The campaign against Daesh is one that our Armed Forces can be extremely proud of. Eliminating the threat from terrorism is critical to our security at home and abroad. Our troops have made huge contributions to the fight against Daesh, helping end its tyranny in large parts of Iraq and Syria. Only by defeating this evil and barbaric group for good will we reduce the deadly threat they pose to us. I am pleased that today those who have bravely fought against such untold evil will get the recognition they deserve. Reflecting the changing nature of warfare I am pleased to announce that the medal will now recognise those making a vital contribution to Op Shader from outside the conventional area of Operations, for example those Reaper pilots taking life and death decisions from back here in the UK. Since 2014 the UK Armed Forces have taken a leading role in the counter-Daesh Global Coalition. The RAF has so far conducted over 1,700 strikes against Daesh terrorist targets and units from across the Armed Forces have helped train over 77,000 Iraqi Security Forces in infantry skills, counter-IED, engineering, and medical expertise. As a result, their capacity to defeat Daesh has increased considerably, contributing to the success of this campaign.Despite recent success over the last year the operation continues and fast jets continue to fly out of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and remotely-piloted Reaper aircraft continue to provide support to the Syrian Democratic Forces on the ground who are clearing the last remaining pockets of Daesh terrorists in Eastern Syria.Currently around 1,400 personnel still play an important role in the Global Coalition’s counter-Daesh operations in the wider region. Sailors, soldiers and airmen received the Operational Service Medal Iraq and Syria, also know as the Operation Shader medal, from Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. It is the first operational service medal to be created since 2003 and has its own distinct ribbon and clasp.The Defence Secretary also confirmed today that Her Majesty the Queen has approved the extension of the eligibility criteria for the medal to new groups of personnel. It means that the medal will also recognise those who have made a significant contribution from outside the conventional area of operations in Iraq and Syria, including civilians.Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
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CERTIFICATION PROCESS Surfing is alive and well, says Jamaica Surfing Association president Billy Wilmot, when recently quizzed on the present status of the sport locally. Wilmot told The Gleaner that over the last year the increase in the number of youngsters gravitating to the sports has more than tripled, and the association intends to make the most of the moment. He is also pushing for the country’s own coaching certification course, as the present requirement is to go through the Australian Surfing Association (ASA) to obtain a surf coach certification. “The Jamaica Surfing Association has been revitalised, as a lot of young surfers have entered the sport over the last three years; also a huge number of ‘learn to surf’ people, both male and female, are taking to surf lessons,” Wilmot said. “Usually, we used to cater for five or six surfers a week coming for lessons. Now we have about 15 to 25 surfers a week, so when we host competitions there is an increase in amateur surfers, and as a result our professional competitions also run amateur divisions for the past two years. “These young surfers are not at the professional level to be in competition with the experienced ones, so we had to include an amateur division, and it is not based on age but skill level,” he commented. In order to take advantage of the present local interest in surfing, Wilmot is working to establish the nation’s first certified coaching course. “The certification process for coaches is establish by the ASA. In order for us to access that, it requires they pay U$100 a year to maintain and upgrade their status,” he explained “So we realised it is in the interest of the Jamaica Surfing Association to establish a coaching course, one that we administrate and accredit here for first-year courses. “Eventually, we want our coaches to have the capacity to seek and attain international standards and have careers as international surf coaches. The same thing applies for our judges. We are looking at establishing through the Jamaica Surfing Association some Jamaica standardisation so we can take advantage of this influx of beginner surfers,” added Wilmot. “We are looking at a feasibility study for importing an international standard coach. All this will be included in a four-year development plan we are putting together to submit to the Olympic Solidarity Fund. But the time is ripe and it’s the brightest we have seen it (surfing) for many years,” said Wilmot. [email protected]
Drogba most recently played for Phoenix Rising in the United Soccer League.“I wanna thank all the players, managers, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.“If anyone tells you your dreams are too big, just say thank you and work harder and smarter to turn them into a reality.”Drogba played club football in six different countries in total, with the majority of his success coming in France and England.He won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2006-07 and 2009-10, netting 104 times in the English top flight in total, and also scored a dramatic late equaliser when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the Champions League final six years ago.Drogba’s last game was Phoenix’s 1-0 loss to Louisville City in the USL Cup final on November 8.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Drogba spent the last four years of his career playing in North America © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / Christian PetersenLONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 22 – Ivory Coast and Chelsea great Didier Drogba announced his retirement on Wednesday after a 20-year career.The 40-year-old scored 164 goals in 381 appearances for Chelsea, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2012 Champions League, while he is also Ivory Coast’s all-time record goalscorer with 65.