Saint Mary’s College was, for the first time, included among a list of 1,220 Military Friendly schools gathered by the G.I. Jobs Magazine, according to a national press release. The list includes the top 15 percent of public and private colleges, universities, vocational and trade schools that “are doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students.” “This list is especially important now because the Post-9/11 GI Bill has given veterans virtually unlimited financial means to go to school,” Rich McCormack, G.I. Jobs publisher, said in the release. “Veterans can now enroll in any school, provided they’re academically qualified. So schools are clamoring for them like never before. Veterans need a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated. The Military Friendly Schools list is that trusted friend.” The list is the culmination of research that began last April and included G.I. Jobs polling more than 7,000 schools across the nation. The criteria was developed in cooperation with an Academic Advisory Board whose members include educators from schools such as Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, Colorado State University, Dallas County Community College and Embry Riddle. Members also include Keith Wilson, the director of education service for the Department of Veterans Affairs; Michele Spires, the American Council on Education’s assistant director of military programs; Janet Swandol, associate director for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP); and Derek Blumke, president of Student Veterans of America. “The Military Friendly Schools list is the gold standard in letting veterans know which schools will offer them the greatest opportunity, flexibility and overall experience,” Blumke said. One crucial criterion is financial aid programs offered by the school to veterans. For the second consecutive year, Saint Mary’s is participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program that was created with the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Program provides students with up to $20,000 toward tuition and fees in addition to the benefits they receive as part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Unlike last year’s limit of five students, Saint Mary’s now accepts an unlimited number of eligible students. The G.I. Jobs profile of Saint Mary’s College also lists the schools offering of scholarships and tuition discounts for military dependents and the ability of military students called to active service to return without penalty under the financial benefits Saint Mary’s offers. In deciding on the top 15 percent of military friendly schools, the board took into account more than the financial aid programs offered to veterans. Other considerations were the schools’ accreditations; credit offered for military service; flexibility given in regards to evening, weekend, online and distance learning courses; and the areas of support for veterans such as full-time veteran counselors, on-campus childcare, advisors on staff to help with career placement and veterans’ clubs. Last year, Saint Mary’s received a $14,999 grant from Operation Diploma — a program designed by Purdue University’s Military Research Institution — in order to develop programs and services to upport student service members and veterans. The money has been used to train student affairs staff to address the unique issues veterans face and develop a peer support network. A spot on the top Military Friendly School list will help promote Saint Mary’s to veteran students and military dependents, which can benefit both women veterans and current Saint Mary’s students. “We believe that women veterans deserve a great educational experience and that Saint Mary’s, with its small classes and engaged faculty, offers that experience,” said Karen Johnson, vice president for student affairs. “In addition, as our other students are interacting with women vets on campus, they will benefit from the great life lessons veterans have and from the leadership skills vets bring to the table.” The list will be available in print in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools at the end of September.
By Dialogo July 01, 2011 At the Val-de-Caes Naval Base in Belem, Brazilian Marines gear up for an operation in the Amazon jungle. Soon, two groups of 12 Marines are speeding down the river to intercept several gunmen who have been hiding in a remote area of the Amazon jungle. The gunmen catch sight of the approaching Marines and jump into a go-fast boat anchored along the shore. A short chase ensues, but the gunmen’s boat is no match for the Brazilian Marines’ craft. The Marines, brandishing guns, surround the gunmen and order them to surrender. The operation, which in actuality was a training exercise, succeeded in large part due to the Fast Action Craft (FAC) employed by the Marines. Built by Val-de-Caes Naval Base engineers, FACs can maneuver along the rivers and lakes of the Amazon, dropping off troops right along the shoreline. “It makes the presence of the Navy in the Amazon region more effective, allowing us to reach the areas of the river where other kinds of ships and boats can’t go,” said Commander Cesar Leal Ferreira, head engineer of the industrial department at the naval base. The crafts have been used in riverine operations by the Brazilian Navy in support of counter-illicit trafficking, piracy, smuggling, as well as in joint operations with the Federal Police to combat drug trafficking. The FAC was originally built in the 1990s to operate as an organic boat aboard Navy ships. The crafts were updated throughout the past decade, with the newest version being unveiled at the 2011 Latin America Air & Defense conference (LAAD) in Rio de Janeiro in April. FACS – Main Features 7.55 meters Length 2.30 meters Beam 0.60 meter Draft, including keel deflector 14 people Capacity 200 horsepower Stern drive diesel engine 35 knots Maximum speed 500 liters Removable fuel tank capacity Optional Add-Ons Material – marine aluminum alloy: • Articulated canopy [reinforced, with coverage of 2 meters by 3 meters, anodized aluminum structure, acrylic cover] • Long range spotlight • Rotating police light • Ballistic armor [in Kevlar or high performance polyethylene] Reaching a maximum speed of about 35 knots, the new craft is built with an allwelded aluminum alloy hull, allowing it to have excellent maneuverability at high speed. Included among the modifications to the new model is level III ballistic armor around the troop deck, which provides protection while the bow provides support for a machine gun. The FACs are the most probable option to meet the approximate demand of 300 boats for the two services. The crafts, marketed by state-owned Empresa Gerencial de Projetos Navais, are exclusive to Brazil at this time. The Brazilian Navy’s display at LAAD 2011 represented the model’s first official introduction to representatives of the Armed Forces of friendly nations. Another great naval advance, today another major step forward in observations and communications using airborne systems was taken, SEE ON THE WWW PLATAFORMA CUADRADA DE OBSERVACIONES EN /MONOGRAFIA It would be another great step forward. AND BRAZIL IS PERFECTLY ABLE TO DEVELOP IT AND MAKE IT — I WOULD BE PLEASED TO RECEIVE AN OPINION ON THIS. SINCERELY. Major progress for the Navy. Today we were able to take another big step forward in surveillance and communications using air systems, LOOK UP WWW SQUARE PLATFORM FOR OBSERVATIONS / ANALYSIS. It would be another major step forward. AND BRAZIL CAN PERFECTLY DEVELOP AND MAKE IT- I WOULD BE VERY PLEASED TO RECEIVE YOUR OPINION. KIND REGARDS. • Support for machine gun at the bow • Side and keel deflectors [to improve stability and protect the propeller] • GPS [fixed base and removable panel, installed on the command console]