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Brazilian Army Officers Fulfill Unprecedented Mission in the Central African Republic

first_imgBy Taciana Moury/Diálogo April 23, 2019 Major Felipe Biasi Filho, Captain Pedro Henrique de Araujo Bezerra Mendes, and Captain Albemar Rodrigues Lima, all from the Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese), are part of an unprecedented Brazilian mission to the Central African Republic (CAR). The officers are part of a group of 180 service members from 12 nations, who work at the European Training Mission in the Central African Republic or EUTM RCA (RCA being the French acronym for the African country). EUTM RCA, with headquarters in Bangui, the country’s capital, is a peacekeeping operation that works in coordination with the United Nations Integrated Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic and other international and nongovernmental organizations. The goal is to overhaul the defense department and national security through planning and execution of consulting, training, and operational training activities for the Central African Armed Forces (FACA, in French). “In general, our function is to support the development of FACA’s capabilities, to make it self-sustainable to fulfill legal requirements in the defense and security department,” said Maj. Biasi. The Brazilian officers arrived in the African country in January 2019, and will remain there until January 2020. For administrative purposes, EB service members are linked to the Portuguese contingent. A bilateral Brazil-Portugal agreement approved by the European Parliament secured Brazil’s participation in the mission. History The conflict in CAR started in December 2012. The predominantly Muslim Seleka—a coalition of armed groups from the north of the country, whose name means alliance, in Sango, the region’s creole language—conducted an offensive operation toward the capital and assumed power. Violent incidents led to the emergence of Anti-Balak, Christian allegedly self-defense groups, which aggravated confrontations. EUTM RCA activities are based on three pillars: strategic advice, to aid planning and execution of activities at the Armed Forces General Staff and Defense Ministry levels; educational, to train FACA’s officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs); and operational training to plan and execute training for segments of FACA units. Within this organization, Brazilian service members occupy strategic advisory positions with Capt. Albemar, and educational advisory positions with Maj. Biasi and Capt. Pedro Mendes. “Capt. Albemar performs logistics advisory functions through the implementation of planning and participation in meetings with the Armed Forces General Staff, the Ministry of Defense, and logistics companies within the country to find solutions and promote the strengthening of the sector,” said Maj. Biasi to Diálogo. “I teach intelligence courses and Capt. Pedro Mendes is in charge of International Humanitarian Law and English,” he said. The officers teach their respective areas in officer training classes, short-term internships, and refresher classes for officers and NCOs who are part of FACA’s Territorial Infantry battalions. At EUTM RCA’s base, the official language is English, used for internal documents and daily briefings. However, French is the language for courses, meetings, reports, and interactions with agencies and local institutions. Preparations for the mission took place in two phases. The first was under the coordination of the Land Forces Command, an EB unit with headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. Participants underwent psychological tests, among others, and received all the material for individual protection, uniforms, and medicine needed for the trip. In December 2018, the second phase took place at the Portuguese Army’s 1st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group in Queluz city, Lisbon. The unit prepares the Portuguese contingent. “We receive instructions on the current situation in CAR and on the specifics of EUTM RCA. We do target practice with individual weapons (rifle and pistol) from the Portuguese Army, combat first aid and psychological first aid training, and attend French classes,” said Maj. Biasi. Challenge According to Brazilian service members, the unprecedented nature of the experience was the main challenge to overcome. “We must keep the high standards of professionalism and dedication of Brazilian service members who were part of a UN [United Nations] peacekeeping operation,” said Maj. Biasi. “The fact that this activity has a different characteristic from what we are used to with the UN also makes it difficult.” “There is no room for failure; After all, it’s important to be able to contribute to the development of the armed forces of a country that’s temporarily unstable,” said Capt. Albemar. “The best part is to see the initial results of this work on site, with the assurance that this effort contributed, directly or indirectly, to save lives.” Capt. Pedro Mendes pointed out that the sacrifices and risks related to this type of activity are real, but the magnitude of the mission is motivating. “We can honor one of the principles of our profession, which is to avoid war. We help a country devastated by civil war and with serious social issues,” he said. “To be a peace instructor in one of the countries with the worst HDI [Human Development Index] in the world is, without a doubt, one of the most noble missions I was assigned in my life.” The officer also highlighted the importance of Brazilian service members working with different armies worldwide. “This is a way of expressing Brazilian military national power, showing that we are on equal footing with other countries in the world,” said Capt. Pedro Mendes. “The professional exchange enables the training of EB’s human resources.”last_img read more

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Thai police arrest gunman for killing ex-wife at shopping mall

first_imgTopics : A man killed his ex-wife and wounded another person at a shopping center in Bangkok on Tuesday, police said, just 10 days after a mass shooting at another mall in Thailand’s northeast.The man had gone into a beauty clinic at Century The Movie Plaza mall where his ex-wife worked and opened fire, killing her and wounding a bystander, Colonel Kissana Pattanacharoen said.The gunman was arrested while on the run in another province, police said on Wednesday morning. He was charged with premeditated murder and illegal gun possession, and three other charges.The shooting came with Thailand on edge after the shooting rampage earlier in the month.On Feb. 8 and 9, a soldier killed at least a dozen people at the Terminal 21 shopping center in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima. He had earlier killed his commanding officer, other soldiers at his base and several people at a Buddhist temple.Gun ownership is relatively common in Thailand, with about 10 million privately owned firearms in the country in 2016, according to Gunpolicy.org, or one for about every seven citizens.Gun violence killed 1,729 people in 2016, about 10 times the rate per 100,000 as in neighboring Malaysia, the organization said.Most violence involving firearms stem from personal disputes or robberies. Mass shootings or killings in public spaces are rare other than in the far south, where a decades-old insurgency persists.last_img read more

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Learn From the Pros: Reverse Engineer an After Effects Template

first_imgHow To Change the Frame Rate of an After Effects TemplateOne of the things you might want to change in your purchased template is the frame rate. Many templates are created at 29.97 frames per second, which is fine for US customers, but if you’re in Europe you might want to adjust them to the PAL 25pfps. An easy way to do this all in one go is to download and install a free script from redefinery.com, called rd_compsetter. This is actually one of 50 free scripts you can grab in this bundle.To install a script, simply drag and drop the rd_compsetter.jsx file into and restart After Effects if it’s already open.Mac = Applications > Adobe After Effects CC 2015 > ScriptsWindows = Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CC 2015 \Support Files\ScriptsTo run the script, first select all of the folders in the project panel and then hit File > Script > rd_compsetterAdjust the frame rate to whatever you need it to be, and every composition in the project will be updated at once. If you have a template that also includes some video elements, and not just After Effects graphics animations, then you might want to use the interpret footage function as well. What You Can Learn Breaking Down an After Effects ProjectOne of the benefits of breaking down another motion graphic artist’s project file is that you can not only learn from what they have done, but the way in which they have done it.For example, they might have a shortcut to achieving an effect you’ve been taking the long way around with. You can also learn how to structure and organize your projects in a more professional manner, or at the very least you can learn to replicate specific techniques with ease.How to Reveal the Hidden MagicBefore we go any further you’ll want to make sure any investigation work you do – which might also involve messing things up by accident – is done in a duplicate of your project. So just make sure you save a copy of the original project file for safe keeping.One of the good things about RocketStock’s After Effects projects is that all the inner workings are normally hidden from view. So for simple use — update the logo, change the text, adjust the colours — it’s very straight forward. But for our purposes, we need to see what’s really happening under the hood.To do this you simply need to click on the ‘Shy Guy’ icon to reveal every layer that has been set to hidden by the creator. The image before shows the project as it is when you originally open it.As you can see, this reveals everything that’s going on to make this lower third function. Another useful keyboard shortcut to use is ‘U’ which reveals all of the animated parameters in a selected layer. Even more helpfully a quick double tap of ‘UU’ will reveal all animated layers in the composition. In the image below, you can see all the animated properties for the first layer. Understand the ConnectionsAnother useful thing to check out, in order to understand how all of the compositions are connected and working together, is to open up the ‘composition mini flow chart’ from the tool bar in the top of the timeline for a quick view, or click on the main flowchart panel via Window > Flowchart. Learning Point – Fonts Matter MostThe most obvious thing that you can learn from looking at someone else’s motion graphics work is that good design is a LOT about choosing a great font.In these lower third layouts in the lower thirds package Venue, you can see two fonts at work in the capitalized title and lower case subtitle; Monserrat and Myriad Pro. The take away here is that although there are two fonts at work, they actually look very similar, which helps to keep the design looking clean and the legibility high, making it easy to read.A good design principle is to have one font and vary the weighting (bold, italic, thin etc) to create visual contrast, rather than chucking in too many random fonts. Although sometimes you are simply lumbered with the clients terrible font and have to make do. If you’re after some free fonts for motion design, this previous PremiumBeat post is a good place to start.If you’re looking to learn more about what makes for good design – including font selection, layout, and much more, then I would highly recommend this series on lynda.com, which breaks down some simple design situations and unpacks the essential principles. Absolutely worth a watch.Ever reverse-engineered someone else’s After Effects work? Share your experience in the comments below! If you’re looking to improve your After Effects abilities, an easy way to learn is to break down an After Effects Template.Whether you are learning After Effects for the first time, or an experienced user trying to improve your skills, one way to learn from other professional motion graphics artists is to break down their work and see how they’re making the magic happen. Now, you can do this with a keen eye and a lot of experimentation as you try to mimic reference material — such as a cool trailer, title sequence or animation — but you still need to know what you’re doing in order to recreate their techniques.An easier way is to simply buy a copy of their work and open up their After Effects project file and see exactly how they did it. How can you do this? Through sites like RocketStock.com, where you can get free and paid After Effects templates like the one below.last_img read more

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