2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
1 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army and PRC PLA Soldiers receive instructions for the day during the practical field exchange of the 2018 Disaster Management Exchange in Nanjing, China, 13-18 Nov. The DME is an annual USARPAC and PLA disaster risk reduction event, which under... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
2 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Geoffrey Van Epps, 130th Engineer Brigade Commander participates in the table top exchange portion of the Disaster Management Exchange, Nov. 13 in Nanjing China. The TTE discusses disaster planning and coordination. The DME is an annual USARPAC ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
3 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. Charles R. Hamilton, commanding general for the 8th Theater Sustainment Command and Maj. Gen. Yu Qifeng, chief of staff for the PLA, 72nd Group Army observe demonstrations on PLA drone capabilities during the static display of the opening c... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
4 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army and PRC PLA Soldiers conduct basic construction tasks during the practical field exchange portion of the 2018 Disaster Management Exchange, 13-18 Nov. in Nanjing, China. The DME is an annual USARPAC and PLA disaster risk reduction event, wh... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
5 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A U.S. Army Soldier checks the temperature of a civilian role player during the practical field exchange of the 2018 Disaster Management Exchange, 13-18 Nov. in Nanjing China. The DME is an annual USARPAC and PLA disaster risk reduction event, which ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
6 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A U.S. Army and PRC PLA Soldier perform first aid on a mock earthquake victim during the practical field exchange portion of the Disaster Management Exchange, 13-18 Nov. in Nanjing, China. The DME is an annual USARPAC and PLA disaster risk reduction ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
7 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army and PRC PLA Soldiers sit side-by-side during the 2018 Disaster Management Exchange opening ceremony, 14 Nov., in Nanjing, China. The DME is an annual USARPAC and PLA disaster risk reduction event, which underscores the commitment of both U.... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
8 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Gen. Robert Brown, U.S. Army Pacific Commander and Lt. Gen. Qin Weijiang, PRC PLA's Eastern Theater Command Deputy Commander tour the practical field exchange site of the Disaster Management Exchange in Nanjing, China, Nov. 17, 2018. The DM... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
9 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Cpt. Rebecca Baker, 8th Theater Sustainment Command National Security Law Attorney, discusses legal procedures related to disaster management with PRC PLA participants during the table top exchange portion of the 2018 Disaster Management Ex... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
10 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Ryan McGovern, an advisor from the Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance explains the Multi-national Coordination Center construct to PRC PLA participants in the 2018 Disaster Management Exchange, 13-18 Nov. in Nanji... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
11 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Soldiers discuss acupuncture with a PLA medical soldier during the static display portion of the opening ceremony of the 2018 Disaster Management Exchange held in Nanjing, China, Nov. 13-18. The DME is an annual USARPAC and PLA disaster ris... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange
12 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A U.S. Army Soldier enjoys a tea break with PRC PLA Soldiers during the practical field exchange of the 2018 Disaster Management Exchange, 13-18 Nov. in Nanjing, China. The DME is an annual USARPAC and PLA disaster risk reduction event, which undersc... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

NANJING, China--Soldiers from U.S. Army Pacific and the People's Republic of China People's Liberation Army participated in an annual Disaster Management Exchange in Nanjing, China Nov. 13-18. This is the 14th iteration of this exchange between USARPAC and the PLA.

The DME is a key disaster risk reduction exchange that USARPAC conducts with the PLA each year. The DME has matured from basic visits and briefings into a substantive exchange that uses table top and practical field exchanges to provide interaction between both armies focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

"Both of our countries know all too well the devastation, uncertainty and helplessness that many of our communities face during a natural disaster," said Maj. Gen. Charles R. Hamilton, commander for the 8th Theater Sustainment Command as he addressed both U.S. and PLA soldiers during the DME opening ceremony. "That's why this exchange is so important; it enhances our readiness and preparedness to provide aid when requested by civil authorities."

This year's DME participants included Soldiers from the 130th Engineer Brigade and the 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th TSC as well as participants from various disaster management entities.

The exchange occurred in three parts; an expert academic discussion (EAD), a table top exchange (TTE), and a practical field exchange (PFE), all centered on a scenario of a notional earthquake in a third country.

During the EAD, participants leveraged real world case studies and scenarios to share their experiences and lessons learned in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief planning.

The TTE examined how to promote international coordination in responding to a disaster and the importance of the Multi-national Coordination Center construct as a platform by which both armies can coordinate support to a stricken nation. ‎

The PFE ran concurrently with the TTE and covered disaster evaluation, search and rescue, medical aid, and victim collection and evacuation.

"Having the ability to sit down and have meaningful dialogue on disaster response and then work together on the practical field exchange increased the ability of both armies to respond to a disaster here in the Pacific," said Spc. Corey Hauck, 130th Eng. Bde.

Throughout the exchange, Soldiers also had the opportunity to experience the rich history of China by visiting cultural sites in Nanjing.

For the seasoned U.S. Army Soldier, traveling to other countries is second nature. But for some Soldiers, the DME provided their first experience outside of the United States.

"Over the past week, we've had the opportunity to share food, culture, and experiences with one another," said Staff Sgt. Jamie Hill, 130th Eng. Bde. "Many of us have never interacted with a member of the PLA, and many of them have never interacted with U.S. Soldiers. Our time together was eye-opening and we're truly grateful for their outstanding hospitality."

During the closing ceremony, U.S. Army Pacific Commander, Gen. Robert Brown emphasized the importance of maintaining mil-mil dialogue with the PLA on the area of HA/DR.

"So I think bilateral exchanges can start from humanitarian and disaster relief exchanges and expand to other areas of interest," said Brown. "Just as our top leaders work towards building a strong working relationship and understanding, we through confidence-building measures like this DME must also at our level build a strong understanding of each other."