By U.S. Southern Command July 25, 2019 Brazil’s top military leader met with U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, SOUTHCOM commander, and other command leaders and experts to discuss the deepening and expanding cooperative defense ties between the Western Hemisphere’s two largest democracies.The U.S. and Brazilian armed forces enjoy longstanding ties, and defense cooperation between them includes a wide range of partnership activities, such as exercises, training, counter-proliferation and counter-narcotics cooperation, humanitarian assistance, reciprocal visits, personnel exchanges, and the sharing of information and expertise.In March, Brazil signed a partnership declaration with the New York National Guard, joining more than 80 nations participating in the State Partnership Program with the United States.“I’m pleased to welcome General Botelho to SOUTHCOM,” said Adm. Faller. “Brazil is a trusted security partner. This visit helps our nations take another important step in advancing our military relationship and expanding our defense partnership to support goals we share as neighbors committed to working together for a secure, stable, and peaceful region.”Brazil’s contributions to global security date back more than a century, when the country’s armed forces conducted convoy operations and security patrols with allied nations during World War I. Brazil also supported allied naval operations in the Atlantic and deployed an expeditionary force to Italy during World War II.Today, the Brazilian armed forces’ legacy as a committed security partner continues to grow as they take on new leadership roles promoting security cooperation, building regional capacity, and supporting security and stability in the western hemisphere and in other regions, like the continent of Africa.In February, Brazil’s Navy hosted U.S. Navy medics during a month-long riverine medical mission aboard a Brazilian Navy hospital ship. The mission helped doctors gain invaluable experience and expertise in tropical medicine, as well as treatment of patients in austere conditions unique to the Amazon. The U.S. medical teams were also able to use and share expertise on the use of new medical technologies as they collaborated to care for and treat more than 800 patients.Brazil helped provide medical assistance to patients when the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort deployed to the region in 2018 and is supporting the ship’s current mission, which completed stops in Ecuador and Peru.Gen. Botelho, the first Brazilian Air Force general to assume duties as chief of Defense, returned to SOUTHCOM after visiting the command in 2016 to discuss bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Brazilian air forces.This year, Brazil will host the Atlantic and amphibious phases of UNITAS, the world’s longest running, multinational maritime security exercise. Brazil was among nine nations that participated in the first iteration of the exercise in 1960.SOUTHCOM is one of the nation’s six geographically focused unified commands with responsibility for U.S. military operations in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, as well as security cooperation with defense and public-security forces in the region.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error EL SEGUNDO — What can Lonzo Ball do to improve his shot? If you asked 10 different people, you’re likely to get 10 different answers.But it seems Ball went in search of his own answers to that question after shooting just 36 percent from the field last year, one of the worst guard efficiencies in the league. And watching Ball lately, the powers-that-be in the Lakers’ front office seem satisfied that he’s come a long way.“Man,” said Magic Johnson, pantomiming Ball’s adjustments Thursday afternoon, “it is beautiful.”Ball’s stroke has always been unconventional, and even in recently released team footage, it’s still odd-looking: The 20-year-old holds the ball further left than most right-handed shooters, and he flicks his wrist sideways from his set hand. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe new motion has traces of the old motion, but cleaned up: The Lakers like that he sets more to the center than he used to, and General Manager Rob Pelinka thinks the release is a little less clunky.Pelinka, who used to have shooting contests with former Michigan teammate and 3-point ace Glen Rice, admitted he has talked to Ball a lot about shooting. But he insisted the team hasn’t pushed him to make huge changes in mechanics, only to find a more consistent, fluid stroke.“I feel like you can boil it down to release, the spin on the ball and arch,” Pelinka said. “So I had many conversations with Zo of, just get those things right where you feel fluid about it. He would take things in. The way he’s shooting the ball looks a lot more fluid now.“Before he was the No. 2 overall pick back in 2017, Ball had a transcendent one-and-done year at UCLA, during which he shot 41 percent from 3-point range. The Lakers hope he finds the touch he once had as a prospect, which could help him play more off the ball – a necessary role since he’ll be sharing the court with playmakers LeBron James and Rajon Rondo next season. Pelinka said he thinks Ball could be valuable as a catch-and-shoot player in those instances, as long as the shot continues to improve. Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.It’s not the only thing Ball has worked on, of course: Johnson cited Ball’s rapt attention for film study, including a handful of sessions with Magic himself. While he spent the summer recovering from knee surgery, he was often in the team’s weight room, watching his teammates play scrimmages on the court feet away. Johnson thinks the development of other young players, especially Kyle Kuzma, could be a motivating force for Ball.Johnson, the president of basketball operations, famously said last summer he expected Ball’s jersey to hang from the rafters one day. He was more tempered Thursday when evaluating the second-year point guard, but still confident.“I am excited for Lonzo,” he said, “and he is going to be fine.”OFF-CENTERMore than a few people have noticed the Lakers seem precariously thin close to the basket.While the team’s wing options are robust, the only center with significant NBA experience on the roster is JaVale McGee, a 10-year vet who averaged less than 10 minutes per game the past two seasons for the Golden State Warriors. While Croatian big man Ivica Zubac is also a traditional center, the roster structure has fueled speculation that other forwards (including LeBron James) might play more small-ball center.Johnson and Pelinka didn’t seem to sense a weakness: In an era when the “positionless” basketball the Warriors often play is a goal for many teams, a traditional big man takes on less importance, Johnson suggested.“You know the game has gone to (smaller play),” he said. “There’s not a true center playing backup, and we’ve got one of the best going to be there.”McGee, a long-limbed shot-blocker, hasn’t averaged double-digit points since 2012. But defensively, he’s expected to make a difference, and the Lakers think he’s gained character from his runs with the Warriors.Outside of McGee, Pelinka said the front office wanted to design the roster with “thrust”: a variety of players who could attack and pounce the length of the court to pressure opponents. Just because the Lakers don’t have a ton of big man experience doesn’t mean they lack length. Pelinka also pointed out the team has seven players who are 6-foot-9 or taller (even though some of those players are guards).“As the game is moving to be more positionless, we really don’t talk about center or point guard,” he said. “It is a positionless game and we have a long roster with adequate size for sure.”ROSTER SPOT REMAINS OPENIt was notable that Pelinka said Thursday he feels the Lakers’ roster is especially deep from “one to 14.” Because there’s a 15th spot that so far is unfilled.Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Expect that spot to remain empty for at least a little while longer. Even as training camp begins Tuesday, the Lakers want to keep a spot open. It could serve as spot help for a need identified in camp, Pelinka said, or if the team gets into a trade discussion, they could receive two players for one.The Lakers want to keep their options on the table.“We do want to have that flexibility, and we just want to keep it open because the team is so deep,” he said. “We don’t have any current needs right now.”