Trained and United for Future Challenges

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega/Diálogo March 30, 2017 The training was held in Colombia from February 3rd to 24th with the cooperation of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). Its achievements included addressing the training priorities of the Colombian Armed Forces, improving skills in different operations, and sharing best practices with highly qualified military staff from the United States. Some of the courses were taught at the air base of the Military Transport Air Command (CATAM, per its Spanish acronym), while others, including parachuting exercises, airdrops, and medical training took place at the Tolemaida Military Fort. The 24-member work team, which included technicians and logistical support, arrived in a U.S. Army Hercules C-130 aircraft. The group was coordinated by the Mobility Support Advisory Squadron (MSAS), which designed the program and organized the group comprising instructors from the squadron itself and from six squadrons from five U.S. bases. “The MSAS is a squadron that trains Central and South American countries. We maintain a relationship to support the requirements of SOUTHCOM and the U.S. Embassy,” Lieutenant Colonel Ángel “Mango” Santiago, MSAS-Colombia mission commander, told Diálogo. “Normally, the air forces request the type of support they need for each course from the embassy, and the embassy looks at what kinds of teams from the U.S. can do that mission.” Based on Colombia’s needs, a training program was designed that consists of five courses: C-130 Personnel and Airdrop Team, C-130 Medevac Operations, Medical Intelligence, C-130 Maintenance: Propeller Balancing, and Load Preparation: RAMZ (inflatable boats). A total of 92 students from the Colombian Air Force (FAC, per its Spanish acronym), and the Colombian Army attended each course in small groups. During the training program, they used the C-130 aircraft, which can take off and land in rough terrain and has a pressurized cargo hold that can quickly be adapted for passengers, stretchers or troop transport. “The fundamental goal is to improve the capacities of FAC in its tactical mobility platforms, especially [the] C-130 and its capacity to airdrop personnel and cargo,” Major Marcus J. Rodríguez, director of operations of the 571st MSAS Squadron, told Diálogo. The experience of sharing knowledge and joint exercises provides a chance to improve technical capabilities. “We also have this aircraft, as do 69 other countries around the world. So it is an international platform,” said Lt. Col. Santiago, who also pilots that type of plane. The students’ experience Since 2012, this type of training has been offered every six months, more or less, in either Colombia or the United States. This continuity strengthens bi-national bonds of cooperation between partner nations. Participants experienced different styles of training based on the method used and subjects covered. The mass evacuation course gave students the chance to do a drill simulating the transport of injured people at the Tolemaida air base. “We did the drill using a helicopter provided by the Colombian Army. Four wounded individuals were evacuated (…) and transferred immediately, with the engines running, from the helicopter to the U.S. Air Force’s C-130, as the operation would be done,” described participant First Class FAC Technician Boris Polanco, assigned to the Hospital Engineering Division of the Health Department. “That moment was an intense adrenaline rush.” Service Technician Leady Karolina Castro, operator at CATAM’s engine workshop, also attended the course. “This is the first time I’ve taken the propeller course. The Hercules is our mainstay and the propeller course we just took can be applied every day. It’s practically our bread and butter here at the base,” she said. Participants also showed interest in the theory sessions since the content and method were tailored to each group’s needs. “This course, [with] the explanations they gave us, and the hands-on implementation reinforces our experience at work and in the workshop,” added Pastor Ramos Dumar, a junior technician at CATAM’s engine workshop who participated in the training. These courses will help ensure a timely response in a broad range of operations, including responses to natural disasters, humanitarian aid operations, and military operations, which may involve interaction between members of the Colombian Special Forces, Army, Air Force, and Navy.last_img read more

Whicker: Bill Buckner barreled his way into years of brilliance, and one rough moment

first_imgIf a crowbar couldn’t do it, maybe Walter Alston’s trash-compactor hands could. That was Manny Mota’s first paragraph.PreviousFILE – In this March 1986, file photo, Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner poses for a photo. Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69. Buckner’s family said in a statement that he died Monday, May 27, 2019, after a long battle with dementia. (AP Photo, File)Former Los Angeles Dodgers Bill Buckner, left, passed away at the age of 69. Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, right, with Maury Wills (30) and Bill Buckner (22) during the Old-Timers game prior to a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, June 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Former Los Angeles Dodgers Bill Buckner, left, passed away at the age of 69. Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, left, with Bill Buckner (22) during the Old-Timers game prior to a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, June 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsFormer Los Angeles Dodgers Bill Buckner died Monday at the age of 69. Buckner was seen here during the Old-Timers game prior to a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, June 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)FILE – In this March 29, 2001, file photo, New York Mets coach Mookie Wilson poses with former Boston Red Sox player Bill Buckner in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69. Buckner’s family said in a statement that he died Monday, May 27, 2019, after a long battle with dementia. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm, File)FILE – In this April 8, 2008, file photo, Former Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, who was a member of the 1986 World Series team that lost to the New York Mets, throws out the ceremonial first pitch for the home Opening Day baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Boston. Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69. Buckner’s family said in a statement that he died Monday, May 27, 2019, after a long battle with dementia. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)FILE – In this May 25, 2016, file photo, former Boston Red Sox player Bill Buckner looks on prior to a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Boston. Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69. Buckner’s family said in a statement that he died Monday, May 27, 2019, after a long battle with dementia. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)FILE – In this June 1, 1987, file photo Boston Red Sox’s Bill Buckner, right, hits a two-run home run in the second inning of a baseball game against against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago. Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69. Buckner’s family said in a statement that he died Monday, May 27, 2019, after a long battle with dementia. (AP Photo/Mark Elias, File)FILE – In this Oct. 25, 1986, file photo, Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner misplays the ball during during Game 6 of the World Series against the New York Mets. Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69. Buckner’s family said in a statement that he died Monday, May 27, 2019, after a long battle with dementia. (Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via AP, File)FILE – In this March 1986, file photo, Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner poses for a photo. Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69. Buckner’s family said in a statement that he died Monday, May 27, 2019, after a long battle with dementia. (AP Photo, File)Former Los Angeles Dodgers Bill Buckner, left, passed away at the age of 69. Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, right, with Maury Wills (30) and Bill Buckner (22) during the Old-Timers game prior to a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, June 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 9Former Los Angeles Dodgers Bill Buckner, left, passed away at the age of 69. Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, right, with Maury Wills (30) and Bill Buckner (22) during the Old-Timers game prior to a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, June 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Expand“I was platooning with Billy,” Mota said at Dodger Stadium on Monday night. “One time he hit a ball he thought was foul, but it was fair and he was out. The next night there was a righthand pitcher, but Walter put me in the lineup instead.Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies LOS ANGELES — Fred Claire’s first paragraph of Bill Buckner’s life happened on an early afternoon in the 70s.Buckner had turned an ankle the previous night. Yet there he was, sprinting on the grass,  no other Dodger in sight.Claire, vice-president of public relations, picked up the phone. “Get him off the field!” Claire yelled at somebody downstairs.That was a heavy request. Buckner’s life was a quest to get on a field and stay there. “Bill got so mad, he went down into the left field corner and folded his arms and wouldn’t move. Walter went down there, and he was so strong. He grabbed Billy by the neck and took him into the clubhouse.’Buckner died Monday of Lewy Body Syndrome, a form of dementia. He was 69. He put 20 years into the big leagues, then put in more as a hitting coach in Boise and Brockton, anything for a field.He hit .324 to win the 1980 N.L. batting title for the Cubs, had 201 hits in two different seasons, drove in 100-plus three times while he hit 18 or fewer home runs, and wound up with 2,715 hits. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start He also doubled 498 times and struck out 453 times, and never struck out more than 39 times in a season.Buckner mostly hit second in a royal lineup. It stemmed from Ben Wade’s 1968 June draft. In the regular phase the Dodgers picked Buckner, Bobby Valentine, Doyle Alexander, Joe Ferguson and Tom Paciorek; the secondary phase brought Steve Garvey and Ron Cey. That group, and others, brought hits and runs to Dodger Stadium.“I just remember how Buckner constantly barreled the ball,” said Scott Boras, the agent who played with Buckner’s brother Jim. “It was a consistently different sound.”It was also a consistent battle, as it is with singles/doubles hitters who are fighting bad knees and ankles, and who rage at failure. Buckner was known to extricate a base from his moorings when the at-bats didn’t go well. His nutrition and conditioning were very much like everyone’s today.Everyone’s first paragraph has something about Buckner’s violent intolerance for losing. That was the shattering thing about 1976, when the Dodgers dealt him to the lowdown Cubs for Rick Monday.“If we hadn’t had a strike in 1981 we might have lost 100 games,” said ex-Dodger general manager Ned Colletti, who worked for the 38-65 Cubs then. “He hated losing. For him, it was hard to get him out there every day, with all the work he had to do on his legs. But he was our best player.“He was intense. There was not much idle chatter. When he said something to you there was always a point.”Dodger lefty Rich Hill grew up in Massachusetts and remembers getting Buckner’s autograph at a Celtics game.“Playing in two World Series now, and understanding just how difficult it is to play the game and sustain somewhat of a career,” Hill said, “the appreciation value goes through the roof of how good Bill Buckner was as a player.“I think he’s massively underappreciated, because of one play.”One play. And now we’re at the 20th paragraph, where it belongs.It was Oct. 25, 1986 in Shea Stadium, and the Red Sox had a 5-3 lead in a World Series they led, 3-2. The Mets had two outs and nobody on, in the bottom of the 10th.Any out of any kind gives Boston its first World Series title since 1918.Buckner had nothing to do with the base hits and the wild pitch that tied it 5-5. Mookie Wilson hit a grounder to first and it passed through Buckner’s legs and the Mets won….won Game 6. They didn’t win Game 7 until two days later. Still, in Boston, that World Series disappeared through the Buckner Tunnel.Colletti, helping out the operation, encountered Buckner in a hallway shortly after E-3. “We looked at each other,” Colletti said. “No words.”A torrent of words would eventually cause Buckner to buy a ranch in Idaho and move the family. Buckner came back in 2008 for the Sox’s second World Series ring ceremony, and was cheered.It was nice, but it wasn’t forgiveness. Mistakes weren’t sins for Bill Buckner. At least not on the field.center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more