupt utility’s creditor constituencies—somewhat emblematic of Puerto Rico’s debt—made it an important target in the restructuring jamboree inside the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management & Economic Stability Act (Promesa).Thus, Promesa’s circus master, U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) tasked staff director Bill Cooper to codify the deal into law when he was enacting Promesa in 2016. But the rate case then, as now in this latest iteration, is likely to sting.Try as they might to privatize Prepa, members of U.S. Congress who have invested considerable political capital—some with midterms upon them, no less—would like to see a securitization mechanism that will not blow Puerto Rico’s rates sky high. After all, the discourse employed by the energy brigades on Capitol Hill—that Puerto Rico needs affordable and reliable power to chart a path to growth—rings a bit hollow if the people have to foot the bill for a 20 percent hike in their electric bills five years afield.The inevitability of a rate hike first reared its ugly head when Prepa’s Chief Restructuring Officer Lisa Donahue took a crack at restructuring the power company’s massive $9 billion debt load under the administration of then-Gov. Alejandro García Padilla. Donahue managed to work out 17 forbearance agreements with creditors that showed a propensity to push debt-payment deadlines down the road as they tried mightily to strike a bond exchange. Then, as now, somebody was going to pay dearly—the answer always came back to shared pain by the people.Today, the declining population continues to present high-wire dangers in the restructuring of Prepa’s debt. There seems to be no way around the transition charge as the deal is currently structured. The transition charge, which is a fee that will be used to pay for debt service, will be 2.35 cents per kWh for years one to five; 2.7 cents for years six to 10; and 2.8 cents for year number 11. However, starting in year 12, there will be annual 2.5 percent increases over the prior year’s transition charge. Shared pain by the people, indeed.In fact, the language in a draft bill to privatize Prepa, authored by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) and circulated on the Hill several weeks ago, implies significant challenges in the privatization of the utility tied specifically to a shaky profit and loss forecast absent rate hikes. That self-evident truth prompted the inclusion of language enabling a $3 billion backstop structure financed by U.S. Treasury to fill any funding gaps by investors who purchase Prepa generation assets.This newspaper made a quick visit to Capitol Hill two weeks ago to see firsthand which way the currents of change were blowing. Frustration was a very common emotion etched on faces of those dealing with Prepa. As one House Natural Resources aide put it: “We could have had this done two years ago and avoided all this mess.” Yes; but at what cost and paid for by whom? If the answer is by “we the people,” then the Prepa overhaul for the people, by the people is a sham. And economic development will be a decades’ old memory, a story told in history books, but not seen in our lifetime.More: Same Old Tricks in Prepa Circuslast_img read more

IOU upheaval, push for more renewables moves to co-op arena

first_imgIOU upheaval, push for more renewables moves to co-op arena FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Gazette (Colorado Springs):Luis Reyes drove up to Durango from Taos, N.M., on a sunny April day in 2017 to tell folks how the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, which he heads, left its interstate wholesale power provider and struck out on its own — and the room where he spoke at Durango’s Strater Hotel was packed.Kit Carson had paid $37 million to get out of its long-term contract with the Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which serves 43 electric cooperatives in four states, including 18 in Colorado.Several co-ops have complained about what they see as Tri-State’s high power costs, limits on developing local renewable energy and the loss of dollars sent out of town to buy electricity.Since Reyes’ talk, the Durango-based La Plata Electric Association has begun to explore its options, and the Delta-Montrose Electric Association is in separation talks with Tri-State. On the Front Range, large co-ops, such as Brighton-based United Power and Fort Collins-based Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, are pressing for more local renewable generation.“When Kit Carson left last year, the lightbulb went on at the other 42 co-ops,” said Jerry Marizza, new energy program coordinator for United Power.This turmoil is born of rapid changes in the utility industry as power prices are falling due to cheap generation powered by natural gas, wind and solar and growing demands from consumers for homegrown renewable energy.Many co-ops, however, chafe at Tri-State’s 7.5 cents a kilowatt-hour charge when the going Western wholesale price is around 3.1 cents a kilowatt-hour, according to energy wholesaler Guzman Energy.“Tri-State is changing,” Marizza said. “It just isn’t changing fast enough.”More: Colorado rural electric cooperatives look at cutting the cordlast_img read more

Construction begins at hybrid wind, battery storage project in Australia

first_imgConstruction begins at hybrid wind, battery storage project in Australia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The first of 56 turbines that will make up the nearly 200MW wind power component of Neoen’s Bulgana Green Power Hub is being installed, marking a new milestone for the ground-breaking hybrid renewables and battery storage project in Victoria.The project, which broke ground at the site of an old gold mine in Stawell in May last year, will deliver 100 per cent renewable energy to what will be the country’s biggest vegetable glasshouse, owned by Nectar Farms.In a statement on Wednesday, the Australian branch of French renewables developer Neoen said the first wind turbine was on the way up, while construction across the wider site continued to build momentum.“The integrated wind and battery storage facility continues to create hundreds of local jobs and is well on its way to meeting the targeted delivery date of August 2019,” said Neon Australia managing director Franck Woitiez. “Upon completion, the $A350 million facility will generate over 740,000MWh of emission-free, clean, competitive renewable energy per annum for the Stawell region and wider Victoria.”In comments to RE back in May of 2018, Neoen’s Woitiez said that project’s like the Green Power Hub served to demonstrate that the clean energy transition was well underway, and that coal was “a thing of the past.”The hydroponic greenhouse will take around 15 per cent of the output of the wind farm, and its needs will be backed up by a 20MW/34MWh Tesla battery storage facility.More: First turbine goes up at Neoen’s wind and battery hub in Victorialast_img read more

Last Chance for Public Comment on Bears Ears, Other National Monuments

first_imgBack in April, President Donald Trump signed a sweeping executive order that, among other things, ordered his Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review and suggest changes to the status of the 27 national monuments created since 1996.The review could potentially open up large portions of the national monuments like Bears Ears in Utah, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, also in Utah, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona, Giant Sequoia National Monument in California, and many others to oil and gas and other types of destructive development.Prehistoric Granary overlooks Cedar Mesa. Photographer: Josh EwingZinke has already released his recommendations for Bears Ears National Monument, which has become the focal point of the debate on national monuments in recent months, and his proposed plan would shrink the monument. He has not yet specified how much he would like to see the boundaries of Bears Ears reduced, however, calling that decision premature at this point.To date, there have been over 1.2 million public comments submitted to the Department of the Interior regarding the national monument review, but the deadline for the comment period is almost here.If you’re still hoping to make your voice heard on this important public lands issue, leave a comment at this link before midnight tonight.last_img read more

Trail Dog Reviews: Jack explores Grayson Highlands

first_imgThere are multiple chances for meeting other animals on your trail runs, both domestic and wild.  Most wild animals run from me (oh how I do love to chase the deer and squirrels!). The big ones like black bears in this area are most likely going to run away from you too.  If you see cubs then momma bear is near by and its time to get out of there ASAP! If a bear starts coming towards you then you need to stand your ground and remain calm. Back away slowly and most likely the bear will not come towards you.  If it does charge you then pick your dog up (if you can) and then stand as tall as possible. This will most likely stop the charge. Black bears don’t want to fight you, they are usually just guarding food, territory or young when they are charging or swiping the ground.   This can cause a normally good dog to become aggressive in the tight confines of single track.  If that is your dog then you need to consider giving more space to other dogs and consider tieing a yellow ribbon to your dog’s leash (http://theyellowdogproject.com/About.html).   My human has a few points for these dog to dog interactions. This run takes a while to get there, but my pawrents love it. They kept talking about these creatures, the miniature horses, while we were driving there. They were hoping we would see some. Not sure what they are, but not really looking forward to “seeing” them. When we have time, we run the Cabin Creek Trail. The access for this is down the Virginia Horse Trail toward the horse stables to the side of the field at Massie Gap. This is a nice shaded 1.5 mile loop. There are several creek crossings and in the spring a lot of pretty flowers. At the far end of the trail loop is a great waterfall and creek pools. The water is cold, even in August. Grayson Highlands State Park, VA Massie Gap to Mt Rogers and back.Round trip 8.5 miles to 10 depending on which trails. We wind through the mountains and finally arrive at the Massie Gap parking lot in Grayson Highlands State Park. When we get out the car, these large beasties come toward us; I stay in the car. They are funny looking with all this wild hair and no paws. I guess these are the miniature horses, and I hope they don’t follow us on the trail. We start at Massie Gap inside of Grayson Highlands State Park. We start by crossing the field and going through the gate to access the Rhododendron Trail for less than a mile. This trail intersects with the Appalachian Trail(AT). After about 1.5 miles through the National Forest, you will come to the signage for the Mt Rogers Spur trail. This is a quick half mile up to the Mt. Rogers Summit at 5,715 feet. This is the only section of the trail that has trees and shade. The trees are spruce and look more like the Pacific Northwest than Southwest Virginia. center_img The summit is a little uneventful. Even from my height, I know there isn’t a view from the summit. We usually relax a little here, before starting the return trip home. This out and back is a little over 1,400 feet elevation of climb. The distance can vary from 8.5 to 10 miles depending on the different trails that you take through the state park. Not a lot of shade on this route, I have worn the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler and Jet Cooler Vest and it worked well to keep me cooler on these sunny runs. Unfortunately, it’s domestic animals that bug me the most and interrupt my trail runs.  I just like to run. I don’t really care about the barking/growling dog coming toward me; I just want to keep going down the trail.  Check out more pictures and adventures on my Instagram @pawsaroundthepeninsula Animal Encounter Tips If you can’t control your pooch on a leash, then you need to consider a harness (Ruffwear) and or a head halter (Gentle leader). If you have a dog that is barking at other animals on the trail you need to remove that dog from the trail. Dogs on leash are a little more apprehensive and can’t get away.  Here, you turn left and travel on the AT southbound. There are open views and rock scrambles that are fun to go over. Some water holes exist in the cracks so it’s a nice spot for me to drink and soak.  More ponies along the way if you are lucky or, in my thoughts, unlucky. There are also large cattle with big horns that I do not want to be skewered with. We pass through the state park and enter into the National Forest. There are views and rock outcroppings along the route. We also pass one of those shelters along the AT and enter the Lewis Fork Wilderness. last_img read more

Why You Should Visit Virginia Beach this Fall

first_img With15 hiking and biking trails, varying in length and ranging from easy todifficult, there are many ways to explore one of the last remaining undevelopedareas on the east coast. The longest, and most difficult trail, Sand RidgeTrail, is 6.2 miles and takes both hikers and bikers from near the entrance ofthe park all the way down to the North Carolina state border. For the dedicatedoutdoorsmen, we’d recommend navigating the entire 15.3 miles of trails in thepark, where you will experience beaches of both an ocean and a bay, dunes,maritime forests, marshes, and wooded swamps, all in one visit. Featuring six miles of unspoiled beaches in an ocean-to-freshwater bay habitat and 15.3 miles of trails, False Cape State Park is one of our favorite spots to explore. With dunes, woodlands, farm fields, salt marshes and more, this coastal landscape is unmatched. This remote park is also home to huge number of species that are native to this area, including over 300 species of nesting and migratory songbirds, including a snow geese population of over 10,000, shorebirds and ducks, otters, white-tailed deer, red fox, loggerhead turtles, American bald eagles, feral pigs, wild horses, and a huge number of interesting reptiles. Located in southern Virginia Beach, False Cape is a mile-wide barrier spit between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean offering primitive beachfront camping, where you can camp in near complete isolation right on the beach. With no public vehicle access, False Cape can only be reached by hiking, biking, small boats, or the park’s beach transport and tram services, through the neighboring Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. From where you will park your car, at Little Island Park in Sandbridge, the hike to the campsites is anywhere from five to nine miles, depending on where your specific site is, so you’ll want to pack light. The park has 12 campsites for tent-only camping and, while they are very primitive, drinking water is offered in three locations. With over 4,000 acres of both city and state parks, as well as the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, our coastal environment is ready to be explored.center_img With our unique coastal environment, Virginia Beach is a haven for avid campers and hikers alike. First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park both provide an unencumbered glimpse into our awe-inspiring natural landscapes. With miles of interpretive hiking and biking trails, traditional and primitive camping opportunities, and unobstructed coastline along both the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, you won’t want to miss these unique parks. The trail center, accessed through the south entrance off of Shore Drive, is the main hub for accessing the nine interpretive trails running through the park’s seven distinct ecosystems, including the Cape Henry Trail. This six mile trail is the park’s longest, stretching from the northern border to southern-most entrance off of Atlantic Avenue, and is the only trail accessible to both hikers and bicyclists. First landing State Park False Cape State Park Camperscan find refuge within the park, as well. First Landing offers 200 campsites,nestled within the back dunes of the northern, beachfront side of the park.Sites vary from smaller sites, perfect for tent camping, to sites that havewater and electricity hookups and can accommodate 50-foot RVs. For those whoprefer a comfier stay, the south side of the park offers 20 rustic cabins, withrunning water and electricity, as well as heating and air conditioning.Campsites are available from March 1 through early December, while the cabinscan be rented year-round. First Landing State Park is a 2,888-acre park that fronts the Chesapeake Bay and features 1.25 miles of beach and more than 19 miles of interpretive hiking trails through protected salt marsh habitat, freshwater ponds, beach, dunes, forest, tidal marsh and cypress swamp. A registered Natural Landmark, First Landing is the most visited state park in Virginia and contains one of the most endangered habitat types in the world, the maritime forest community. last_img read more

Winter Is Coming. It’s Time to Embrace the Cold.

first_imgIt’s amazing what my kids can suffer through if there’s a mug of hot chocolate in their immediate future. I’m going to use this massive carafe, which keeps 32 ounces of bevy hot for hours, as a metaphorical carrot to keep my kids motivated on winter hikes, bike rides, and campouts. puristcollective.com  Even when it’s snowing. Indigenous people living in arctic climates have survived for centuries without central heating. The Yakut have lived in Siberia, where temps drop to -90 degrees Fahrenheit since the 13th century. Is it so crazy to ask my daughter to put on some faux fur and spend a 20-degree night in a tent?  Hell, especially as the temperature drops. Layer the global pandemic and economic downturn over the typical seasonal affective disorder that winter brings and we could be headed for a disaster. Basically, what I’m saying is if I can’t get my family outside often, we’re going to kill each other.  Purist Founder ($56)  Stanley Master Unbreakable Hip Flask ($40) and Nesting Shot Glasses ($25)   But that was when the temperatures barely dipped below 65 degrees. Winter is upon us and I’m worried my family won’t be able to keep that stoke alive. We’re still stuck at home hiding from germs, but it’s not warm and sunny outside anymore. It’s not as easy to rally for a lunch-time bike ride when it’s 32 and sleeting. I’ve been on plenty of winter adventures in my day and I can attest to the fact that freezing in the dark kind of sucks. I have no stoke for that.  The fire is everything during winter, and I’m not just talking about camping. The backyard bonfire has become a staple in our family. It gives us a chance to avoid the Boob Tube cycle on choice evenings and invite neighbors over for a socially distant beer. The Solo Stove makes that tradition safer (the fire is contained inside the stainless steel can) and easier (holes in the top and bottom of the can circulate air through the fire). solostove.com  Rab Hut Boots ($70) The good news is, if I can drag my family out into the woods this winter, we’ll probably have the entire forest to ourselves. We sat in traffic jams coming out of our favorite campsite in Pisgah National Forest during the summer because everyone was hiding out in the woods. We worked hard to avoid the crowds, eschewing the more popular trails for more obscure options, hitting lesser-visited districts and going deeper and deeper into the backcountry. But come winter, we should have the classic trails and crags to ourselves. And maybe we’ll be healthier and happier for braving the cold? There’s some science to suggest exposure to cold boosts metabolism, helps fight anxiety, and improves your immune response. I think we could all use an immune system boost.  Science says whiskey doesn’t warm you up in the winter and that, if anything, it can desensitize you to the dangers of over exposure. This is the rare situation where I give scientists the finger. If it’s cold, I need my whiskey. This flask keeps it safe in my pocket and the tiny shot glasses allow me to share some hooch without sharing germs. Safety first. stanley1913.com Solo Stove Bonfire ($250) center_img But damn it, our lives kind of depend on it. The mental health benefits of getting outside on the reg are well documented. An hour of being outside is basically like taking an anti-depressant. Then you have the long-term benefits of exercise, the health benefits of gathering with friends (which we can only safely do outside right now), and it’s basically a public health imperative that we have to keep the outdoor stoke alive, even as the temperature drops. Here are a few key pieces of gear to help stave off the cold for the whole family this winter.  My neighbor is perpetually stoked. He’s a professional kayaker and has the zest for life that typically comes standard with that profession, so he’s excited for rain, drought, a cooler full of beer, a comfortable lawn chair, fresh cut grass, a freshly groomed pump track…there is nothing in the world that can get this guy down. And this summer, my family and I had a taste for what that kind of lifestyle entails. The stoke was high. The global pandemic was, and continues to be, a colossal bummer, but if there was a silver lining to the doom and gloom, it’s that my family suddenly had a lot of time on our hands thanks to the widespread cancellation of “life as we know it.” And we made the most of it. We rode bikes constantly and camped most weekends. I built a climbing wall in our backyard and added a jump line to our pump track. We explored random trails, rivers, and peaks close to home. We caught fish. In a lot of ways, our new lifestyle was cathartic; riding bikes through the neighborhood and orchestrating backyard campouts felt like a wholesome diversion while the world crumbled around us. Unfortunately, my wife and kids hate the cold. I’m not in love with it myself. I’ll risk losing toes to frostbite if there’s powder to ski, but if there’s no snow? Pour me a whiskey and plant me next to the fire. I have soft southern blood that’s evolved to tolerate mild winters. The whole world saw what my people do when that ice storm hit Atlanta a few years ago. We’re not suited for true winter conditions. Chances are, if you’re sitting in the south and reading this, you’re also from a long line of people who panic and buy all of the milk and bread when snow is in the forecast. But we’re just going to have to toughen the hell up. There are kids in Germany that go to school outside all year long. Winter Gear Here Ponchos aren’t just for surf bros spending the winter in Baja. The Honcho adds a layer of synthetic insulation wrapped in a water resistant ripstop nylon with a hood. Sure, you’re wearing a coat and standing next to the fire, but one more layer isn’t going to hurt. My wife and daughter live in the Honcho. thermarest.com  And listen, maybe there will be snow. Maybe we’ll have one of those “good” winters when the resorts can open all their runs and we can cross-country ski at the higher elevations every weekend. 2020 has given us little reason to be hopeful, but let’s nurture the last ember of optimism that remains and wish for a killer, snowy winter. Either way, I’m determined to embrace the cold. To ski when we can ski and bike when we can’t. To continue the backyard bonfires and weekend campouts. We’ll layer up. We’ll bring cocoa and those handwarmer packets that cause second degree burns. We’ll toughen up and keep the stoke alive!  These camp shoes have helped me fight off cold toes on many frosty nights in a tent and by the fire. They’re stuffed with synthetic insulation in a ripstop outer with a grippy sole that’s tough enough to let you wander around camp. rab.equipment  Therm-a-Rest Honcho Poncho ($115) last_img read more

Interview with Trinidad and Tobago Chief of Defence, Brigadier General Roland Maunday:

first_img The Caribbean Nations Security Conference, co-hosted by the United States Southern Command and Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain in February 2011, focused on countering illicit trafficking. Diálogo spoke with Trinidad and Tobago Chief of Defence and conference co-host, Brigadier General Roland Maunday, to discuss this topic and other threats affecting the region such as the spread of criminal gangs. DIÁLOGO: What are the main security concerns for Trinidad and Tobago at this time? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: Like most of the islands of the Caribbean, our problems relate to drugs, guns and ammunition, and the porous borders that we have throughout the region. We need to secure our borders as best as we can, so that we can stem the flow of illicit trafficking across borders of people and drugs. Arms and ammunition play a critical part in crime in Trinidad and Tobago, and as a result, if we are able to stop guns and ammunition from coming here, we may be able stem the level of crime that we have. Because gangs use these weapons, and if you don’t fuel gangs with fire power to fight against one another, we may be able to stabilize the crime situation. DIÁLOGO: What can the Armed Forces do to counter this problem? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: First of all, it’s not really an Armed Forces responsibility. It is a joint responsibility between the Armed Forces and law enforcement. What the Armed Forces bring to the fight is an ability to conduct surveillance on our borders, an ability to bring a particular level of expertise that will add to the law enforcement capabilities in the areas where we will probably assist in fighting the war against crime. We have been able to bring to bear the maritime forces, land forces, and air forces inter capabilities in a joint system. That allows us to fight against this together. DIÁLOGO: Many countries in the region are discussing whether the Armed Forces should be granted law enforcement authorities to tackle this problem. Would that solve the problem in your opinion? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: No, it won’t. The fight against crime requires a different strategy. And in each island state and each nation, each strategy is going to be different. Because our cultures are different, our behavior is different. So I think it’s important for us to understand what will be the best strategy for us to use. I’ve been sitting with the Commissioner of Police together with Customs officials, and we are attempting to put together a strategy that helps us look at the borders, the internal issues, and all the other issues that affect us as a country. Giving me additional powers as a police man will not solve the problem. What you need to do is to use our existing capabilities to the best of our knowledge. DIÁLOGO: Are you looking at an interagency approach within Trinidad and Tobago? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: That’s precisely what it is: a joint interagency approach to fighting crime. Each one of use brings into the mix a particular level of expertise that we can utilize to our benefit. We have been working together with Customs and with Immigration and have been able to find ways to do information sharing. Our intelligence has been very much enhanced, and those are the types of capabilities that you need to have if you’re going to fight crime. DIÁLOGO: What are the benefits of working with other regional partners and the United States to tackle illicit traffic? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, which in itself is tied to the Merida Initiative, has been very successful. What we are hoping is that, like the Merida Initiative, we will be able to come together as countries of the Caribbean and of the Hemisphere and find a way for us to create levels of interoperability across our forces. What I mean is that there should be some standardization on the way we do business. We all have different cultures and everything in our own countries is different, but across the Caribbean we all have the same problem. Therefore, there’s a mutual understanding on what it is we need to deal with and I’m hoping that the United States, Canada, the U.K. and countries like those are able to provide the resources that will reduce crime. Small states in the Caribbean do not have the kind of resource power that our brothers in Europe and North America have. DIÁLOGO: What resources specifically are you thinking of? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: I’m talking about Air, Maritime and Land forces. We are also speaking of the development of the human resource. The expertise that they can bring to us that we need — expertise that assists us to detect and suppress. DIÁLOGO: What is your forecast for the success of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative? Do you believe there are other measures which can be taken to deal with these issues? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: I was involved in some of the discussions regarding the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative when I was in Washington D.C. a year and a half ago, and it is very clinically put together. It is effectively written. We have an understanding of what is required of that Initiative. But more so, there’s an agenda that has been set for 2011. If they follow the particular agenda they have set, I feel each series of discussion will bring about decisions that will be beneficial to us all. Can we do anything else? Yes, we can keep talking. We can keep talking, but at the end of the day what we need to do is to put those talks into action. DIÁLOGO: What would Trinidad and Tobago bring to the table? What would be your contribution to these efforts, specifically? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: Trinidad and Tobago has remained and has always been one of the lead countries in security throughout the Caribbean. I think we should continue to bring our level of leadership. We should be able to bring to the table our learning and our own level of expertise, and as a strong country within the hemisphere, we should be able to bring everyone along with us. There is a need for us to fight crime as one body, rather than as separate entities throughout the Caribbean. DIÁLOGO: Is there anything else you would like to add? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: Yes. We are going to fight crime to the end! The Defense Force together with Police Service does not have an easy task. We are walking into new territory, new areas, so there’s a whole new learning process that we have to take on board. In addition to that, we must not stem the tide of the particular kind of growth I’m looking for. That’s the institutional growth. We must also recognize that there’s a need for us to maintain a relationship between our regional partners, our hemisphere partners, and any new partners who are willing to give us advice to use in the fight against crime. By Dialogo March 31, 2011last_img read more

IAAFA Extends Courses to Central and South American and Caribbean Countries

first_img It is obvious and indisputable the amazement of Mrs. Romero from Honduras regarding the life experience in Texas. The experience of touching ground, living the weather, breathing the air, interpreting the signals and listening to the voice is above any well illustrated document. With regard to infrastructure, because Honduras not only lacks this type of services, without doubt, it covers all the Central American Region and much of the Southern Cone. Good evening, I belong to the military personnel in the Argentinian Air Force and would like to know the courses available to take at IAAFA and how I can apply for a vacancy.Thanks in advance. I look forward to your prompt reply. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT COURSES ARE OFFERED AND THE DATES FOR EACH KIND OF COURSE Good afternoon. I belong to the Colombian Army’s Aviation unit and I would like to know if there are courses at the IAAFA for maintenance technicians of aerial weaponry and inspectors. I would appreciate if you would let me know in which countries of the world these courses are held for this personnel. Thank you very much.Course for maintenance technicians of aerial weaponryCourse for inspectors of aerial weaponry I am in the Argentine Air Force and would like to know about the catalogue of courses available to take in the IAAFAThanking you in advance. I await your quick response. Training managers from 15 Central and South American and Caribbean countries attended the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) Training Manager Conference on July 16-17 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. IAAFA works to foster enduring engagements with Latin American countries through education and training in fields such as aircraft structural maintenance and others where military service members may need capacity building. Military students from more than 20 countries in the Americas routinely attend courses at the IAAFA campus, thanks in part to the guidance their countries’ training managers, who coordinate any sort of capacity building their respective military forces may need. The conference, with 20 training managers in attendance from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay was critical in presenting an in-depth picture of the 34 courses offered, course overviews from each instructor, and briefings to better explain the IAAFA experience. “Attending this conference has given me a better idea and more thorough explanation of what IAAFA can offer us,” said Ritza Romero, a training manager from Honduras. “Without coming here, I can read a course description in the catalog, but I can’t explain to them what to expect as students,” Romero said. “I now know exactly how to prepare students when they are sent to an IAAFA course – from what to anticipate getting off the plane, to courses and simulators, to hospitality,” she said. “We were able to experience everything that our students will when they come here.” Romero said as a training manager, part of her job is to understand IAAFA course descriptions, help match students with needed courses, and even help prepare them for travel to the U.S. Attending this conference makes those aspects of her job much easier. “Although we provide a catalog, an interactive website, and are open any time for questions, the work the training managers provide can’t be duplicated,” said Col. Marc Stratton, IAAFA commandant. “Seeing first-hand each of the courses, talking to the instructors and actually handling some of the training aids that we use cannot be done virtually.” The last training manager conference was held in 2008. Since then, IAAFA has moved into a new facility, acquired different training aids, an additional aircraft, and modernized several courses. The conference served as an opportunity to update the training managers on improvements and changes that have taken place at IAAFA in the four years since. “There is a huge difference in IAAFA,” Romero said. “With the new building and improvements… I wish we had something like this back home for training. This was a very rewarding opportunity to see what IAAFA has to offer.” By Dialogo August 03, 2012last_img read more