France, US conclude Bois Belleau 100 amphibious cooperation

first_img France, US conclude Bois Belleau 100 amphibious cooperation View post tag: US Marines February 28, 2018 Share this article View post tag: BPC Tonnerre View post tag: Bois Belleau 100 US sailors and marines have concluded two months of cooperation with their French counterparts aboard the French Navy amphibious assault ship BPC Tonnerre.Approximately 150 US personnel spent the last two months working together with the French task group composed of BPC Tonnerre and Horizon-class air defense destroyer FS Chevalier Paul in the US 5th Fleet area of operations.The deployment, dubbed “Bois Belleau 100”, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood, where the US Marine Corps’ 5th and 6th Infantry Regiments fought alongside French forces for a strategic stretch located in France’s Belleau Wood.One of the first orders issued to the French Amphibious Task Group (ATG) was to participate in Alligator Dagger – TF 51/5’s premier integrated combat proficiency training for subordinate units entering the US Central Command’s (CENTCOM) area of responsibility.Specifically, this bilateral training (held off the coast of Djibouti) enables military forces to hone their skills in amphibious operations, air defense, non-combatant and medical casualty evacuations, replenishment-at-sea, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel as well as combat marksmanship and visit, board, search and seizure evolutions.The US-French team followed up with a series of exercises throughout the Middle East, aimed at building capacity and capability with regional militaries including Kuwait and United Arab Emirates (UAE).“The deployment started with amphibious operations in Djibouti during Alligator Dagger and moved to the Arabian Gulf with Alligator Thunder,” said US Marine Maj. Christopher Warnagiris, operations officer for the US landing force command element aboard Tonnerre. “We ended with an exercise in Kuwait during Alligator Lightning, where we employed SPMAGTF-CR-CC to conduct our first tactical use of the MV-22 Osprey aboard a French ship, which entailed deck landings and amphibious raid exercises.”Warnagiris noted that while there were many firsts during the deployment, the inclusion of a new R2LM team was one of the highlights. Although it was designed to support US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces or allied ships to perform en route emergency care, the R2LM team offered critical care capabilities during the multilateral exercises aboard Tonnerre.“We successfully integrated with the French medical team and proved that we can conduct maritime operations on a NATO-allied vessel and various medical and amphibious operations,” said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Magajna, a R2LM emergency medicine physician aboard Tonnerre. “Even though we did business a little differently and experienced a language barrier in the beginning, we managed to work through the challenges quickly.”“Working with the US Marines and Sailors aboard the Tonnerre was a very good experience,” said French Navy Second Master Marine LePage with the information management cell aboard Tonnerre. “It wasn’t easy at first because of the language barrier, but it was great because we discovered a lot and used the occasion to improve our English and learn from each other. If I have another opportunity, I’d really appreciate working with the US again. The Tonnerre deployment was a great time and it was nice to work with the US.”The ATG operated in the CENTCOM area of responsibility from November 2017 to February 2018. The Tonnerre’s Air Task Group reported to Commander, US 5th Fleet and was under tactical control of TF 51/5 but also remained flexible to conduct multiple missions simultaneously in support of France’s national tasking operations as required.center_img View post tag: French Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today France, US conclude Bois Belleau 100 amphibious cooperation View post tag: US Navy View post tag: FS Chevalier Paul Authoritieslast_img read more

Dutch schemes’ recovery stalls as funding plateaus at 109%

first_imgMercer said that the coverage ratio drawn from market rates – 107% at the end of August – hadn’t changed either in the past few months.The consultancy noted that the 30-years swap rate – Dutch schemes’ main criterion for discounting liabilities – had fallen by five basis points to 1.47%, leading to a 0.8% rise in liabilities.Aon, which took the overall swap rates into account, came out with a liabilities increase of 1%.Frank Driessen, executive chairman at Aon Retirement and Investment, said the stalling recovery further increased the pressure for a new pensions system in the Netherlands, in particular because rights cuts at the large pension funds were still a possibility in 2020 and 2021.Dutch pension assets increased by approximately 0.3% on average in August, Aon reported.According to Mercer, based on the MSCI World index, worldwide holdings of developed markets equity gained 1.9% during the month, aided by a 50% hedge of the dollar, the pound and the yen. Without such a currency hedge, the increase would have been 1.6%.The pensions adviser reported a 2.1% decline from emerging markets stock as a consequence of unrest in Turkey, Argentina and Brazil. Euro-denominated government bonds lost 0.6%, while and corporate bonds edged up by 0.1%. Pressure is growing in the Netherlands for unions, companies and the government to agree on pensions reform as benefit cuts are a growing prospect at several schemes.The average funding ratio of Dutch pension funds failed to improve in August, stalling at 109% according to consultancy groups Mercer and Aon Hewitt.Both companies reported in monthly data updates that a limited increase of liabilities in the wake of a drop in interest rates had been almost fully compensated by returns on investments.Last May, Dutch schemes’ funding – calculated as the average of pension funds’ monthly coverage ratios, with the application of the ultimate forward rate, during the past 12 months – stood at 108% on average.last_img read more

Forest City man charged with threatening people with a rifle

first_imgFOREST CITY — The preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a Forest City man accused of threatening people with a rifle last week. Court documents say three men from Fertile went to the home of 41-year-old Joshua Winders late Thursday afternoon, with two of the men being allowed inside the home with the third waiting in a vehicle. Winders allegedly grabbed a .22-caliber rifle and pointed it at the men inside his home, then followed them outside and fired multiple shots into the ground while yelling at the men to get off of his property, located in the 2000 block of River Road. Winders allegedly threatened to “spray” their vehicle if they did not leave. The men drove away from Winders’ residence, calling 9-1-1, saying they feared for their safety. Winders was later arrested and charged with intimidation with a dangerous weapon with the intent to injure or provoke fear, possession of a firearm by a felon, and three counts of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon. Winders is due in court for his preliminary hearing this Thursday. If convicted of all the charges, Winders could face up to 21 years in prison.last_img read more

Tim Paine hints at quitting limited-overs formats to prolong Test career

first_imgAustralian cricket is going through a difficult phase following the ball-tampering saga that rocked the nation in March this year.The ball-tampering episode led to the sacking of two of their top players, Australia were then thrashed by England in the ODI series and now their senior most player is unsure about his future as far as limited-overs formats are concerned.Tim Paine, who took over as captain after Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were handed substantial bans in the ball-tampering scandal, has now hinted at leaving the shorter formats to prolong his Test career.After Tests, Paine was also named the one day international captain for the England tour but the Aussie endured a torrid time failing to inspire the side.5th ODI: Jos Buttler century helps England whitewash AustraliaAustralia were beaten black and blue by the Eoin Morgan-led side and suffering a 5-0 whitewash in the ODI series.The 33-year-old Paine was handed the role for the one-day portion of their limited-overs tour of England but chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said at the time it was probably only a stop-gap measure.The wicketkeeper, leading the side while regular captain Steve Smith serves a 12-month ban following a ball-tampering scandal, scored just 36 runs in the series as England outclassed the World Cup holders with their powerful batting lineup.FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FULL COVERAGE | FIXTURES | POINTS TABLEFellow wicketkeeper Alex Carey played the final two games in Durham and at Old Trafford, but only as a batsman, and has been appointed vice-captain for the sole Twenty20 match against England on June 27 and their T20 tour of Zimbabwe in July.advertisementAaron Finch is Australia’s T20 captain.”All I know is I was coming here to do this series and I’ve said a few times before, when you are my age it’s a bit foolish to look ahead,” Paine told Cricket Australia’s website.”Certainly, I am really looking forward to captaining the Test team and continuing how I have been playing in that format.”But where I go with the rest of my cricket is something we will discuss in the coming weeks.”Paine was thrust into the Test captaincy role after Australian cricket was rocked by the ball-tampering incident in South Africa in March, creating a leadership vacuum with both Smith and his deputy David Warner handed one-year suspensions.He was then also surprisingly given the captaincy for the series in England, with Finch given the vice-captaincy.Paine, however, said his struggles with the bat in England had been tough.”Its been difficult, you play cricket to do well and this series I haven’t done that,” Paine, whose highest score in the series was 15, added. “I haven’t played anywhere near as well as I would have liked to.”That happens and it’s certainly not through a lack of effort, I am trying my guts out and working really hard, I have just had one of those series.”I started off poorly and couldn’t get it back on track.”(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more