Malang, Indonesia -- In partnership with Tentara Nasional Indonesia or TNI (Indonesian Army), the US Army Pacific successfully conducted the Sixth Annual Pacific Resilience Disaster Expert Exchange (PR/DREE), 21-24 MAY12.

The PR/DREE is an annual USARPAC-TNI civilian-military disaster preparedness and response initiative. The event focuses on regional preparedness to all-hazard situations.

U.S. Consulate General, Kristen Bauer highlighted the United States commitment to Indonesia. Bilateral exercises strengthen our bonds, with the ultimate goal of saving lives and property.

This year's PR/DREE focused on responding to a volcano response. Given the number of active volcanos in Malang and East Java, the region is predisposed to volcanic eruptions.

PR/DREE provides a framework for TNI, USARPAC, and civil authorities to present best practices, engage in collaborative dialog, exercise plans and procedures, and enhance disaster readiness.

For four days, the two militaries, with other disaster responders and stakeholders, held SMEE presentations, problem-solving sessions, a practical exercise, and a site visit to Indonesia's civ-mil disaster rapid response team eastern headquarters known as the SRC-PB.

"We come not acting as if we know it all. We have a lot of experts [from both countries] who shared their knowledge and experiences, so we can learn from one another." said Col. William Hollingsworth, chief, G9, civil-military operations, whose team is responsible for the planning and execution of the event.

Maj. Gen. Ridwan, Pangdivif, commander of Army Strategic Reserve Command, 2nd Infantry Division, Republic of Indonesia, stated, "By sharing knowledge in various humanitarian assistance and disaster responses missions or even in various readiness exercises, we will expand our knowledge about the importance of coordination."

The event had more than 80 delegates representing over 20 host nation and international organizations. In addition to Indonesia, PR/DREE has been held annually in Nepal and Bangladesh.

Next year's Indonesia PR/DREE is shaping up to be even more robust. It will include a field tactical exercise component for the first time. Of equal significance is the developing prospect of the event evolving into a trilateral exercise with Australia's entry. This year's observers from the Australian Defense Forces (ADF) and Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID) expressed desire for greater Australian involvement.

Page last updated Tue June 12th, 2012 at 14:23