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first_img Interview with Dominican Army Commander, Major General Pedro Antonio Cáceres Chestaro, Deputy Minister of the Dominican Republic Armed Forces In terms of surface and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest country in the Caribbean. Its strategic geographic location places the island in a privileged position, which is not only attractive to tourists and foreign investments, but also to organized crime. In an interview with Diálogo during the Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC), held in Miami, Florida, in December 2012, Major General Pedro Antonio Cáceres Chestaro spoke about the security challenges he faces as Deputy Minister of the Armed Forces, as well as the legislative and structural changes expected to take place in his country. Diálogo: General Cáceres Chestaro, what are the most significant achievements accomplished by the Dominican Armed Forces in 2012? Major General Pedro Antonio Cáceres Chestaro: As for significant achievements, we can mention the improvements in joint operations, organizational structures and our judiciary system, which resulted from the different legislative proposals on Security and Defense presented by the National Congress, such as the Armed Forces’ Organic Law, the Intelligence National System Law, the Comprehensive Social Security Law, and the Peacekeeping Operations Law. Diálogo: Has the military cooperation between the Dominican Republic and the United States contributed to these achievements in any way? Maj. Gen. Cáceres: The United States, through the Southern Command, constitutes a partner of vital importance to us. Their cooperation is crucial for the execution of multiple plans that resulted in various contributions in equipment and training, hence strengthening human and material capabilities of the Armed Forces. As a result, the level of training and development, obtained by our personnel in U.S. schools and military centers has been strengthened, as in the case of WHINSEC and CHDS for top level courses in National Defense and Security. We also developed a series of joint exercises aimed at helping people in need, as in the case of the New Horizons [humanitarian assistance exercise]. With regard to training, there are permanent teams working with our personnel in the fields of special operations, civil affairs and intelligence through the Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S), with early execution and awareness on illicit actions. In all these cases, logistical support, exchange of doctrine procedures, and lessons learned provide strength and preparedness to the Forces’ operational capacity. Diálogo: In mid-2012, the Minister of the Dominican Republic Armed Forces started a process to reform the institution. What changes can be anticipated, and what are the expectations of this process? Maj. Gen. Cáceres: Admiral Sigfrido Pared Pérez has presented his management plan within the strategic plan for the Armed Forces 2012-2015, with very positive changes on the operational capability of the force and the wellbeing of soldiers. The Commission for the Armed Forces Reform and Modernization has also been strengthened, with the optimization of the Defense and Security capability, which will implement internal control standards for resources that will pave the road for a departmental culture aimed at planning, assessment and positive results. Diálogo: What is the Dominican Republic’s role in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), involving Caribbean nations, and in the Conference of Central American Armed Forces (CFAC)? Maj. Gen. Cáceres: We are founding partners in this fortunate initiative, so we are constantly trying to integrate the objectives of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative by properly identifying common challenges and threats, knowing that transnational criminals are very clever and take advantage of any weakness we may show. Thus, it is important for us to remain united and vigilant against organized crime. In regards to the CFAC, it is a conference that shows that our relationship is mature and has kept us working side by side in the area of operations and intelligence, and also in strengthening relations through the exchange of instructors, officer and cadet participation in schools and academies, the establishment of regional centers in partner nations supported by the existing strengths of those countries, as in the case of the Guatemalan Peacekeeping Operations Regional Command, the Honduran Humanitarian Assistance Regional Center, the Salvadoran Counter Terrorist Regional Center, the Nicaraguan Demining Regional Center, and the Dominican Republic’s CFAC Human Rights and International Humanitarian Rights Regional Center, which strengthens measures to promote trust among partner nations. Diálogo: What security advancements are taking place with Haiti? Maj. Gen. Cáceres: The Dominican Armed Forces maintain and increase interaction and information exchange with internal security organizations from Haiti through the Haitian Ministry of Interior and their Armed Forces, by interacting with our Land Border Security Specialized Corps. With regard to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), we have always kept good relations in terms of communication, information exchange, and cooperation, which was very valuable after the earthquake in January 2010. Diálogo: What is the opinion of the Armed Forces minister regarding the Dominican Republic’s possible participation in peacekeeping missions in the near future? Maj. Gen. Cáceres: The minister’s opinion has always been favorable, and his initiative to introduce the bill on Dominican troop participation as a UN member in peacekeeping operations into the National Congress is proof of that, as well as the importance he has conferred on the peacekeeping unit, and the strength and dynamism given to the School of Peacekeeping Operations since 2010. Officially created in October 2012, the school has generated very positive results, offering courses such as the Peacekeeping Basic Course, Peacekeeping Operations Instructor course, Peacekeeping Special Operations Senior Staff course, Peacekeeping Operations Military Observer course, and the War Correspondent and Peacekeeping Operations Leader course. Diálogo: The theme of CANSEC 2013 deals with the importance of preserving the Armed Forces’ resources in our countries, especially during these times of economic challenges. What specific steps are you taking in this sense? Maj. Gen. Cáceres: We give paramount importance to the preservation of our resources, and we manage them in the most appropriate way. We direct [the resources] to optimizing Security and Defense capabilities and the implementation of basic internal control within the Dominican State. Furthermore, the next revision of the Dominican Armed Forces’ Joint Doctrine, performed every five years, represents an opportunity of improvement for the existing methods and of implementing those that will significantly contribute to the use and maintenance of equipment. Diálogo: Your country has made important investments during the last year, for example, the purchase of Super Tucano aircrafts, pilot training in Brazil and Colombia, as well as the acquisition of airborne radars. Are there any other important investments planned for 2013? Maj. Gen. Cáceres: The defense program including Super Tucano aircrafts and radars is part of an integral system aimed at strengthening national security; to protect our land, maritime and air borders and appropriately confront those threats that challenge us. The president has manifested a strong interest in national security, the acquisition and installation of security equipment by the Armed Forces for use in the Command, Control, Communications and Technologies Center, which will cover the different military components and specialized corps. At the same time, he has authorized the minister to proceed with installing of the equipment. The acquisition of sensors and devices to increase awareness levels has been set as top priority in the 2010-2030 national development strategy. These devices will improve our response capacity and prevent our jurisdiction areas from being used for illicit activities. By Dialogo February 13, 2013last_img read more

first_imgView Gallery (2 Photos)Clearly, Andy North knew what he was doing in selecting his team for Sunday’s Red-White Scrimmage in front of a large crowd that filled much of the lower bowl at the Kohl Center.Home court advantage may have had something to do with it as well.The two-time U.S. Open winner, current ESPN golf analyst and longtime Wisconsin basketball enthusiast — who paid for the Badgers’ new home court prior to the 2008-09 season — coached his White squad to a 45-36 victory over the Steve Stricker-coached Red team.While golfers North and Stricker coached his players, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan got the chance to provide color commentary during the radio broadcast of the game.“It’s just a great opportunity,” Ryan said of the scrimmage. “If I could tell you how many people thanked us for doing this because they can’t get tickets to the games — that’s one of the main reasons (we do it).”Although the game was tied four times, it was clear throughout that White was in control. North’s roster included senior guards Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes as well as junior forward Keaton Nankivil and redshirt freshman guard/forward Ryan Evans.Nankivil led White with a game-high 13 points while shooting 5-of-8 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. The Madison native also added seven rebounds.Bohannon also scored in double digits for White, adding 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting and 2-for-3 on 3-point attempts. He also dished out a pair of assists.The star of the game, however, was Evans.Rocking a Fresh Prince-esque flat top hairstyle after sitting out all of the 2008-09 season, the Phoenix native stole the show with seven points and eight rebounds, including a pair of impressive dunks in the second half.“I’m a little more old school at heart, so it’s something I like to do,” Evans said of his look. “Just being able to play with my team, being able to get out there and run, being able to see the floor again — it felt real good.”North was happy to see success out of Evans for his White squad, as well as several other young players.“Ryan played well, and he’s been playing well in practice,” North said. “It’s nice for people to see (Jared) Berggren and Ryan and some of the guys they haven’t had a chance to see.”Evans’ eight rebounds were a game-high, an impressive statistic for a player listed at just 6-foot-6 going up against 7-footer Ian Markolf and the 6-foot-10 Berggren.The rebounds came because of Evans’ effort on the court Sunday, something Ryan expects of all his players.“Well, he’s here on scholarship to play basketball; why wouldn’t he hustle?” Ryan said of Evans. “That’s what our guys do. … He’s a guy that’s so raw, and I don’t know what it’s going to be like this year, but down the road, Ryan Evans has a great chance of contributing to the team.”On the other side, Stricker’s Red squad was led by sophomore guards Rob Wilson and Jordan Taylor as well as juniors Tim Jarmusz and Jon Leuer at guard and forward, respectively.And while the world’s No. 3 golfer was happy with the players on his roster, he was not around when the teams were chosen.“It’s always tough to lose to Andy, but we didn’t get any calls — that’s what I’m going to blame it on,” Stricker said. “But he picked the team that he wanted to coach before I even got here, so I don’t think that’s too fair.”Wilson, who was 4-of-11 from the field, including 2-for-3 from long distance en route to a team-high 10 points, led the Red team offensively.Jarmusz, Berggren and Leuer also contributed to the Red offensive attack, adding seven, six and five points, respectively. Leuer and Jarmusz each added a three-pointer for Red, which went 4-for-11 from beyond the arc in the game.Leuer struggled from the floor, though, hitting just 2-of-12 shots and 1-of-5 from three-point range. He still played 34 minutes in the game, tying Nankivil for a game high.As a result of the loss, Stricker lost the bet between he and North.“He just said you owe me dinner at the end,” Stricker said. “I don’t know how that worked, but it was a gas. We had a good time. Gary (Close) wanted me to call a play (but) I couldn’t pull the trigger; I couldn’t come up with anything.”North’s coaching style was similar, but he argued it was his occasional insight that helped White come out on top.“I just tried not to get a technical; I managed not to get a technical this year,” North said. “We talked over some strategy, (and) it worked out well, look at the scoreboard.”last_img read more

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Following an upset victory over then-No.18 Virginia, Syracuse (9-7, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) will host Boston College (9-7, 3-2) on Wednesday night. The Eagles also beat Virginia last week before losing to Georgia Tech on Saturday.Below, The Daily Orange beat writers predict if Syracuse will win its second-straight conference game.Nick Alvarez (13-3)Everybody gets oneBoston College 65, Syracuse 59I said pre-Virginia, “it would be very Syracuse to pull off a massive upset,” so I’ll take my consolation point where I can. And, maybe to the surprise of most, I’m going to use that same mindset to pick Boston College for Wednesday night’s game. I’ll admit this prediction is harder with the “questionable” status of leading-scorer Derryck Thornton and center Nik Popovic, but even then I haven’t seen enough from this SU squad to confidently say any momentum from the Virginia win will carry over. And a few key contributors — Elijah Hughes, Buddy Boeheim and Marek Dolezaj — are starting to show the wear-and-tear from conference play and that might offset BC’s lack of its top players. Like Boston College, Syracuse has been inconsistent all year and dropped games it should’ve won. Add another to that list.Michael McCleary (10-6)Boston’s punishment is coming…Syracuse 72, Boston College 66AdvertisementThis is placeholder text… and it’s going to be harsh. A loss to Syracuse certainly would be that for a team that’s picked up a couple of nice wins recently. SU’s win over Virginia is a tough one to gauge, but I think there is something to be said about the momentum it might provide for an Orange roster that’s about to meet multiple teams that aren’t too strong. Also, Syracuse’s surge in overtime can’t be ignored, even if it can’t be maintained. The ACC is a weird conference this year and is largely unpredictable, but they make us do this each week. So, someone has to win.Josh Schafer (12-4)Boston has college sports?Syracuse 71 Boston College 64So if there’s one thing we learned from Syracuse’s most recent win, it’s that the Orange’s defense can handle poor offenses. Syracuse limited the Cavaliers – which entered the game 348 out of 350 teams in points per game – to 43 points in regulation. Boston College averages 10 more points than the Cavaliers (65) but still sits at 312th nationally in the category. This is the kind of game that even inconsistent offense, like the performance SU had last Saturday, can win a game. The Orange will carry some momentum from last weekend into a home game, and they will bring consecutive ACC wins for the first time this year. Comments Published on January 14, 2020 at 11:11 pmlast_img read more

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