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Apr 6

A chatbot exercise in ‘BSing the BS principle’ – UW Center for an Informed Public

In a March 31 opinion in The Seattle Times about AI chatbots, University of Washington Center for an Informed Public co-founder Jevin West says that chatbots will be vectors of propaganda, make it harder to discern truth and further erode trust in institutions.

In his article, West, an Information School associate professor who studies misinformation, points to two main reasons: They are bullshitters at scale, and they are difficult, if not impossible, to reverse engineer.

West, co-author of the book Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World (Penguin Random House, 2020), continues in The Seattle Times:

I teach a class on bullshit an act, often with full confidence, intended to persuade, with no allegiance to truth. My colleague and co-instructor of the class, Carl Bergstrom, asked Galactica, Metas large language equivalent, to describe Brandolinis BS asymmetry principle: the amount of energy needed to refute BS is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it.Galacticas answer: a theory in economics [Not True] proposed by Gianni Brandolini [Not True], a professor at the University of Padua [Not True], which states that the smaller economic unit, the greater its efficiency [Not True] The falsehoods continue for another two paragraphs, but I think you get the point. It was BS-ing the BS principle. This chatbot, like others, answers right and wrong with the confidence of a car salesman.

Read Wests article, The chatbot era: Better or worse off?, in The Seattle Times.

Previous CIP-contributed columns in The Seattle Times:

PHOTO ABOVE: Center for an Informed Public co-founder Jevin West, presents a MisinfoDay 2023 workshop session at the University of Washington on March 14.

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A chatbot exercise in 'BSing the BS principle' - UW Center for an Informed Public


Apr 6

Preventing falls and staying healthy – Community Reporter

West End Healthline

By Anna Dovre, MDIf youve ever lived through a Minnesota winter, youre certainly no stranger to the penguin walk, that goofy way we all adapt to icy sidewalks by takingsmall, careful, shuffling steps. But even the emperor penguins among us have a tale (and a bruise) or two from slipping and falling in wintry conditions. As welook forward to the coming spring, we can cast our eyes with hope toward drier and safer surfaces on the horizon. However, the risk of falling does not justmelt away with the dwindling snowbanks.Falls, and the injuries that can result, are a serious medical concern, and its worth taking some time to consider your own risk factors and options for fallprevention.Frequent falls can not only have detrimental impacts on your health, they can also be expensive: from frequent emergency room visits, to overnightstays in a hospital or rehab facility. If you have fallen in the past year, have had a fall-related injury or feel unsteady when standing or walking, you should beassessed by your primary care provider. Together, you can create a strategy to decrease your risk of falls, to help you feel stronger and more confident athome and ultimately to maximize your health and independence.Many factors can impact your risk of falls, including your balance, strength, blood pressure, medications, environment and your cognitive andpsychological health. Its important to make sure you are having your vision and hearing checked regularly and staying up to date on your eyeglassesprescription. If you take medications to help you sleep or improve your mood or medications that affect your blood pressure you could also be at increasedrisk of falls. Together you and your healthcare provider can work on limiting the quantity and dosages of your medications, minimizing potential druginteractions and side effects.Exercise can reduce the risk of falls in adults 60 and older by up to 15%. In addition, multiple types of exercise can reduce the risk of fall-related brokenbones by up to 30%. Physical therapy as well as individual and group exercise classes, including Tai chi or yoga, can help identify areas of weakness andfind ways to improve your balance, strength and flexibility. The Senior LinkAge Line (800-333-2433) is a free helpline through the state of Minnesota that canconnect you with a variety of supportive resources, including local exercise programs and fall prevention classes.Home is where the heart is, they say. Its also where the hazards are. Most falls happen at home and are preventable. It is important to make sure youare using the appropriate shoes and assistive devices for you, such as canes or walkers. Certain changes in your home environment can help reduce the riskof falls: having a ramp instead of stairs; smooth, durable floors that are clear of extension cords or loose rugs; grab bars that are located near any stairs,toilets, bathtubs or showers and night lights in the bedroom and/or bathroom. With some time and effort on the front end, these changes can actually saveyou money in the long term by allowing you to remain safe and independent in your own home for a longer period of time.The winter may be behind us, but there are still plenty of hazards ahead. Paying attention to your own risk factors and making some changes in your lifecan keep you safe from falls and keep you on your feet to fully enjoy the summer ahead.Dr. Anna Dovre is a family physician at Allina Health United Family Physicians, 233 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102; 651-241-5200.

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Preventing falls and staying healthy - Community Reporter


Apr 6

A Step (Jog and Run) in the Right Direction – Humboldt State Now

Cal Poly Humboldt is one of only 149 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Exercise is Medicine On Campus (EIM-OC) Daily 5K on the campus track and other activities helped Humboldt earn silver level designation from the EIM-OC program.

We are thrilled to have received the EIM-OC Silver distinction for the fourth year in a row, said Kinesiology Professor EIM-OC advisor, Young Sub Kwon. The Universitys EIM-OC program has initiated a daily walk/jog/run 5K program on the campus track for faculty, staff, and students since 2018 to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and to make movement a part of the daily campus culture. More than 400 students, staff, and faculty have participated in this program. In addition, the Oh SNAP! Student Food Programs and EIM-OC program worked together to provide students with chocolate milk and fresh fruit following their 5K this spring semester.

EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity and encourages faculty, staff, and students to work together to improve the well-being of the campus community.

EIM-OC launched its recognition program in 2014. Schools earn gold, silver, or bronze status based on their activities. Gold-level campuses have created a referral system where campus health care providers assess student physical activity and refer students as necessary to a certified fitness professional as part of medical treatment. Silver campuses engage students, faculty, and staff in education initiatives and make movement part of the daily campus culture while bronze level campuses promote and generate awareness of the health benefits of physical activity.

Of the 149 campuses recognized this year, 73 received gold, 55 silver, and 21 bronze. All gold, silver, and bronze universities and colleges will be officially recognized on June 1 as part of the 2022 Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicines Annual Meeting.

View a complete list of recognized schools and learn more about the EIM-OC program at exerciseismedicine.org/support_page.php/eim-on-campus.

About Exercise Is MedicineThe American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) co-launched Exercise is Medicine (EIM) in 2007 with the American Medical Association. ACSM continues to manage the global health initiative, which seeks to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere of all abilities. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health, is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions and should be regularly assessed and included as part of health care. Visit ExerciseisMedicine.org for additional information.

About the American College of Sports MedicineThe ACSM is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details atacsm.org.

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A Step (Jog and Run) in the Right Direction - Humboldt State Now


Apr 6

"Resilient Ukraine" Presented the Results of Cross-Sector Crisis … – RKK ICDS

The Resilient Ukraine team presented Cross-sector cooperation: lessons for a resilient society, an analytical report based on the results of cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises in Kyiv on 28 March 2023.

The event discussed cross-sector coordination among different agencies, offices, and departments and crisis communication, as well as practical lessons for Ukraines resilience at the local, regional, and community levels.

Launching the presentation was Margus Gering, deputy head of the mission of the Republic of Estonia in Ukraine, who voiced his admiration for the Ukrainian people and highly praised the Resilient Ukraine programme.

Ukrainians exemplify resilience, he said and added that It is our pleasure that the Estonian experts have contributed to building up this strength. For six years, the Resilient Ukraine project has been reinforcing Ukraines ability to defend against hybrid threats, cyber-attacks, and disinformation campaigns, Margus Gering said. He continued to praise Ukraines unique experience in resilience which is worth studying and adopting in partner states.

The cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises were held within the Strengthening Ukraines Societal Resilience through Building Regional Expertise and Analytical Capacity in Civil Security Issues project. The project was aimed at building trust among professionals from various sectors of Ukraines society.

Ewan McDougall, the deputy coordinator for aid programs at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, highlighted the two main goals set for the cross-sector exercises: to train immediate responses to complex crises and to develop long-term cooperation among various public institutions and the Ukrainian society at large.

Indrek Kannik, the director of the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS), emphasised that the primary focus for both the Resilient Ukraine programme and the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises was to provide a platform for various professionals to share experience and expertise and thus make each other stronger.

We have been learning together with you, he said. Ukraine demonstrated exceptional resilience last year, as well as in years before, since the Russian aggressions first began, Mr Kannik noted.

The cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises primarily focused on the human aspect of resilience: they allowed the participants to teach skills gained in their respective sectors to each other.

The Resilient Ukraine team conducted cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises for the participants and provided them with a safe learning environment to share their knowledge and experience. Although the training took an experimental approach, the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercise format proved useful when applied, Dmitri Teperik, director of the Resilient Ukraine programme, said.

The presentation gathered an audience of over 60 attendees. Among them were many participants in cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises, who arrived from Sumy, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Uzhhorod, and Odesa. They spoke about their impressions and experiences and shared their thoughts about the future of this training format.

Yaroslav Bulyshyn, head of the Plast scout organisation in Lviv, said that the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises have a huge potential to be scaled up in the future.

The Resilient Ukraine team reports that the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises gathered over 160 participants from 8 regions. For such a big country, this is not a big number, though. I wish that we could grow this number from 160 to 16,000, and from 16,000 to 160,000. It is, indeed, such a valuable format to establish cross-sector connections among various agencies in civil, public, and private sectors, as well as law enforcement and media communities, Mr Bulyshyn noted.

To learn more about the results of and conclusions from the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises, please read Cross-sector cooperation: lessons for a resilient society. The report is available here.

The Resilient Ukraine programme develops and continuously improves standards to measure Ukrainian societys resilience. The programme has been operated by the International Center for Defence and Security (ICDS) since 2016 with support from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs within its development cooperation programme.

The Strengthening Ukraines Societal Resilience through Building Regional Expertise and Analytical Capacity in Civil Security Issuesprojectis implemented with financial support from the U.S. Department of State Office of the Assistance Coordinator for Europe and Eurasia under the Eighth Round of the Development Cooperation Partnership (DCP) Program. The cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises were held in 8 oblasts in the cities of Sumy, Dnipro, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Uzhhorod, Ternopil, and Odesa from January 2022 through January 2023.

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"Resilient Ukraine" Presented the Results of Cross-Sector Crisis ... - RKK ICDS


Apr 6

Operation Fertile Keynote at JBA > Joint Base Andrews > News – Joint Base Andrews

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md.

The 113th Wing and the Civil Air Patrol joined forces for their monthly exercise, Operation Fertile Keynote, March 30, 2023.

The CAP is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and its members are civilian volunteers who participate in search and rescue, disaster relief, and other missions. The organization also serves as a key partner in protecting the nation's airspace.

During the exercise, F-16 Fighting Falcon jets from the 113th Wing intercepted a CAP Cessna 182 Skylane airplane playing the role of an intruder to "take appropriate action to save lives," said Col. Eugene Egry, Civil Air Patrol Mid-Atlantic region commander. The objective was to maintain positive control over the protected airspace in the Washington D.C. area.

Alex Wagner, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, joined the CAP for the simulation.

Im looking to tell the Civil Air Patrol story, not only through the youth and STEM programs but also through its national security roles, said Wagner.

The Fertile Keynote exercise provides training for both the 113th Wing and the CAP. It allows the two organizations to practice working together in a real-world scenario and to ensure they are prepared to respond in the event of an actual intrusion into restricted airspace.

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Operation Fertile Keynote at JBA > Joint Base Andrews > News - Joint Base Andrews


Apr 6

Diet and Lifestyle Program Reverses Biological Age – Neuroscience News

Summary: Diet and lifestyle programs designed to impact DNA methylation resulted in an average decrease in biological aging of 4.6 years, a new study reports.

Source: Impact Journals

ResearchersKara N. Fitzgerald, Tish Campbell, Suzanne Makarem,andRomilly Hodgesfrom theInstitute for Functional Medicine,Virginia Commonwealth Universityand theAmerican Nutrition Associationreported on a case series of six women who completed a methylation-supportive diet and lifestyle program designed to impact DNA methylation and measures of biological aging.

The modifiable lifestyle intervention used by participants in this case series was first investigated in a pilot clinical trial in which participants (all men between the ages of 50-72 years) reduced their biological age by an average of 3.23 years as compared to controls.

The case series reported on herein was conducted to further the investigation of a modifiable lifestyle intervention that was largely the same in other populations; importantly in women.

The team carried out an intervention consisting of an eight-week program. This program included guidance on diet, sleep, exercise, and relaxation, supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients and nutritional coaching.

DNA methylation and biological age analysis (Horvath DNAmAge clock (2013), normalized using the SeSAMe pipeline [a]) was conducted on blood samples at baseline and at the end of the eight-week period.

Five of the six participants exhibited a biological age reduction of between 1.22 and 11.01 years from their baseline biological age.

There was a statistically significant (p=.039) difference in the participants mean biological age before (55.83 years) and after (51.23 years) the 8-week diet and lifestyle intervention, with an average decrease of 4.60 years.

The average chronological age at the start of the program was 57.9 years and all but one participant had a biological age younger than their chronological age at the start of the program, suggesting that biological age changes were unrelated to disease improvement and instead might be attributed to underlying aging mechanisms.

This case series of women participants extends the previous pilot study of this intervention in men, indicating that favorable biological age changes may be achievable in both sexes.

In addition, the investigation of otherwise-healthy individuals, rather than those with diagnosed disease, suggests an influence directly on underlying mechanisms of aging instead of disease-driven aging.

Author: Ryan BraithwaiteSource: Impact JournalsContact: Ryan Braithwaite Impact JournalsImage: The image is in the public domain

Original Research: Open access.Potential reversal of biological age in women following an 8-week methylation-supportive diet and lifestyle program: a case series by Kara N. Fitzgerald et al. Aging US

Abstract

Potential reversal of biological age in women following an 8-week methylation-supportive diet and lifestyle program: a case series

Here we report on a case series of six women who completed a methylation-supportive diet and lifestyle program designed to impact DNA methylation and measures of biological aging.

The intervention consisted of an 8-week program that included diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation guidance, supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients and nutritional coaching.

DNA methylation and biological age analysis (Horvath DNAmAge clock (2013), normalized using the SeSAMe pipeline [a]) was conducted on blood samples at baseline and at the end of the 8-week period.

Five of the six participants exhibited a biological age reduction of between 1.22 and 11.01 years from their baseline biological age. There was a statistically significant (p=.039) difference in the participants mean biological age before (55.83 years) and after (51.23 years) the 8-week diet and lifestyle intervention, with an average decrease of 4.60 years.

The average chronological age at the start of the program was 57.9 years and all but one participant had a biological age younger than their chronological age at the start of the program, suggesting that biological age changes were unrelated to disease improvement and instead might be attributed to underlying aging mechanisms.

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Diet and Lifestyle Program Reverses Biological Age - Neuroscience News


Apr 6

Program gives incarcerated students and ASU students chance to … – The State Press

ASU's Inside-Out Exchange Program arose from a need to humanize the education system, according to program director Kevin Wright.

The program places incarcerated students and ASU undergraduate students together in a classroom setting with the goal of creating an actionable project designed to improve the correctional system.

"It's about focusing on what makes us human, whether we're incarcerated or not," Wright said.

The course is a partnership between The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry, but the program originally started in 1997 at Temple University by Lori Pompa. Since then, the now-international program has extended to 48 states and 12 countries, with upwards of 60,000 participating students, Wright said.

The class features an equal number of ASU students and incarcerated students from an Arizona State Prison Complex facility. Though the incarcerated students aren't actively enrolled at ASU while in the program, upon their release, they can apply to the University and the credit earned will be honored.

Wright, associate professor at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and director of the Center for Correctional Solutions, brought Inside-Out to Arizona through the Center for Correctional Solutions in 2016.

The course, titled "Motivational Justice," centers around principles of motivation, driving forces and purpose, within the lives of incarcerated and non-incarcerated students. The main component is mindfulness.

"It's a curriculum that says by embracing the elements that make us all humans things like the desire to have autonomy and mastery of purpose and meaning in our lives we can approach the way that we view the justice system," said Alexis Klemm, a graduate student in criminology and criminal justice and facilitator for the Center for Correctional Solutions.

The curriculum is non-traditional in that it is not lecture-based, instead focusing on discussion and interactive activities. The model was something Wright had seen within education specialized for incarcerated settings.

The motivation for involving ASU in a program like this was reinvigorating the humanity and stories he'd seen in correctional facilities and moving away from "the flat lecture or PowerPoint style," Wright said. "We can do better than this on the student side."

Though most lessons involve interaction among students, some lessons encourage introspection like bringing students back to their childhood by introducing a coloring exercise.

"There aren't a whole lot of opportunities to be mindful versus mindless in prison, but these small kind of childish ways are a way that we may be able to do that," Klemm said.

The class also works together to complete a puzzle, where everyone has a certain number of pieces. At the end of the exercise, the incarcerated students reported that "for the first time, they had forgotten they were in prison," a place where close proximity is not a comfortable thing, according to Klemm.

Klemm aids Wright in facilitating the program. She was a member of the class in Fall 2019, held at the women's prison in Arizona.

The class experience changed her career trajectory from FBI investigator to Inside-Out facilitator. She has been in correction spaces ever since.

"It's a really unique perspective. For me personally, it was my first introduction to tangible, real ways that we could be looking at the justice system and changing the justice system rather than just broadly addressing what's wrong with it," Klemm said.

The Center for Correctional Solutions has other initiatives, among them, an incarcerated student art program called Art from the Inside, which offers an outlet for incarcerated individuals to sell their art to the general public.

It grew from the "Inkarcerated: Creativity Within Confinement" program at the Unexpected Gallery in May 2017, where all proceeds went to youth and family charities.

READ MORE: 'Creativity Within Confinement': ASU students to display prisoners' artwork to raise awareness of prison programming

Bruce Ward, co-curator of the Inkarcerated Art Show and fellow at the Center of Correctional Solutions, was incarcerated from 2009-2020. He participated in the Inside-Out Exchange Program at the Florence North Unit and the Inkarcerated Art Program.

Ward, an ASU undergraduate student who studies sculpture, embraces mindfulness and the reduction of recidivism along the same lines of the Inside-Out Program.

"One of the reasons I have credibility as a mentor on how to adapt to this society is because I failed once," Ward said.

As a former marine, Ward likened reintegration into civilian society after the military to reintegration after incarceration.

"The time to form a new identity is now while you're incarcerated, not the day you get out," Ward said.

According to Ward, the secret is finding purpose before you're out. He said if he'd had access to a community-based program like Inside-Out or Inkarcerated after the military, he may not have become a criminal statistic.

While incarcerated, he found his purpose mentoring other artists within the cellblock. Drawing became a process of self-improvement for himself.

"I was reflecting and introspecting for the first time," Ward said. "Having those opportunities, those chance meetings with ASU, and getting the education from them. When I got out, nine days later, I was at ASU studying sculpture."

The Inside Out Exchange Program, the Inkarcerated Art Show and other programs under the umbrella of the Center for Correctional Solutions have the similar goal of establishing a connection between incarcerated individuals and students.

When Wright began the program, he thought it would benefit ASU students to see the humanity in incarcerated individuals as they prepare for roles in law enforcement.

What he didn't realize was that the growth would go two ways. The incarcerated individuals, many of whom had some hardened and pre-conceived notions of the criminal justice system, also saw the humanity in the ASU students who were studying to be lawyers and law-enforcement officers.

"We sometimes see a shift or a change of perceptions in the criminal justice system based on showing the humanity of our ASU students," Wright said.

Edited by Sadie Buggle, Piper Hansen and Anusha Natarajan.

Reach the reporter at kbartune@asu.edu and follow @BartunekKaren on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

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Program gives incarcerated students and ASU students chance to ... - The State Press


Apr 6

Wisconsin National Guard, Papua New Guinea Strengthen Ties – United States Army

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea - Six Wisconsin Army National Guard noncommissioned officers visited Papua New Guinea March 20-27 to conduct a senior information exchange with counterparts from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force as part of the State Partnership Program.

The partnership between the Wisconsin National Guard and Papua New Guinea began in 2020. Since then, they have had several key leader engagements and site visits to build that relationship.

The NCOs who participated in the March exchange have expertise in health services and medical readiness, sustainment, engineering, infantry and public affairs. The purpose of the visit was to strengthen the relationships between the two countries NCOs and gather information about the operations, training and equipment used by the PNGDF to help shape future training exchanges.

The Wisconsin National Guards health services and medical readiness NCO representative, Sgt. 1st Class Clint Vervoren the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Wisconsin Army National Guards Health System Services spent the week exchanging medical information with PNGDF medics and medical readiness NCOs. He also visited their regimental aid posts and military hospital.

Sharing our medics capabilities and protocols, both for treating civilian and military personnel, helps us establish possible future training programs that will enhance the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Vervoren said.

Wisconsin National Guards sustainment NCO representative, 1st Sgt. Aaron Ritchie the senior supply sergeant for the 64th Troop Command visited with the PNGDFs Force Support Battalion (FSB) and its subordinate companies consisting of maintenance, supply, transportation, signal and military police.

PNGDF Warrant Officer Edgar Kuliniasi, with the FSB Maintenance Workshop, said working with the Wisconsin National Guard has been a matter of progression for their forces.

Its important we come together and learn from each other, Kuliniasi said.

Kliniasi said this visit helps both partners better understand each other for future operations. Ritchie agreed.

Our forces operate similarly in terms of their internal supply chain not only within garrison but their resupply routes to the forward operating bases in different parts of the country, Ritchie said. The Defence Forces frequent missions allows them to execute their resupply expertise almost daily.

The two Wisconsin Army National Guard engineer NCOs traveled to Lae, Papua New Guinea, to meet senior leaders at the PNGDF Engineer Battalion.

Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Gudleske, the senior enlisted leader for the 173rd Brigade Engineer Battalion, said the PNGDF engineers are very proud of their engineer apprenticeship program and work.

The engineers work on a lot of the civilian roads and projects in Papua New Guinea, Gudleske said. Theyre constantly working on projects within the community.

One of the PNGDFs primary missions is natural disaster response. That was also one of the topics discussed in December when Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsins adjutant general, visited Papua New Guinea for the official signing of the partnership agreement.

Natural disasters can devastate a community, its people and vital infrastructure at any time, Knapp said. In Wisconsin, civilians handle most emergencies with the military assisting as needed.

The PNGDF operates differently in this aspect, as its Defence Force, including engineers, play a significant role in natural disaster relief.

This could be a good chance for us to work with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force as far as floods, fire breaks and fixing bridges, Gudleske said. We dont really get that opportunity in the Guard because the civil sector does a lot of that.

Future training opportunities are the backbone of maintaining a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship between the Wisconsin National Guard and Papua New Guinea. Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers are scheduled to return this summer for the exercise Tamiok Strike.

First Sgt. Dustin Zabinski from Troop C, 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry the infantry NCO representative during this exchange is returning to Papua New Guinea for Tamiok Strike with one of his platoons.

Zabinski said working with NCOs during this exchange has helped him identify the training that will best benefit both partners during the exercise.

Im looking forward to our Soldiers getting the opportunity to improve on survival skills as well as advance our partners training in infantry tasks, Zabinski said. It will be exciting to embed with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and get to be a part of their military culture during the exercise.

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Wisconsin National Guard, Papua New Guinea Strengthen Ties - United States Army


Apr 6

Long-Lasting Impact: Losing Weight May Benefit Your Heart, Even if … – SciTechDaily

A systematic review reveals that lifestyle changes through intensive behavioral weight loss programs can decrease the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes for at least five years, even if some weight is regained.

According to a systematic review of research published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association, even if some weight is regained, making lifestyle changes in an intensive behavioral weight loss program can lead to a decrease in cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes risk factors for at least five years.

According to the 2023 Statistical Update by the American Heart Association, globally, overweight and obesity contributed to 2.4 million deaths in 2020. People struggling with obesity or who are overweight are more susceptible to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. They are also at risk of developing insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.

Behavioral weight loss programs can help people lose and maintain a healthy weight by encouraging lifestyle and behavior changes, such as eating healthy foods and increasing physical activity. Regaining some weight is common after behavioral weight loss programs. Some observational studies suggest this weight change pattern of weight loss followed by weight regain may increase cardiovascular risk. However, according to the authors of this analysis, data from randomized trials and long-term follow-up studies is lacking.

Many doctors and patients recognize that weight loss is often followed by weight regain, and they fear that this renders an attempt to lose weight pointless, said study co-senior author Susan A. Jebb, Ph.D., a professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. This concept has become a barrier to offering support to people to lose weight. For people with overweight or obesity issues, losing weight is an effective way to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In this review, researchers assessed international scientific studies available in 2018 to compare risk factors for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes among people who followed an intensive behavioral weight loss program to those who followed a less intensive or no weight loss program. The studies in the analysis included diet and/or exercise interventions, partial or total meal replacement, intermittent fasting, or financial incentives contingent on weight loss. The studies took place in a variety of settings and included varying modes of delivery (in-person, app-based, telephone, etc.).

Researchers combined the results of 124 studies totaling more than 50,000 participants, with an average follow-up of 28 months. They used the combined results to estimate changes in risk factors for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes after weight loss. The average weight loss across the different studies ranged from 2-5 kilograms, or 5-10 pounds. Weight regain averaged 0.12 to 0.32 kg (0.26 pounds to 0.7 pounds) a year. Participants were an average age 51 years old, with a body mass index of 33, which is considered obese.

Compared to people in a less intensive program and those in no weight loss program, participants who lost weight through an intensive weight loss program had lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. These lower risk factors lasted for at least five years after the weight loss program ended.

Based on pooled results of the studies reviewed, on average:

These changes are important because they represent improvements at the population level, Jebb explained.

In a preliminary finding, the decreased risk of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes also appeared to remain lower even after weight regain. However, few studies followed people for more than 5 years and more information is needed to confirm whether this potential benefit persists, Jebb said.

Most trials look at whether new treatments are effective and focus on weight change in the short-term rather than the effect on later disease, Jebb said. Individual studies are often too small to detect differences between groups in the incidence of cardiovascular conditions because, fortunately, they affect only a small proportion of the whole group, and studies may not continue long enough to see the effects on hard outcomes, such as a new diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes or a heart attack.

Our findings should provide reassurance that weight loss programs are effective in controlling cardiovascular risk factors and very likely to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease, she said.

Evidence suggests that cardiovascular health is improved by following the American Heart Associations Lifes Essential 8 health metrics: eating healthy food, being physically active, not smoking, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.

The analysis had several limitations: information included in the review was not updated after 2019 and the review focused on research papers published in English, so eligible studies written in other languages may have been missed.

An accompanying editorial notes that much remains to be understood about various weight loss interventions, their long-term impact, and how this impact may be diminished by regaining weight. Behavioral weight loss programs constitute the backbone of weight management in clinical practice. However, they are often resource intensive, and emerging medication therapies are expensive, according to editorial authors Vishal N. Rao, M.D., M.P.H., and Neha J. Pagidipati, M.D., M.P.H., both from the division of cardiology at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.

The present study has interesting implications for the impact of weight regain that may occur after pharmacologic therapies, they write. What is still unknown is whether these temporary improvements in weight and cardiometabolic risk factors after weight loss intervention (behavioral or pharmacological) lead to long-term clinical benefit. In other words, is it better to have lost and regained than never to have lost at all?

Reference: Long-Term Effect of Weight Regain Following Behavioral Weight Management Programs on Cardiometabolic Disease Incidence and Risk: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, Annika Theodoulou, Jason L. Oke, Ailsa R. Butler, Anastasios Bastounis, Anna Dunnigan, Rimu Byadya, Linda J. Cobiac, Peter Scarborough, F.D. Richard Hobbs, Falko F. Sniehotta, Susan A. Jebb and Paul Aveyard, 28 March 2023, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.122.009348

The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

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Apr 6

U.S. Army Advisors Strengthen Partnership in Mongolia | Article … – United States Army

ZUUNMOD, Mongolia Two Advisor Teams from 2nd Battalion, 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade partnered with the Mongolian Land Forces Command during a multi-month rotation into theater beginning in Oct. 2022, focused on strengthening Mongolias peacekeeping operations and Non-Commissioned Officer development initiatives.

Since early 2021, 5th SFAB has maintained a persistent partnership with Mongolias LFC, the army component of the Mongolian Armed Forces.

The two teams that employed to support this partnership over the course of the current force package are Company Advisor Team 5220 and Maneuver Advisor Team 5223.

Both CAT 5220 and MAT 5223 have been employed in Mongolia before, said Maj. Steve Morse, Team Leader for CAT 5220. We benefit immensely from the country experience and continuity of relationships on both teams this persistent partnership provides.

Morse is the commander of 5th SFAB operations in Mongolia.

The continuity enriches our Advisors relationships and advising efforts, and with our partners, it ensures we remain closely aligned with their priorities, Morse said.

In support of those priorities, Advisors have been providing daily advising at the tactical level over the last several months in small unit leadership, interoperability, and NCO development.

Staff Sgt. Richard Kennedy, the team Medical Advisor, is one of several with previous advising experience in Mongolia and noted previous time in Mongolia helped me to grasp the cultural and army differences better, allowing me to communicate, instruct, and create relationships more effectively.

Earlier this year, both teams supported a bilateral exercise called Zev (meaning arrow tip) focused on these training objectives in an extreme cold weather environment an operating environment with which Mongolia is very familiar.

The unit commander and I spoke often, and hed often rib us about the weather, related Maj. Morse. It says here Extreme Cold Weather training, hed tell me, referring to part of the title of the event. In Mongolia, this is not extreme.

In Mongolia, temperatures frequently dipped to -40 degrees and below during training.

We ensured all our advisors had basic cold weather training, including several with advanced training from the Alaska schoolhouse, Morse said.

We combined with the Mongolians mastery of the elements and experience, creating conditions for a powerful subject matter exchange opportunity throughout training.

Staff Sgt. Michael Catanzaro, the Senior Operations Advisor for MAT 5223, and Staff Sgt. Roy Wilson, the teams Assistant Operations Advisor, completed cold weather training taught by the Northern Warfare Training Center.

The NWTC is located at the Black Rapids Training Site in Alaska, this was an integral part of the teams preparation for the winter training.

The [Cold Weather Leaders Course] covered multiple topics from preventing injuries, to maintaining equipment, to land navigation, all in extreme cold and mountainous terrain, Catanzaro explained. The training allowed us to provide a baseline of knowledge to both our own advisors and our Mongolian partners.

Headquartered at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, 5th SFAB Advisors have limited ability to train on cold weather operations.

This training helped us have an exchange about how to use our issued cold weather gear, prevent cold weather injuries, and conduct combined small unit operations, Catanzaro said.

Staff Sgt. Wilson, who completed the Isolation Survival Cold Region Course, added, the exchange of knowledge helped us to understand each others gear and equipment and allowed us to conduct squad and platoon operations safely.

In addition to cold weather training, MAT 5223 also benefited from their experience training with partners at the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center in Hawaii earlier in the employment.

After JPMRC, the team was in an effective mindset to integrate with Mongolian LFC, explained MAT 5223 Team Leader, Capt. Dylan Ward.

JPMRC gave us extra experience in developing programs of instruction to train with a partner force, team resiliency from conducting a field training exercise in austere conditions, and useful context in training small unit operations after seeing partner integration during a real, large-scale exercise," Ward said.

Advisors have also supported Mongolias initiatives to expand its NCO development.

Last summer, in 2022, SFAB advisors supported the inaugural rotation of the Junior Sergeant Course, a course which complements existing NCO education in the Mongolian National Defense University, describes 1st Sgt. Fernando Villafana, the teams senior NCO.

SFAB Advisors were integrated into the program of instruction.

Our team is supporting the current course, with Mongolian instructors-in-training who will begin lead in future courses.

Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Rouse, an infantryman currently serving as CAT 5220s Senior Support Advisor, explained how these initiatives are connected.

NCO development is an important complementary effort to small unit leadership and peacekeeping operations, Rouse said. The NCO training focus on engraining fundamental leadership qualities into junior Sergeants at the squad level. This is critical training to enable them to better plan, prepare and execute tasks at echelon.

In addition to training, the Mongolians have welcomed Advisors into their cultural and social experiences.

Sgt. 1st Class Lester Reed, CAT 5220s Fires Advisor, explains: Cultural activities lets them know that we are invested in them and gives everyone a break from the training. Basketball [a popular sport in both countries] was a great way for them to work as a team and build chemistry.

In a particularly special event, the Advisors Mongolian partners hosted us for a celebration of Tsagaan Sar (meaning White Moon, the Mongolian Lunar New Year), Morse said. The Mongolians invited us into a traditional ger, owned by the cattle farmer who provides meat for the local unit.

Advisors had the opportunity to ride horses, help with farming chores, and participate in Mongolian traditions.

These professional relationships extend beyond Advisors efforts while on the force package, as they work together again at other exercises, conferences, or train together again in Mongolia, Morse said.

The 5th SFAB Advisors of Force Package 23-1 in Mongolia will transition efforts to the next force package to continue the partnership into the Summer of 2023.

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