Sunday, August 2, 2009

Disaster Response Exercise Aims to Battle Wildfires

Sixteen representatives from U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) joined representatives from the Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) and the government of Indonesia (GOI) to focus on wild fires during a disaster response exchange and exercise last week in the Riau Province of the Asia-Pacific nation.

An article in Antara News highlighted the relevance of the exercise in the province, where firefighters are currently battling both forest and plantation fires.

During a two-day exchange, the group focused on procedures for responding to wild fires, specifically incident management and multinational collaboration efforts. Additionally, they exchanged information on command, control and management of response to large wild land fire incidents. They also discussed the secondary and tertiary impacts fires have in the region, as well as ways other organizations and the private sector can be involved in preventing and managing incidents.

The last day of the event featured a table-top exercise that required the group to work together to respond to a large-scale fire disaster.

This exercise, which is led by the TNI and GOI, is in its third year. Each year, additional countries from throughout the region have attended, whether as participants or observers. This highlights the ongoing strengthening of partnerships throughout the Asia-Pacific region, which helps foster more rapid response to disasters and an overall increase in security in the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) area of responsibility.

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