Bahamas, March 27, 2017 – Nassau – A total of 40 Marines detached to the operational and administrative departments within the Royal Bahamas Defence Force recently completed the Advanced Combat Shooting course, encompassing a series of training exercises in Operational Planning, Civil Disturbance and Riot Tactics.
In a collaborative effort to enhance the weaponry and tactical skill level of the men and women within the Defence Force, the Marine Forces North (MARFORNORTH) of the United States Marine Corps with the coordination of the Defence Force Commando Squadron Department conducted the three week long training operation. Leading Seaman Quincy King and Able Seaman Enoch Smith, both attached to the Commando Squadron Department served as local course facilitators and instructors, along with Subject Matter Experts from MARFORNORTH.
Subject areas integrated for the duration of the course instruction included Advanced Shooting, Riot Control Drills and Introduction to Close Quarter Battle. Personnel participating with the training exercises were from Commando Squadron, Administration, Headquarters, Military Police & Force Protection, Harbour Patrol Unit, Port Security and the Squadron Departments.
Culminating the training exercises, was a graduation ceremony held on the Coral Harbour base to award the participants for their achievement. Congratulatory remarks and well wishes were received from Lieutenant General Rex McMillian, Commander, Marine Forces Reserve; and Commander Marine Forces North during the brief ceremony. Captain Clyde Sawyer, Captain Coral Harbor also congratulated the award recipients for their exemplary performance and extended gratitude to the United States Embassy for allowing their Military branches to provide stellar training to members of the Defence Force. He also stated, that the extensive training the graduates received is all in an effort of creating a safer Bahamas.
Captain Tellis Bethel, who leads the Force as Commander Defence Force (Acting) was pleased that the training fits into one of the strategic campaigns of the Force known as Operation Transformation, that is intent on enhancing the leadership ability, as professional and technical skills of the men and women to achieve excellence in every conceivable area.
Additional certificates were also presented to those participants that performed with distinction during the training phases. Woman Marine Alexis Strachan earned the award for Best Shooter and Marine Seaman DeCordre Glinton earned the Honour Graduate Award.
RBDF Photo one shows: Graduates, local course facilitators and instructors, along with Subject Matter Experts from MARFORNORTH at the graduation ceremony of the Advanced Combat Shooting course at the Defence Force Coral Harbour Base.
RBDF Photo two shows: Woman Marine Alexis Strachan receiving the award for Best Shooter at the graduation ceremony of the Advanced Combat Shooting course at the Defence Force Coral Harbour Base.
RBDF Photo three shows: Marine Seaman DeCordre Glinton receiving the Honour Graduate Award at the Advanced Combat Shooting course at the Defence Force Coral Harbour Base.
Omicron results in 267,000 case record for USA, eclipsing even Delta
By Dana Malcolm
#USA, December 31, 2021 – The US has broken its record for most daily coronavirus cases with a massive 267,000 cases recorded on Tuesday. The information was courtesy of data prepared by the New York Times about infection rates.
The Omicron variant now accounts for more than half of the cases in the country.
Information the Times released said, “The country is averaging more than 260,000 new cases a day, surpassing the peak levels from last winter. Infection rates are especially high in parts of the Northeast and Midwest. Though breakthrough infections are common with Omicron, scientists say vaccinated people, especially those who have received booster shots, have protection against severe cases and death.”
Despite the steep increase there is a silver lining. The same data that shows the increase also shows that hospitalizations and deaths remain at a steady rate and that rate is much lower than variants like Delta.
Amidst the drastic increase the Centers for Disease Control has slashed its recommendations for quarantine days in half, after which a COVID patient may leave quarantine without testing. There has been much controversy surrounding the issue with accusations of capitalism being slung toward the entity.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky defended the decision saying, “What we do know is about 85 percent to 90 percent of viral transmission happens in those first five days, which is why we really want people to stay home during that period of time.”
She said masks should be worn for five days after quarantine to prevent the final 10 per cent to 15 per cent of possible transmission.
Walensky did not explain the efficiency of a 10 quarantine vs the new five day quarantine or say if this was expected to lead to an uptick in cases.
Deadly Salad Mix Recall in US; TCI seems unaffected
By Shanieka Smith
#December 24, 2021 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating an outbreak related to packaged salads that have killed about three people, and 22 have been hospitalised due to fears over Listeria infection.
Recalls were made in Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Indiana, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, and Massachusetts.
The brands recalled are Fresh Express, Bowl & Basket, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh from the Field, and Wellsley Farms Organic.
The CDC advised that anyone who has purchased the recalled items should discard them and properly sanitise their refrigerators to avoid contracting the associated bacteria called listeria.
Listeria may cause headaches, stiff neck, confusion, and fever.
Local grocer, Sunny Foods confirmed that the recall does not impact his store and it may be the same for others in country.
The TCI Government had not replied up to news time to a query about whether the recall affects this market.
TC Reef Fund gives a Financial & Projects Report
By Shanieka Smith
#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, the local environmental non-profit, announced a successful fiscal year. Approximately $114,058 dollars was raised in 2021. The expenses of the organization, however, outweighed the revenues. For the fiscal year, it was about $128,984 dollars.
The largest source of revenue came from donations designated for specific projects. Nearly half of the fiscal year’s revenue came from individual donations and memberships. Don Stark, Chairman of the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, said the ongoing success of fund-raising contributed to hiring their first full-time Executive Director in 2021, Mrs. Alizée Zimmermann.
“I have been very happy to become a major part of the TCRF as the Executive Director,” said Alizée Zimmermann. “TCRF has accomplished so much since 2010 and I hope that we will continue to be a leader in environmental advocacy not only in the TCI, but also regionally. We are already considered a regional leader in the battle with SCTLD. I am also happy to say that in 2021 we have expanded our volunteer network to over 100 residents who donate their time to assist TCRF with our various projects. We could not accomplish the things we do without the support we receive from these generous volunteers.”
Since 2010, when the organization was founded, $1.4 million dollars have been raised without the government’s contribution. About $924,000, which is, 67 per cent of the money, has been used to support environmental projects in the TCI.
Its largest project, which started in 2012, is installing and maintaining dive and snorkel boat moorings. Stark said the project’s cost is now at 287 thousand dollars.
“That’s $287,000 that TCRF has essentially donated to the TCIG, since once we install a mooring in a marine park, it becomes Government property,” said Stark.
He added that over $43, 000 had been invested in education and outreach programs.
Alizée Zimmermann, Executive Director of the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, said they expanded their volunteer network to over 100 residents.
The Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease project, which dominated the expenses, came to almost $37,000. Also, moorings which were over $24,000 accounted for a large part of the project expense.
The third-largest project expense was the Smith’s Reef Rehabilitation and Improvements project. It was about $10,585 dollars for the year.
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