2016 Pacific Resilience: United States and Vanuatu Partner for Disaster Response and Preparedness Exercise (August 1, 2016)

Port Vila, Vanuatu: United States Army Pacific announced today its participation in the Oceania Pacific Resilience (PR) Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange (DREE), held in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The exercise runs August 2 – 5, 2016.

The 2016 Oceania PR DREE is a civil-military disaster preparedness and response initiative between the Governments of Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, Marshal Islands, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, and the United States. This exercise is part of a continued annual engagement with these country partners.

This is the first civil-military disaster preparedness and response initiative between the Vanuatu Civil Defense Force and the U.S. Army Pacific. The Oceania DREE emphasizes operational civil-military humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) topics that enhance collaboration and communication. It focuses on national readiness to all hazard situations in the Oceania region and provides a framework for civil and military authorities to present best practices, engage in collaborative dialogue, exercise plans and procedures, and enhance response readiness.

The scenario will focus on a cyclone/multi-hazard event, designed to test Vanuatu’s Emergency Operations Center Standard Operating Procedures and evaluate disaster management laws, procedures and organizational structures. It is also designed to test first responders’ capabilities, civil-military coordination, and the Government of Vanuatu’s ability to coordinate humanitarian assistance from a variety of institutions and countries.

The event will include subject matter expert presentations to frame problem sets and support background knowledge of disaster management strategies in Vanuatu. It will include working-group activities to encourage communication and collaboration.

This year’s event will also include a table-top exercise and possibly a field site demonstration to test various HA/DR scenarios. Lastly, the PR DREE will end with a detailed after action review designed to capture lessons-learned and best practices. This information will go into shaping future HA/DR activities, as well as potentially identifying recommendations to enhance existing disaster management documents and procedures.

Media interested in covering this exercise should contact the U.S. Embassy, Port Moresby public affairs officer, Ed Soltow, SoltowEX@state.gov, +675-321-1455 or the U.S. Embassy Port Moresby information assistant officer, Cyril Akuani, AkuaniC@state.gov, +675-7031-0932. For more information, stories and photos about the 2016 Oceania PR DREE, please visit the official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PacificResilience or the official USARPAC Website at http://www.army.mil/usarpac/.