Uruguayan Military Trains Journalists Preparing to Cover Peacekeeping Missions

first_imgBy Dialogo October 28, 2015 Uruguayan Military officials recently taught 30 journalists and social communication students how to prepare for dangerous situations they might encounter while covering overseas peacekeeping missions. “Journalists in Mission Areas,” a program conducted by the National Peace Operations Institute of Uruguay (ENOPU, for its Spanish acronym), included representatives from the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and was held in Montevideo and Lavalleja from September 14-17. The journalists – among them reporters, editors, and news camera operators – also learned what Troops experience while serving in overseas peacekeeping missions. “I consider the inclusion of media professionals in the work of the United Nations of particular importance so that they can see the work that the UN does and can draw their own conclusions from personal experience, which is, without a doubt, a crucial way to mold opinions,” said Colonel Carlos Frachelle, ENOPU’s director. “The main goal around which this course is structured is to make sure that civilians are as prepared as military personnel are when it comes to matters of peacekeeping missions.” The course was last offered in 2011, Col. Frachelle said, adding military officials “decided the time was ripe to offer it again. There is still much left to do when it comes to protecting the security and the lives of professionals who are so valuable to society.” A comprehensive training program The four-day program covered a wide range of topics on what Uruguayan soldiers experience on peacekeeping missions, including the deployment of troops on demining operations; security practices and preventative health measures; and the type of equipment Soldiers use in the field. It culminated with a 36-hour field exercise in Military Camp No. 6, Abra de Castellanos, where journalists, students, and instructors stayed overnight. In compliance with the ENOPU’s requirements, the course included practical training for participants at the camp’s Armory and Mechanical Training Center. Instructors taught journalists and students the best ways to respond to chemical attacks, how to conduct evacuations, and how to use night vision goggles and protective gear. “The permanent use of one’s protective helmet and bulletproof vest also facilitated the immersion of participants into an operation-like environment, since such equipment is required on a daily basis during peacekeeping missions,” Gerardo Carrasco wrote in an article for the newspaper Montevideo Portal . “Those who participate in them must learn to have them on at all times, as if they were a second layer of skin.” The Air Force taught some of the journalists the proper way to board a Military helicopter, before taking them on a ride. “We journalists were afforded the opportunity to face the challenges that those on peacekeeping missions encounter on a small scale,” Carrasco wrote. “We also took note of the numerous details that those on such missions have to make sure they notice since they could make the difference between life and death. An example of this could be knowing how to board a helicopter or armored vehicle in the safest and fastest way possible.” The program is well-known among military officials and journalists throughout Uruguay. Historically, “Uruguayan reporters have been invited to travel alongside the Military and to stay on the mission’s military bases, offering journalists the opportunity to access places and settings which would have otherwise been extremely difficult for them to have visited,” Carrasco wrote. “It gives credibility to the freedom with which we chroniclers work in the field wherever there are Uruguayan Military contingents,” he continued. “It is a testament in support of our work. In fact, the only limits that the Army has put on journalists are those relating to security concerns in conflict zones. They want to avoid having any reporter become a martyr for their profession due to the pure lack of knowledge of the risks that might exist in mission areas.” Uruguay’s history of participating in peacekeeping missions Training troops and journalists for their respective roles in overseas peacekeeping missions is important for a country that is active in such operations, as the country has been sending soldiers to serve as peacekeepers in regional conflicts since the late 1920s – well before the UN was founded in 1945. Uruguay, with a population of about 3.4 million, is considered the world’s leading provider of peace forces per capita, and 90 percent of the service members in the Uruguayan Armed Forces have or will participate in a foreign mission. The country became more active in peacekeeping operations in 1982, when it deployed a contingent of National Army drivers to the Sinai Peninsula as part of the Multinational Force and Observers, which was established as part of the Camp David Accords between Egypt, Israel, and the United States. In 1998, Military authorities created the Army’s National Peace Operations School (EOPE), which eventually became the ENOPU, and includes all three branches of the Armed Forces. As of January 31st, there were 1,459 military and police personnel working in UN peacekeeping missions around the world, including the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) –even though the Uruguayan contingent was reduced in January 2015–, the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), and the UN Operation in the Ivory Coast (UNOCI), according to the UN report “Troop and Police Contributors.”last_img read more

Ophir: SE Asia assets deliver ahead of expectations

first_imgFurthermore, the company said that during the year it continued to make progress towards “rationalizing” the wider frontier exploration portfolio.Capital expenditure is expected to be approximately $150 million assuming various farm-outs are closed successfully.“A series of commercial agreements are under negotiation which, if successful, will reduce forecast exploration spend significantly in 2019 as well as reduce the future exploration commitment spend from its current level,” Ophir said.“The majority of the spending for 2019 (approximately $110 million) is development and production expenditure focused on growing our production and cash flow, including both Bualuang and Madura (Meliwis development). The balance of spend is provided for exploration, predominantly exploration commitments as the company manages its exit from its deep water portfolio. The company is seeking to reduce those commitments further where possible,” the company said.As for the abovementioned relocation, Ophir on Tuesday said that the move would yield “further significant costs savings during the coming year.”Ophir briefly mentioned the Block R in E. Guinea which it recently lost after years of delays with Fortuna FLNG development there.The CEO said: “As we announced on 5 January, the Block R license in Equatorial Guinea has not been extended.  We are in negotiations to rationalize parts of our frontier exploration portfolio with the potential to not only bring in cash, but also importantly reduce our future exploration capital commitments and further improve our liquidity position.  We remain mindful of the potential value of our gas assets in Tanzania, notwithstanding the uncertainty over timing for their development.”In its  Operations and Trading Update on Tuesday, Ophir did not provide any update on the status of its dealings with Medco. To remind, the company’s board on Monday rejected Medco’s potential bid of 48.5 pence a share as not good enough.Offshore Energy Today Staff London-based oil explorer Ophir Energy is planning to move its corporate functions from London to Southeast Asia as its assets in the region have delivered above expectations.Ophir, which plans to complete the move by September 2019, on Tuesday said South East Asian including fields it had bought from Santos last year, would help it generate “significant free cashflow.”The company, pursued as a takeover target by Indonesia’s Medco, said the acquisition of interests in the Madura and Sampang PSCs (Indonesia) and Block 12W (Vietnam) from Santos for $205 million materially increased production and cash flow. These assets, Ophir said, have performed better than expected with the assets returning cash flow of approximately $110 million in full-year 2018, representing approximately half the initial purchase price.Alan Booth, Interim CEO of Ophir, said: “With the successful integration of the Santos South East Asian assets, Ophir has significantly strengthened its production and development portfolio. We are now well positioned to generate significant free cash flow going forward. Our underlying business and balance sheet remain robust.Booth said:”…We are building a company with increasing cash generation and declining risk capital expenditure. Our future investment decisions will continue to focus on maximizing returns to shareholders.“Ophir said its daily production in 2018 averaged 29,700 boepd, 8% ahead of guidance with Madura, Sampang and Block 12W contributing 18,000 boepd.Despite the higher than expected production, looking ahead, Ophir expects daily production for 2019 to be in line with previous guidance at 25,000 boepd.Rationalizing exploration portfolio to lower capexlast_img read more