International Polar Year

The International Polar Years are collaborative, international efforts with intensive research foci on the polar regions. Karl Weyprecht, an Austro-Hungarian naval officer, motivated the endeavor in 1875, but died before it first occurred in 1882–1883. Fifty years a second IPY took place; the International Geophysical Year was inspired by the IPY and was organized 75 years after the first IPY. The fourth, most recent, IPY covered two full annual cycles from March 2007 to March 2009; the First International Polar Year was proposed by an Austro-Hungarian naval officer, Karl Weyprecht, in 1875 and organized by Georg Neumayer, director of the German Maritime Observatory. Rather than settling for traditional individual and national efforts, they pushed for a coordinated scientific approach to researching Arctic phenomena. Observers made coordinated geophysical measurements at multiple locations in the Arctic during the same year enabling multiple views of same phenomena, allowing broader interpretation of the available data and a validation of the results obtained.

It took seven years to organize the first IPY which had twelve participating nations: the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. The aforementioned countries operated 12 stations in two in the sub-Antarctic. Six additional meteorological stations were organized by Neumayer at Moravian mission stations on the east coast of Labrador. Observations focused on meteorology, auroral phenomena, ocean currents, tides and the motion of ice and atmospheric electricity. More than 40 meteorological observatories around the world expanded the IPY programs of observations for this period. Data and images from the first IPY have recently been made available for browsing and downloading on the internet; these records of the first IPY offer a rare glimpse of the circumpolar Arctic environment as it existed in the past and hold the potential to improve our understanding of historical climate variability and environmental change in the Arctic. The International Meteorological Organization, the predecessor of the World Meteorological Organization and promoted the second IPY.

Shortly after World War I, mysterious behavior in telegraph and electric power and telephone lines convinced engineers and scientists of the fact that the electrical geophysics of the Earth needed more study. The availability of airplanes, motorized sea and land transport and new instruments like radiosondes enabled these phenomena to be investigated. At an international conference of directors of meteorological services in Copenhagen in 1928 it was decided to undertake another intensive and coordinated international research effort focused on the polar regions during 1932–1933, the 50th anniversary of the First International Polar Year, it was proposed to explicitly include in the plan for the second IPY the goal to investigate how observations in the polar regions could improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and the safety of air and sea transport. Forty-four countries participated in the second IPY, which heralded advances in meteorology, atmospheric science, in the “mapping” of ionospheric phenomena that advanced radio science and technology.

27 observation stations were established in the Arctic, a vast amount of data was collected and a world data center was created under the organization that came to be called the World Meteorological Organization. Due to the global financial crisis at the time, the plan of erecting a network of stations in Antarctica had to be abandoned. A great amount of data generated in this year was lost due to Second World War. See International Geophysical Year The fourth IPY was sponsored by the International Council for Science and the World Meteorological Organization; the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, an interdisciplinary body of ICSU assumed responsibility for coordinating all IPY-related Antarctic research, the International Arctic Science Committee, an ICSU affiliate body and helped to plan the Arctic-focused IPY research. Initial planning for the fourth IPY began in 2003 under an International Planning Group, the organization and implementation of the main phase of this IPY took place in 2005–2009 with leadership from the newly established ICSU-WMO Joint Committee, its subcommittees and the International Programme Office.

The fourth IPY comprised an intense, coordinated field campaign of observations and analysis. It was the largest, most comprehensive campaign mounted to explore the Earth's polar regions. An estimated 50,000 researchers, local observers, educators and support personnel from more than 60 countries were involved in the 228 international IPY projects and related national efforts; the IPY included intensive research and observation periods in the Arctic and Antarctic over a three-year timespan, which started 1 March 2007 and was formally concluded 12 June 2010 at the IPY Oslo Science Conference. However, many activities continued beyond that date; the IPY Science Program covered eleven areas: Polar atmosphere, Arctic ocean, Southern Ocean, Greenland ice sheet and Arctic glaciers, Antarctic ice sheets, Sub-glacial aquatic environments, Earth structure and geodynamics at the poles, Polar terrestrial ecology and biodiversity, Polar societies and social processes an


The Borotbists was a left-nationalist political party in Ukraine. It should not be associated with its Russian affiliation the Ukrainian Party of Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Ukrainian Communist Party, it arose in May 1918 after the split in the Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionary Party on the basis of supporting Soviet regime in Ukraine. The Borotbists are associated with the Russian party of Left Socialist-Revolutionaries who in Ukraine called themselves borotbists. In March 1919 it assumed the name Ukrainian Party of Socialist-Revolutionary-Borotbists, in August the same year the name was changed to Ukrainian Communist Party, its leaders, among others, were Vasyl Blakytnyy, Hryhoriy Hrynko, Ivan Maistrenko and Oleksander Shumskyy. The Borotbists twice applied to the Executive Committee of the Communist International to be allowed to affiliate with the Communist International. On February 26, 1920, the Communist International by a special decision called on the Borotbists to dissolve their party and merge with the Communist Party of Ukraine, the CPU.

At the Borotbists' conference in the middle of March 1920, a decision was passed to dissolve the party. A decision to admit the Borotbists to membership of the CPU was adopted at the Fourth All-Ukraine Conference of the CPU, held in Kharkiv on March 17–23. After the dissolution, many Borotbists joined the Ukrainian Communist Party, rather than the Bolshevik party, more tied to Moscow. After 1920 the history of the Borotbisty took the form of a struggle between the two trends, the centralist Russophile element, the ‘universal current’ of Ukrainian communists. Ukrainization heralded an unprecedented national renaissance in the 1920s; the Ukrainian communists, including prominent ex-Borotbisty, carried forward Ukrainization, a “weapon of cultural revolution in Ukraine”. Ukrainization meant efforts to counter ascendant Stalinism. Stalinist centralism and its partner Russian nationalism destroyed senses of equality between the republics; the Ukrainian communists and intelligentsia were annihilated.

The Borotbist “co-founders of the Ukrainian SSR” were amongst the last remnants of opposition purged under the guise of the destruction of the fake “Borotbist Center” in 1936. They were still being subjected to official attack in 1938

Commando Training Wing

The Commando Training Wing is one of two training wings in the School of Commandos of the Singapore Armed Forces in Singapore. Established in 1974, it is tasked with the training of military leaders in the Commando Formation. Courses conducted by the CTW include the Commando Section Leaders' Course, the Commando Small Boat Operators' Course, the Commando Officer Conversion Course, the esteemed Singapore Armed Forces Ranger Course; the Commando Section Leaders' Course, as its name implies, trains Commando trainees to be section leaders, taking in selected candidates from those who have completed the Basic Commando Training phase. These candidates are put through a range of tests, including the Physical Readiness Test, the Commando Common Tasks test, an interview by the Commando Chain of Command, before acceptance; the course is a physically demanding one, with trainees expected to complete the Standard Obstacle Course after a 5-kilometre run, all in combat gear and within timing. They must pass two fast marches in Full Battle Order over a distance of six and twelve kilometres.

In the meantime, various field-craft skills are inculcated to enable them to lead a section and to improve survival skill. Commando Officers are selected from within its own ranks and over a year-long period of assessment, unlike the majority of those from the rest of the SAF who are selected during the 3-month centralized phase of Basic Military Training. Potential candidates are assessed from the time they are enlisted into the Formation, only the top graduates of the Commando Section Leaders' Course are selected for further screening. About 15 go on attend the Infantry Officers' Cadet Course at Officer Cadet School in the SAFTI Military Institute. Upon successful completion, they are commissioned as Commando Officers, attend a Commando Officer Conversion Course at the CTW for a seven-week period, where they are trained to take on the role of Platoon Commander with the 1st Commando Battalion. Other graduates from Officer Cadet School, as well as commissioned Officers in the SAF, may apply to join the COCC to become Commando Officers.

The Singapore Armed Forces Ranger Course is reputed to be the toughest course in the SAF, with 65 days of intense training conducted by the CTW. Developed based on the experiences of Singaporean Rangers trained at the U. S. Army Rangers School in Fort Benning, United States, it was first conducted in Singapore in 1978, is now an annual affair at the training wing's Pasir Ris Camp base. Any regular or national serviceman of the SAF may apply for the course, so long that they have a superior's recommendation from their specific unit and attained a minimum rank of Corporal, after which applicants are assessed physically to ensure suitability. Training slots are limited per year. For Commando regulars, enrolment is compulsory, exceptional individuals/graduates are further recommended to attend US Ranger School for advanced training. Graduates of the advanced training can wear the US version of the "Rangers" tab on their uniform. For Honour and Glory: A Celebration of Commando History Parachute Training Wing