By Dialogo June 08, 2012 The United States is providing patrol boats and communications systems to nine Eastern Caribbean nations as part of a maritime security assistance initiative that aims to deter threats associated with transnational organized crime. A ceremony in Dominica on May 31 marked the first official delivery of the program – part of an initial package that also included similar provisions to Grenada and St. Lucia. The initiative, called Secure Seas, falls under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, a regional security partnership first announced by President Obama during the Fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009. It provides each nation with interceptor boats and associated equipment, state-of-the-art command and control communications systems and training and technical support. The Secure Seas program is being managed by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), with the goal of establishing a regional maritime security assistance partnership with Central American and Caribbean nations that protects common maritime interests, prevents terrorist and criminal exploitation of transit routes, and prevails against terrorist and transnational threats in the maritime domain of the 18 participating partner nations. The boats will improve each nation’s ability to deter illicit trafficking in the maritime environments of the eastern Pacific and the Caribbean and enhance their capabilities to respond to other threats, maritime emergencies, and natural disasters. “Our government is grateful to the United States for the gift of these two modern, interdiction vessels,” said Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. “To those who are bent on mischief… they may be able to run, but they will not be able to hide. We will catch you and subject you to the full force of the laws of Dominica.” The two Defender-class interceptor vessels delivered in Dominica are multi-mission capable platforms that can exceed speeds of 40 knots. They are ideal for law enforcement and maritime security, can also conduct search and rescue missions and are capable of towing small vessels in distress and responding to environmental or natural disasters. “I am very proud to be able to stand here today with all of you as the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Dominica join together as part of a shared security partnership to address the transnational security challenges that face us all,” said said U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Larry L. Palmer. SOUTHCOM officials expect Secure Seas deliveries and training to continue through 2012. Successive deliveries will provide similar capabilities to Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Suriname.
Joshua Barnes led every lap in winning Tuesday’s Mach-1 Sport Compact main event at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. The Boone Speedway win paid $335. At right is IMCA President Brett Root. (Photo by Buck Monson)BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 6) – Joshua Barnes put on a clinic on racing in lapped traffic Tuesday night at Boone Speedway.Then the champagne flowed as Barnes and his crew celebrated winning the Mach-1 Sport Compact championship at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.Barnes started on the pole and led all 25 circuits of a main event that ran caution-free. He was running with lapped cars by midway and negotiated traffic the last 12 times around the track with Mitch Bolton and Kimberly Abbott close behind.“We worked hard just getting better after finishing second at Super Nationals last year,” said Barnes, whose $335 win included the Speedway Motors Weekly Racing bonus. “We wanted to get better and there’s only one way to do that. We race against a lot of good drivers and there were a lot of them here tonight.”A Super Nationals record 84 Sport Compacts, from eight states, competed Tuesday. That’s 20 more than the previous mark.Bolton, Abbott and Ramsey Meyer completed the top four. Defending champion Nate Coopman was fifth.Bolton was scored second on every lap while Abbott took over third for good on lap three. Meyer took over fourth soon after and joined in the pursuit of the leader.Both Bolton and Abbott made up ground as Barnes negotiated traffic. He moved to the lower line and had a lapped car as a cushion when he crossed the stripe.“With Kimberly (Abbott) starting outside the front row, I knew she’d keep up a fast pace,” said Barnes. “I started running mid-track but once I got into lapped traffic some of those cars were running my line, so I threw it lower.”Late contact in the right rear with one of those lapped cars nearly knocked Barnes out of that line, but he got the car straight and led to the finish.Grady Shearer became the first North Dakota driver to start the Sport Compact main event at Super Nationals and finished 24th.Hard charger was Brandon Reu, who advanced 13 positions to finish 14th after winning his “B” feature.Feature results – 1. Joshua Barnes, Keokuk; 2. Mitch Bolton, Grand Junction, Colo.; 3. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, Ill.; 4. Ramsey Meyer, Pierce, Neb.; 5. Nate Coopman, Mankato, Minn.; 6. Ron Kibbe, Danville; 7. Austen Becerra, Camp Point, Ill.; 8. Jake Newsom, Sioux City; 9. Zachary Bohlmeyer, Beatrice, Neb.; 10. Dustin O’Brien Jr., Glidden; 11. Jake Benischek, Durant; 12. Corey Stapleton, Denison; 13. Luke Jackson, Sioux City; 14. Brandon Reu, Donnellson; 15. Todd Hine, Davenport; 16. Cory Peters, Spencer; 17. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, Ill.; 18. Trent Orwig, Ottumwa; 19. Brooke Fluckiger, Columbus, Neb.; 20. Terry Blowers, Waseca, Minn.; 21. Brett Marshall, Maquoketa; 22. Shaun Bangart, Chilton, Wis.; 23. Dan Markham, Murray, Neb.; 24. Grady Shearer, Fargo, N.D.; 25. Lance Mielke, Norfolk, Neb.; 26. Cody VanDusen, Atalissa; 27. Jarad Gross, Spencer; 28. Chuck Fullenkamp, West Point; 29. Nathan Chandler, Norway; 30. Luke Benischek, Durant.