BAYANKHONGOR, Mongolia — Exercise Gobi Wolf 2022, a multinational civil and military training exercise, commenced with an opening ceremony and expert academic discussion in Bayankhongor, Mongolia, Sept. 5, 2022.
The six-day exercise is part of the Pacific Resilience Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange program, which focuses on interagency coordination and foreign humanitarian assistance. Gobi Wolf is coordinated by the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Army Pacific.
Exercise Gobi Wolf originated in 2009 in Ulaanbaatar with a training scenario involving a hazardous materials spill. Now in its tenth iteration, the exercise will focus on a simulated earthquake scenario 400 miles southwest of the capital city.
Deputy Director of the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency Brig. Gen. B. Uuganbayar opened the ceremony and emphasized the need for nations to cooperate and exchange experience in disaster prevention to improve critical planning and ensure preparedness.
“Disaster prevention and preparedness can be ensured by using comprehensive measures such as developing planning documents and creating communication and warning networks,” said Uuganbayar.
The exercise consists of an expert academic discussion, tabletop exercise and field training exercise. These three main events are designed to develop those comprehensive measures and to test disaster responses involving interagency coordination.
During the expert academic discussion's two-days of presentations, participants will collaborate with experts in their field and analyze various disaster situations. Following the discussion, small groups will actualize the concepts and practices discussed and generate response concepts in the tabletop exercise. Simultaneously, the week-long field training exercise will include hazmat response, search and rescue and mass medical care.
Commander of the Alaska Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Tracy Smith remarked about the training potential of the exercise during the opening ceremony and stated how much each entity and country has to learn from each other.
“Our nations continue to become stronger as we exercise our ability to prepare for, to respond to and mitigate the effects of a domestic crisis or disaster,” said Smith. “This regional approach to strengthen and refine our goal of a government model for emergency operations is key to security, stability and recovery.”
Historically, the Gobi Wolf exercise involves countries beyond Mongolia and the United States and this year follows suit with its approximately 300 participants. Delegates from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam are attending this year.
U.S. military and civilian participants include experts from the active-duty and reserve components of U.S. Army Pacific and Pacific Air Forces, Alaska and Washington National Guards, U.S. Forest Service, and Alaska’s City of Palmer Fire & Rescue, as well as exercise planning and facilitations from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s Institute for Security Governance.