U.S. Third Fleet (C3F) conducted a two-day scene setter here for the multinational and interagency participants of the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) scenario of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014 July 5-6.
Cmdr. Eddie Yandoc, C3F’s lead HADR planner set the scene by describing the disaster that exercise participants will respond to in the coming days and weeks.
“What we are trying to do is bring together a coalition so disaster relief efforts are better coordinated,” said Yandoc. “The goal is to have a better understanding of what assets are available and how best to employ them.”
One of the key objectives of the HADR scenario is to have greater civil-military interaction and cooperation.
“We will have heavy interagency participation during this year’s exercise,” said Yandoc. “As militaries we run exercises and we know how to work together. The countries represented here are comfortable working in a military environment, but in many cases we don’t have the opportunity to work with other agencies until we are in a real disaster. We are here to learn together in a controlled environment, so we can better respond in a real-world situation.”
In addition to country capabilities briefings, representatives from several agencies discussed best practices of civil-military engagement, humanitarian aid and foreign assistance. Presentations were given by United States Agency of International Development (USAID), Australian Civil Military Centre, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and Project HOPE.
This year the HADR scenario includes a medical component designed to cross-train and share medical capabilities between military and civilian responders ashore and afloat.
Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 26 – Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
Press Release, July 09, 2014; Image: US Navy