Partner Nation Air Forces Direct Aid to Mexico following Earthquake

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo September 29, 2017 Air forces from the System of Cooperation among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA, per its Spanish acronym), came to Mexico’s aid after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale shook the country on September 19th, leaving hundreds of victims dead and thousands injured and affected. This new telluric movement occurred exactly 32 years after the earthquake that left thousands dead on September 19, 1985. “SICOFAA member nations quickly agreed to cancel the Cooperación V air exercise that was to be held in Chile from September 26th to October 7th,” Colonel Rodrigo Zapata, the director of the Colombian Air Force’s National Rescue and Special Operations Center, told Diálogo. “The countries that had expressed their commitment to participating in the exercise deployed their aid to Mexico.” The Colombian, Ecuadorean, Salvadoran, and U.S. air forces were the first to provide the specialized humanitarian technical assistance offered to the Mexican government and people to bolster their search and rescue work following the earthquake. Almost immediately, the Mexican Armed Forces deployed more than 11,000 soldiers to provide assistance. “This foreign assistance has meant a lot to Mexicans. Rest assured that we will be forever grateful,” Mexican Navy Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón, Mexican Secretary of the Navy, stated on social media. Mexican Secretary of the Interior Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said that “domestic and international cooperation has been essential for saving lives.” SICOFAA, through its many events and previous exercises, has helped to create a sense of unity, camaraderie, and mutual support among the air forces of the Americas, and you see that on display in the relief effort as many SICOFAA member countries have sent aid to Mexico,” U.S. Air Force Colonel Anthony G. Cook, the secretary general of SICOFAA, told Diálogo. SICOFAA is a voluntary, non-political organization devoted to promoting cooperation, unity, and interoperability among the 20 air forces of partner nations in the Americas. Outpouring of solidarity The earthquake caused damage in the states of Guerrero, Mexico, Morelos, and Puebla, as well as in the nation’s capital. Several parts of Mexico City were declared disaster zones less than two weeks after another huge earthquake had caused damage in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. “The first 72 hours are crucial in these kinds of tragedies. The levels of coordination and communication must facilitate a rapid and timely response to complete the mission,” Col. Zapata said. “Helping our allies when they are in need is one of the most important things we do as a nation,” added U.S. Air Force Captain Kyle Brackett of the 21st Airlift Squadron. “Two days after the earthquake, humanitarian aid from the United States arrived at Military Air Base No. 2 on board a C-17 [from the U.S. Air Force] in a great gesture of solidarity,” Adm. Soberón reported. “The airlift unit transported 33 tons of equipment and an elite Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.” The Colombian government also deployed aid. It sent a Colombian Air Force Boeing 727 Vulcan, a rescue team, a 10-ton load of humanitarian aid, and two canine teams to assist the Mexican authorities with their search-and-rescue duties. The day after the earthquake, the Salvadoran Air Force transported 25 elite rescuers from El Salvador’s Urban Search and Rescue Group in a C-47 turboprop plane. The delegation traveled with enough food, supplies, and provisions to be self-sufficient during their stay in Mexico. Ecuador sent an L-100-30 Hercules transport plane from the Ecuadorean Air Force. Its aid mission comprised 30 people with medical and communications equipment that helped in the planning, search with canines, and the breaking down, perforation, lifting, and removal of debris. The Costa Rican team arrived on a Beechcraft King Air F90 belonging to the Costa Rican National Police by pilots from the Aerial Surveillance Service of the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Safety. This group comprised experts on assessing the structural damage to buildings. Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru also sent their best rescuers to work with the Mexican authorities in their search-and-rescue efforts for people trapped under the rubble. Other nations from around the world, including Israel, Japan, and Spain, joined the international aid effort, sending contingents with tons of unconditional aid to the Aztec nation. The personnel in these foreign delegations were coordinated by Mexico’s Secretariat of the Navy, National Defense Secretariat, Federal Police, and Civil Defense authorities. Rescue missions were conducted 24 hours a day and they also assisted in assessing the damage caused by the quake. Coordination, synergy, and training “Even though the aid was dispatched to Mexico through various diplomatic communication channels, we always keep in communication and coordination with SICOFAA when this kind of international aid is provided,” Col. Zapata noted. “No nation is exempt from these unwanted disasters.” “It is important to note the synergy among our partner forces when responding jointly to a large-scale emergency and joining forces to benefit the nation affected, which, in this case, was Mexico,” Armando Rodríguez Luna, an expert on military and security issues with the Collective for the Analysis of Security with Democracy (CASEDE, per its Spanish acronym) in Mexico City, told Diálogo. “Because earthquakes are a constant in Mexico and in other countries in the Latin American region, this type of phenomenon must be given priority in the agendas of the Mexican Armed Forces and other armed forces in the region in order to jointly bolster our capabilities and develop new ones.” “This entire experience, plus the opportunity to participate in combined training exercises at the national and international levels, such as [SICOFAA’s] multilateral ‘Cooperación’ exercise, enriches our experience and expertise in the planning, control, and execution of operations in cases of natural disasters,” Col. Zapata concluded. “We will always be ready and willing to assist our partner nations.”last_img read more

UEFA Champions League (Women): City Earn Commanding Win In Norway

first_imgManchester City women have all but qualified for the last eight after they secured a dominant 5-0 win over Lillestrom in their first leg round of 16 clash in Norway.Demi Stokes, Isobel Christiansen and Claire Emslie gave City a 3-0 lead before Jane Ross added a brace to make it a comprehensive display for Nick Cushing’s team ahead of the second leg in England on November 16.City join other top sides like Barcelona, Olympique Lyon and VFL Wolfsburg in taking commanding away victories ahead of their respective 2nd leg games. Round of 16 Results (1st leg):BIIK Kazygurt 0-7 Olympique LyonLillestrom 0-5 Manchester CityGiatra Universitetas 0-6 BarcelonaFiorentina 0-4 VFL WolfsburgStarjnan 1-2 Slavia PragueChelsea 3-0 RosengaardBrescia 2-3 MontpellierSparta Prague 1-1 LinkopingRelatedlast_img read more

State Highlights Ohio Govs Budget Plan Includes Medicaid Premiums Calif Insurance Rate

first_img The Washington Post: Va. Lawmakers Must Weigh Budget Demands With New Needs For Mental Health Services Four elderly sex offenders who live at the state mental health institute here have been taken off Iowa’s public sex-offender registry, raising fears that state officials will quietly transfer the offenders to private nursing homes should the facility be closed. Opponents of the planned hospital closure have been buzzing about the four offenders’ rumored removal from the online registry. State officials confirmed the deletions Monday, but said the action was unrelated to the possible closure of the mental hospital. (Leys, 2/2) Finances were one of the barriers to Alison Hymes’ release from Western State Hospital — not hers, but the state’s. Her placement at an assisted living facility in Charlottesville depended on whether her social workers could secure extra funds from the Discharge Assistance Program. DAP is designed to support individuals leaving state hospitals resume their lives in the community. Her hospital records which she shared with Post show that there was no more DAP funding available at the local level and her social workers had to appeal to the state for extra money, which eventually came through. (Shin, 2/3) Opponents of Proposition 45, a health insurance rate regulation initiative that was overwhelmingly defeated by California voters, spent big in the run-up to the November election. Final campaign finance reports filed Monday with the secretary of state showed that opponents spent $55.7 million to defeat the measure, up from $42.1 million in the campaign’s Oct. 23 report. (Lifsher, 2/2) State Highlights: Ohio Gov.’s Budget Plan Includes Medicaid Premiums; Calif. Insurance Rate Regulation Opponents Spent Big A selection of health policy stories from Ohio, California, New Jersey, Virginia, Mississippi, Maryland, Iowa, North Carolina and New Mexico. The Associated Press: Ohio Budget Director: Governor’s Spending Plan Provides Funds To Continue Medicaid Expansion This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Cincinnati Enquirer: Kasich Wants Sales Tax Hike, Medicaid Premiums Gov. John Kasich’s state budget plan would continue to fund an expansion of Medicaid as his administration seeks to charge a monthly premium to certain residents on the health care program, state officials said Monday. The administration would need federal approval to charge the monthly fee to low-income individuals on the federal-state Medicaid program. (2/2) Ohioans would see their sales taxes increase and their income taxes fall, while some adults on Medicaid would have to start paying premiums for their health care, under a plan outlined by Gov. John Kasich Monday. … Meanwhile, adults are likely to have to pay premiums on Medicaid of around $15 to $20 a month if their income reaches or surpasses the federal poverty level – $11,670 for a single adult. Ohio’s Medicaid system already requires participants to pay copays. The administration hopes charging premiums to roughly 100,000 of Medicaid’s better-off adults will help prepare them for life after Medicaid as their incomes improve. (Thompson, 2/2) Los Angeles Times: Opponents Of Insurance Rate Initiative Spent Big Before Election The federal government is increasing the amount of the Medicare payments it makes to hospitals according to their performance on variety of measures. The federal Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program is one of three initiatives specified by the 2010 Affordable Care Act used to adjust hospitals’ Medicare reimbursements. (Kitchenman, 2/2) A unit of Community Health Systems Inc, one of the largest U.S. hospital groups, and three of its hospitals have agreed to pay $75 million to settle claims that they made illegal donations to county governments in New Mexico to secure federal funding. The lawsuit, filed by a whistleblower employee in 2005 and joined by the U.S. government in 2009, claims that the three hospitals made donations to three New Mexico counties in order to get federal matching funds from a program that provided extra Medicaid funding to rural hospitals. (Pierson, 2/2) center_img The Associated Press: Sheriff Wants To Charge Inmates For Non-emergency Treatment Jackson County supervisors have approved a resolution authorizing Sheriff Mike Ezell to establish a program to charge inmates for access to a registered nurse for non-emergency medical attention. Ezell wants to charge the inmates seeking non-emergency medical attention a $10 fee per visit. [Mississippi] state law allows Ezell to charge inmates, and he is working on setting up that program. (2/3) Fewer women in North Carolina got pregnant and gave birth in 2013 than in the previous two years, according to data from the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, and paralleling that drop in pregnancies was a falling rate of abortions. North Carolina’s pregnancy statistics mirror a national trend in which fewer women have gotten pregnant and had abortions. (Hoban, 2/3) Maryland officials are holding a briefing on a new law that ensures privacy of confidential medical information for survivors of domestic violence. It applies to victims who seek reproductive health care, mental health care, medical treatment or counseling. (2/3) Columbus Dispatch: Kasich’s Budget Plan Aims At Medicaid Fraud Reuters: Hospital Group Pays Up For Fraudulently Getting More Medicaid Funding For Rural Hospitals North Carolina Health News: NC Pregnancy, Abortion Rates Dropping NJ Spotlight: Top NJ Hospitals Getting Medicare Bonuses For Quality, Efficiency The Des Moines Register: Sex Offenders At Mental Health Hospital Taken Off Registry The Associated Press: Hearing On Md. Domestic Violence Medical Record Confidentiality Law Set Gov. John Kasich’s budget envisions a four-year phase-out of up to 13,000 independent providers who bill Medicaid for in-home care, a move that would significantly alter much of the state’s fastest-growing industry. (Sutherly and Price, 2/3) last_img read more