Higher education in America was once a luxury for the privileged. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln changed that when he signed the Morrill Act, which established the nation’s land-grant universities and opened doors of higher education to more Americans. The act directed funding to agriculture, engineering and mechanical arts education, helping build the infrastructure that has kept us strong and helps feed the world today. This year we mark the 150th anniversary of the land-grant university system. We celebrate the advances the act provided. Today the U.S. has a safe, secure food supply, a well-educated population, vibrant centers of innovation and discovery, and hands-on local education enriches citizens’ lives.The act also helped grow a dynamic, successful middle class in America that is the backbone of our society, workforce and future.New challenges aheadEveryday we face new challenges. The population is growing, but available land to grow food is not. Our environment is suffering, and ways to protect it must be found. America is slipping behind the world in science education, and higher education must be openly available now more than ever for us to compete. The act embraced by President Lincoln 150 years ago is more important today than the day it was signed. When delivering the Justin Morrill Lecture last week at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities conference, Kenneth G. Cassman, professor of agronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, outlined the perfect storm of problems that lies ahead. He contended that rising fuel and food costs reduces spendable income, which causes education levels to decrease and birth rates to rise, creating a cycle that threatens our ability to feed people. Solutions to many of these challenges will be found in the classrooms, labs and programs of land-grant universities.At the University of Georgia, we are breeding better crops that can produce higher yields with less water and less environmental impact. We are working to find a dependable supply of bio-based fuels to help solve our energy problems. And we are discovering ways to produce food using fewer chemicals and fertilizers.The legacy and the futureThe legacy of the Morrill Act is evident across generations of American families and the landscape of our agricultural promise. Our system is the envy of many. Struggling countries often look squarely to our land-grant system as the solution to the problems that plague them. From Eastern Europe to Africa and Afghanistan, we’ve helped introduce the public educational system to promote a brighter future for us all. We must now greet the next 150 years with the same vigor and dedication we gave the past 150 years. It requires renewed commitment to reliable funding, sound policy and partnerships that got us this far. While today’s problems are more complex, so are the tools and technologies available to solve them. As we celebrate our successful past and remember the wisdom of President Lincoln, we will keep our sights set on developing the new innovations that will ensure a food-secure future. (J. Scott Angle is dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and chairman of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly.)
If not for the motion of the rotor blades, it would seem that the U.S. Air Force CH-47 Chinook helicopter is floating through air, frozen in a majestic pose. On land, four military personnel attach the thick chains to suspend a 3.26-ton box from the belly of the aircraft. The men check the couplings to make sure everything is in order, and only then does the Chinook take flight with its precious cargo. This time, the trip will be brief. In only minutes, the box will return to Honduras’ Colonel José Enrique Soto Cano Air Base, headquarters of the Honduran Air Force, the country’s Air Force Academy and U.S. Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-Bravo). This is an operational demonstration for the Pre-positioned Expeditionary Assistance Kits (PEAK), a modular system designed to provide disaster response teams with sustainable, essential services, such as potable water, communications and electricity. It can enable situational awareness during the first 72 hours after an earthquake, a hurricane, a landslide or any other emergency situation. AN IDEA BECOMES REALITY PEAK originated in an initiative by U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Science, Technology and Experimentation Division to create a system that could strengthen the capacity of partner nations in Latin America to respond to natural disasters. The idea became a reality with funding from the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the technical assistance of National Defense University’s Center for Technology and National Security Policy, based in Washington, D.C. Elmer L. Roman, the oversight executive for building partnerships in the Rapid Fielding Directorate at the OSD, explained that the department supports the civilian agencies that offer aid to other countries when natural disasters occur. PEAK enables the U.S. Department of Defense to more effectively assist agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department when they receive requests for collaboration from other countries. The concept, which was launched in March 2010, focused on the lessons learned during the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. Haiti’s earthquake inspired the idea of designing a system that could be pre-positioned in regions prone to natural disasters, such as Central America, or could be sent in advance when, for example, it becomes known that a powerful hurricane is going to strike a particular area. IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE PEAK can provide assistance to disaster response teams during the first three days following a natural disaster. During this critical time frame, a series of common factors come together, such as interrupted electrical service, contaminated water supplies and communications problems, among others. PEAK can provide smartphones and enable responders to take photos, record audio clips and write text messages marked with global positioning coordinates, all of which is sent to a centralized server over a Broadband Global Area Network. “The system enables first responders to collect information that will serve as a guide for the larger response,” said Phil Stockdale, the technical manager in charge of the project on behalf of the National Defense University. From anywhere in the world, authorized users can conduct event searches through the user-friendly Tactical Ground Reporting (TiGR) interface, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the same agency responsible for the beginnings of the Internet 40 years ago. TiGR marks the location on a satellite map where the responders captured the information. In less than a year, the team headed by Stockdale designed, built, and tested the PEAK system in the Central American country of Honduras. The first version underwent rigorous testing in February 2011 at JTF-Bravo, thanks to the interest showed by the base commanders and the nation’s government, which sent personnel with experience in emergency situations. In late August and early September 2011, after implementing the modifications suggested by the operators of the system, the technical group returned to JTF-Bravo for the final field test. “The PEAK system aims to build partner nations’ capacities,” said Lieutenant Colonel John Ferrell, operations manager for the project with SOUTHCOM, who described the cooperation between JTF-Bravo, the Honduran Armed Forces, and Honduras’ federal emergency management agency to be “paramount.” During the PEAK demonstration in early September 2011, Roman announced that the system’s first two kits will be positioned at Soto Cano Air Base. PEAK supports humanitarian aid, disaster relief, countering illicit trafficking and capacity building of partner nations in Central America. It will be used by JTF-Bravo’s Central America Survey and Assessment Team when circumstances require it and when any of the seven Central American countries requests assistance, according to Lieutenant Colonel Keith Pritchard, U.S. Army Forces Battalion Commander at JTF-Bravo. By Dialogo January 01, 2012 associate the JTF Bravo operation with the emergency of hurricane Mitch Oct-Nov 1998. I was unaware that that term was still existing, whose headquarters is the Republic of Honduras. In those years in Guatemala its counterpart was called Operation Strong Support and there was a complete platoon involved and thus they carried out the mitigation. May these lines help to remember and thank those who at the time left a mark and gave a breath of hope to the most affected communities of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Guatemala.
D-Generation X, the bad boys and girl of the Attitude Era and influential force during that period, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2019 on April 6.Those being inducted include Triple H, Shawn Michaels, the late Chyna, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac, representing the key members of both versions of DX. BREAKING: As first reported by @espn, D-Generation X are the first inductees in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2019. https://t.co/rIPCM14ewY— WWE (@WWE) February 18, 2019 The faction came together in 1997 with Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Chyna forming the original trio. Together, the group pushed boundaries with its controversial antics in comparison to what was previously accepted on television. But this was a new era and their crotch-chopping and “suck it” attitude caught on with mainstream pop culture, making them into bigger stars while helping grow the WWE audience at a key time.“Being a part of DX remains one of the highlights of my career, and it is truly an honor to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame alongside my closest friends,” said Paul “Triple H” Levesque in a press release statement. “We now have just one question for the WWE Hall of Fame: Are You Ready!?”Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearD-Generation X proved to be innovative not only with their catchphrases and bigger-than-life personas, but also in creating memorable moments such as invading WCW Nitro back in 1998 during the “Monday Night Wars.”The faction would go to just about any lengths to raise some hell and entertain whether it was showing off their nether regions while wishing the audience a Merry Christmas to wearing a spit guards in front of a saliva-spraying Sgt. Slaughter and impersonating Vince and Shane McMahon. Despite all of their shenanigans, DX was a force to be reckoned with inside the ring, winning nearly every major championship and becoming a significant part of the Attitude Era, the most-watched period in WWE history. The WWE Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 6 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY as part of WrestleMania Week.