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June 28, 2023

USA and PNG Partner on Disaster Preparedness

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – At the invitation of the Government of Papua New Guinea, the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and the U.S. Army co-hosted a Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange (DREE) in Port Moresby June 26 – 30 to share best practices on disaster response with key stakeholders across PNG.

Disasters can strike unexpectedly, causing significant damage to communities, infrastructure, and human lives. In the face of such challenges, a well-prepared and knowledgeable response is critical to recovery. Recognizing the need for comprehensive disaster response preparation, the PNGDF and U.S. Army Pacific curated a five-day seminar that brings together academics, community leaders, and disaster response professionals. The DREE featured in-depth academic discussions on a variety of topics, followed by a tabletop exercise simulating a realistic disaster scenario to enhance practical skills and decision-making abilities.

The 2023 Papua New Guinea Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange builds on the capabilities of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and other government agencies to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. Working together hand-in-hand, experts from Papua New Guinea, the United States, and the United Nations used a scenario-based table-top exercise to evaluate and improve the national disaster response framework. The goal of this partnered event is a strong Papua New Guinea that is able to respond to an emergency by leveraging shared best practices, interoperability, and partnerships to assist affected communities. The DREE highlights the relationship between United States and Papua New Guinea, and their commitment to the safety and resilience of Papua New Guinea.

This event was facilitated by the U.S. government at the request of the government of Papua New Guinea. Personnel came to PNG from Papua New Guinea Defence Force’s State Partner the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Disaster Management, the Institute for Security Governance, and the Center for Excellence of Disaster Management. Representatives from UNDP and IOM are scheduled to attend as well.

“We are excited to facilitate this unique seminar, bringing together practical expertise and the PNGDF together said Corporal Louie Kaman, a PNG-American Soldier. “By combining the resources of the PNGDF and PNG government with the disaster response community, we can find better ways to support PNG in times of crisis.”

Leaders of the Wisconsin National Guard and Papua New Guinea signed a State Partnership Program agreement December 2, 2022. The State Partnership Program between Papua New Guinea and the Wisconsin National Guard officially began in 2020, but COVID-19 travel restrictions delayed the formal signing ceremony until 2022. Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp of the Wisconsin National Guard and Maj. Gen. Mark Goina of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force signed the partnership agreement in Papua New Guinea, and all future activities will be mutually agreed upon and arranged at the request of the government of Papua New Guinea.

PNGDF and the U.S. Army co-hosted a Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange (DREE)