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Honduran Armed Forces Cadets Train at WHINSEC

first_imgThe Cadets – all between the ages of 22-24 – graduated on November 17 after completing 190 academic hours over five weeks at Fort Benning, Georgia. They were trained by WHINSEC instructors in an array of skills, including human rights, democracy, planning, goal-setting, time management, physical and mental conditioning, military geography, and other military techniques to expose them to the challenges of leading a multicultural unit and to evaluate their leadership potential. The graduates are seeking to be promoted to AMHGFM second lieutenants this December. “Since 1975, we have been building upon the exchange of our Cadets in the leadership course. For the first time, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy are joining in the training at Ft. Benning,” Colonel José Antonio Sánchez Aguilar, a spokesman for the Honduran Armed Forces, told Diálogo in an interview. The Cadet Leadership Development Course is a component of the ongping Military cooperation between the U.S. and Honduras, who have worked together to fight common threats like international drug trafficking and transnational criminal organizations. “At the tactical level, the Institute has been offering a variety of courses which are relevant to the realities of many of our allies, such as our Intelligence Analysis Course, Transnational Threat Combat, our Physician Assistant Course, and our Engineering Course. We also offer classes with wider scopes, like the Peacekeeping Operations Course (approved by the United Nations) and the Joint Operations Course (designed for officials who hold General Staff positions),” said U.S. Army Captain Sergio R. Romero, Chief of the Cadet Leadership Division of WHINSEC, School of Leadership and Tactics. “Being in another country to improve and build on the military and administrative knowledge we acquired in the classroom for four years is an invaluable experience,” Col. Sánchez continued. “There are always Honduran officers studying in the United States; we have an excellent cooperation relationship not only in matters of security and defense, but also in academic exchanges, dating to 1954.” “This is a great opportunity to be excellent officers in the future,” Ensign Ramón Navas from the Honduran Air Force Academy told Proyecciones Militares, the official TV station for the Armed Forces of Honduras. “As officials in the Armed Forces, they (Cadets) will face many situations that will require mental agility, physical dexterity, and leadership. During the Cadet Leadership Development Course, these new additions to the Armed Forces developed skills that would help them know how to react while in leadership positions; went through physical training; and completed a scenario-based exercise at the end of the course,” Capt. Romero said. “This exercise required them to analyze a given situation and to develop a course of action which would permit them to successfully complete the mission. In addition to this, they were given instruction in Human Rights and Rule of Law issues, which will be invaluable to them when they need to make ethical decisions.” “The Honduran Armed Forces is concerned with leadership. Although the challenges these young men and women face will depend upon their positions, the highly developed skills they obtain from the Leadership Course will improve their ability to teach soldiers on a human level,” he added. Emphasizing human rights, democracy By Dialogo December 08, 2015center_img “Our training is fully integrated. During this trip, we will be building upon the knowledge we acquired at the Military academy,” Naval Ensign Julia Castellanos from the AMHGFM, told Proyecciones Militares. The training will help the Honduran Cadets prepare for leadership roles in the Armed Forces. WHINSEC provides courses that challenge the mental and physical abilities of students. A tradition of training The course emphasized democratic values, international human rights laws, and international humanitarian laws, which Cadets should draw from while conducting operations. Civic-military activities, educational field trips, and social activities exposed the Cadets to U.S. customs and enabled them to forge friendships with military students from throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, and Canada. One hundred seventy-six Honduran Armed Forces members recently completed the Cadet Leadership Development Course conducted by the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), marking the first time Cadets from the General Francisco Morazán Armed Forces Military Academy of Honduras (AMHGFM) received training in the U.S. Established in January 2001, WHINSEC has offered training to students from every country in the Western Hemisphere for more than a decade. Through these educational programs, WHINSEC, which is based at Fort Benning’s U.S. Army Maneuvers Center of Excellence (MCoE), receives more than 1,500 service members, police officers, and civilians from Latin America and the U.S. for military training annually. Honduras and the U.S. engage in a number of cooperative exchange programs, which include students from countries such as Mexico, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. These courses include Command and General Staff training for officers, joint operations, communications systems, tactical operations, drug enforcement operations, medical aid, operational analysis, and information operations. “Likewise, training units from the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) come to teach courses we request in leadership skills,” Col. Sánchez said. “This year they’ve conducted two training courses.”last_img read more

Products recalled in Salmonella outbreak top 125

first_img Salmonella in plantIn response to questions, Sundlof said the Salmonella isolates found in the Blakely plant recently “were not what I believe to be the same strain as what’s causing the outbreak, but it still indicates there is Salmonella in the plant.” The FDA is not testing all the recalled products, but it is testing those that are most likely to yield a positive result if Salmonella is present, Sundlof said. For example, “We’re picking up unopened containers from institutions where people actually became ill.” FDA outbreak page Sundlof said the FDA is looking at the possibility that contamination could have happened somewhere other than in the Blakely plant, such as in a tanker container of peanut paste. But he added that the finding of Salmonella in the plant suggests that the contamination occurred there. “We currently have more than 125 recalled products listed on the FDA site, and we expect that number to continue to increase as we continue to get more product information,” said Sundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Sundlof said good manufacturing practices should keep Salmonella out of food processing plants. “The fact that the strains don’t match is not really relevant from a regulatory standpoint. Having Salmonella in a plant is not supposed to happen,” he said. The Salmonella outbreak has grown to 486 cases in 43 states and Canada, up one since yesterday, said Dr. Robert Tauxe of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He said 107 people (22%) were hospitalized with salmonellosis, and the number of deaths possibly related to the outbreak remained at 6. Today, Tauxe said the CDC has gathered information from 15 institutions where more than one resident had salmonellosis. “We have detailed information from 14 of the 15, and in all 14, King Nut peanut butter [made by PCA] was served,” he said. He said the contamination was found in a floor crack near a washroom and on a floor elsewhere in the plant. “More cases are being reported every day,” Tauxe said. “The outbreak appears to be ongoing.” He said firms that bought a “substantial proportion” of the Blakely plant’s output are included in the recalls announced so far: “In terms of the overall volume of peanut butter and peanut paste that left the plant, we have under recall the major purchasers.” Jan 21, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – More than 125 products, including a few pet foods, have been included in recalls prompted by the nationwide Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, and the list continues to grow, US officials said today. Sundlof today repeated previous FDA statements that no major-brand retail peanut butter has been linked to the outbreak. But he also reiterated advice that consumers should check whether peanut butter or products containing peanut butter or paste contain PCA product. They can do that by checking a searchable list on the FDA Web site or, if the relevant product is not on the list, by checking the manufacturer’s Web site or calling the company. Consumer products recalled include cookies, crackers, candy, and ice cream. PCA does not sell peanut butter directly to consumers, and the FDA has said no national peanut butter brands sold in retail stores have been tied to the outbreak. FDA database of recalled products Consumer advisoryPCA peanut butter is sold to institutions and food service companies, and the company sells both peanut butter and peanut paste to food processors for use in other products, the FDA has said. CDC outbreak update PetSmart said yesterday it was recalling seven varieties of Great Choice dog biscuits because they contain peanut paste from PCA, though it was not aware of any illnesses related to the biscuits. He and Tauxe said that several lines of evidence point to the Blakely facility as the source of the outbreak, though the outbreak strain has not been found there. In other comments, the two officials said peanut butter contains almost no water and therefore does not support the growth of Salmonella, but the bacteria can survive in peanut butter for a long time. He also said that a CDC case-control study conducted Jan 17 and 18 revealed a link between illness and consumption of peanut butter, and particularly the Austin and Keebler brands made by Kellogg Co. Kellogg recalled those brands on Jan 16, he noted. The strongest evidence was Connecticut officials’ identification of the outbreak strain in an unopened container of King Nut peanut butter, made by PCA, as reported yesterday, he said. About a week earlier, Minnesota officials found the strain in an opened peanut butter container from a nursing home where illnesses occurred. A few pet food products, including Great Choice dog biscuits, sold by PetSmart, are now included in the recalls, Sundlof reported. “There is risk to humans from handling these products,” and people should wash their hands after feeding treats to pets, he said. Peanut sources for PCA plantThe Blakely plant receives peanuts from both US and foreign sources, Sundlof reported. Some of the peanuts are received already roasted, while others are roasted at the facility, he said. He added that the roasting step should kill any Salmonella present, if done correctly, suggesting that contamination would have occurred at some point after the roasting. Sundlof said the FDA is tracing products at risk for contamination in two ways: by following products distributed from the Blakely facility to primary customers and on to any secondary and tertiary customers, and by asking food companies if any products they handle contain products from that plant. Jan 20 PetSmart news release He said the outbreak and the growing list of potentially affected products “certainly points to the complexity of our food supply.” He likened the situation to the melamine contamination found in pet food last year, “where two very small companies had a very large impact on pet food.” See also: “When Salmonella is in something that’s dry it can survive much more heat than when it’s in something that’s wet,” said Tauxe. Officials also revealed today that Salmonella found recently in the Blakely facility did not match the outbreak strain of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium. But they said other evidence, primarily the discovery of the outbreak strain in some PCA-made peanut butter in Connecticut, has clearly linked the outbreak to the Georgia plant. Sundlof also revealed that the last inspection at the Blakely facility was done by Georgia officials in June 2008, under a contract with the FDA. The last time the FDA itself inspected the plant was before the facility was producing peanut butter, he said. Peanut butter and peanut paste from the Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Ga., regarded as the source of the outbreak, were distributed to more than 70 companies, said Stephen Sundlof, DVM, of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said at a news teleconference today.last_img read more