Colombia, US Improve UAV Flights

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo September 20, 2018 A U.S. Air Force delegation visited the Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Academy (EBART, in Spanish) at the Third Air Combat Command in Barranquilla, Colombia, July 16-27, 2018. The objective was to exchange knowledge and experiences in the formation, training, and instruction of pilots and operators of ScanEagle drones. “The experience exchange was made possible through the ScanEagle Pprocessing, Exploitation, and Dissemination Course, based on the experience of the United States,” FAC Major Daniel Eduardo Martínez, deputy director of EBART, told Diálogo. “The course was a guide to conduct ISR missions [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance], and taught us how to guide an unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV] for this type of missions and make a briefing to conduct a mission.” Together, nine Colombian officers and the U.S. delegation learned how each air force operates UAV in conventional and asymmetric warfare. “The training will help us improve the doctrine for unmanned aerial vehicles, modernize manuals, strengthen flight operation planning, and improve surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence missions,” FAC First Lieutenant Brayan Higuera, ScanEagle course instructor at EBART, told Diálogo. FAC operates the tactical surveillance and reconnaissance system since 2006 to support the fight against illegal armed groups and terrorists. The system brought significant results in the identification, surveillance, and reconnaissance of targets, aerial surveillance, support of special operations units, and search and rescue. The highly autonomous aircraft of U.S. manufacturer Boeing Insitu are designed to conduct continuous missions of more than 15 hours and have the capacity to collect and transmit large numbers of images in real time. Improving the mission During the course, service members of both countries analyzed mission briefings to obtain good results with the systems. “We focus on the machine and the crew,” Maj. Martínez said. “[U.S.] officers found it interesting that technicians are included in the Colombian briefing to discuss the system status. Their briefing is between the analyst and the pilot but don’t involve a technician to report flight hours left for the unmanned aerial vehicle,” 1st Lt. Higuera said. The Colombian squadron learned how U.S. Air Force officers use “exhaustive information” when carrying out missions. “As soon as they have information coming from any human or technical source, they go out and conduct persistent surveillance, meaning around the clock,” 1st Lt. Higuera said. “We should also focus on persistent information.” New way to operate aircraft After the course, FAC opted to modify its operation of ScanEagle aircraft to adapt to those of the U.S. Air Force, with target-persistent surveillance. “The course helped [our] air institution promote a new way to operate the aircraft,” Maj. Martínez said. With this change, FAC will be able to show its UAV platforms to the Colombian Army, Navy, and National Police to increase intelligence efforts and sustained focus on a target. The UAV will also be able to submit more information than what security forces can currently achieve with human intelligence, such as images, video, and target surveillance for tactical maneuvers. “Air authorities study how the change in operations can help identify and eradicate illegal crops in the country,” Maj. Martínez said. “The ScanEagle can be an important tool in the current fight [against drugs].” Latin American benchmark FAC expects to obtain the Boeing Insitu certification by the end of 2018. “The idea is that with the certification, plus the experience we have, EBART will become Latin America’s school for unmanned aerial vehicles. This year [2018] we trained Peruvian personnel and last year [2017] we trained personnel from Chile. Also, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are interested in training their crews here, now that they started acquiring unmanned aerial systems,” Maj. Martínez said. Within a year, EBART plans to include naval personnel in the faculty. Their experience with UAV launched from ships will strengthen the training to be offered to the Colombian Armed Forces and other nations. The school also studies the possibility of bringing instructors from the U.S. Air Force. “We developed the new unmanned aerial vehicle aviation with the help of the U.S. Air Force. We received a lot of help from them. It’s important because it’s becoming increasingly developed, with more prominence in aviation worldwide,” Maj. Martínez concluded.last_img read more

Weather leads to high school sports postponements

first_imgELLSWORTH — Inclement weather caused the postponements of several games throughout Hancock County on Thursday and Friday.Ellsworth’s home baseball and softball games against George Stevens Academy were pushed back from 2 p.m. Thursday to 4:30 p.m. April 27. The games were originally scheduled to be the home openers for the Eagles, but Ellsworth will instead open at home against Hermon at noon tomorrow, April 22. These will be varsity games only; JV will be made up at a later date.Thursday’s baseball and softball games between Bucksport and Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor were moved to today, April 21. The games will be played at 4:30 p.m. and will be the home openers for the Trojans.Elsewhere, this week’s outdoor track meet at Hampden Academy has been moved from noon today to the same time tomorrow. It will be the first meet of the season for Ellsworth, Bucksport and GSA.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Killybegs school gets approval for fire safety improvements

first_imgSt Catherine’s Vocational School in Killybegs has gained approval for essential works to improve fire safety.The school was given the go-ahead for the maintenance this week under the Department of Education and Skills Emergency Works programme.Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said he is delighted that the school will now be able to press on with important improvements to ensure better safety standards. Minister McHugh said: “I wish principal Cathal Campbell and the team at St Catherine’s the very best with their plans to make improvements at the school.“It is great to see the Department pressing on with funding for Emergency Works projects. They are often relatively small scale works but hugely important for the school to ensure vital changes are made to schools right throughout the year.“It can include better access to the school, health and safety issues, fixing leaks and windows and doors, fire safety and wheelchair accessible toilets among many others.“Every week schools are getting hugely important news from the Department that money is being set aside to improve facilities, to modernise some buildings and in some cases to expand the space in the school. St Catherine’s is yet another one of those and we hope to see many more in the coming months.” Killybegs school gets approval for fire safety improvements was last modified: August 7th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:st catherine’s vs killybegslast_img read more

More people with access to safe water

first_imgThe government had not yet managed to eliminate the use of bucket toilets, although its use had dropped from 2.5% to 0.8% over the reference period. Stats SA said this was because as soon as government got rid of bucket toilets in one area, another new settlement without proper sanitation would spring up. Relationship between quality and payment 1 September 2011 Thirty-thousand households were surveyed in face-to-face interviews. “This could possibly be attributed to an increase in informal dwellings in the large metropolitan areas of Gauteng making it difficult for the metropolitan councils to keep up with the need for safe water supply services,” the report said. Having access to water does not mean that safe water is easy to access. Only 45% of those with access to water actually had it in their dwellings. Limpopo province was the worst-off at 14%, followed by North West at 25% and Mpumalanga at 29%. “There is therefore a relationship between water quality and probability to pay for water services.” Payment for municipal water services had declined nationally, from 62% in 2002 to 47% in 2010. It was unclear exactly why, but could be due to the tough economic conditions since 2008 and an increase in government support for indigent households, Stats SA said. Ninety-three percent of South African households had access to safe water in 2010, Statistics SA said on Tuesday.center_img These figures do not take into account the distance people had to travel to reach water, and regarded safe water as piped, tap and borehole water. In 2010, 59% of households used flush toilets connected to a public sewerage system. This was up from 56% in 2002. Households with no toilet facilities dropped from ten percent in 2002 to five percent in 2010. Gauteng, the country’s fastest-growing province, had shown a steady decline in households with access to water since 2004, with the lowest percentage in 2010, at 89%. “Households who did not pay for their water were more likely to say that their water had a bad taste, was not safe and had bad smells compared to those who did pay,” Stats SA found. The Eastern Cape had the lowest access to safe water in 2010 at 74%. It had, however, shown remarkable progress from 59% access in 2002, the report said. The Western Cape had the best access in 2010, at 99%. This had improved from 88.7% in 2002, according to statistics in the General Household Survey. Sapalast_img read more