BARRIGADA, Guam – The United States Army Pacific (USARPAC) hosts six South Asian countries in the region's first-ever Disaster Response & Exchange Exercise (DREE), July 12, 2023.
The 10-day DREE focused on disaster management and response operations.
Military and civil representatives from the U.S. and partner countries throughout South Asia, including Singapore, India, Nepal, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar converge with the purpose of enhancing regional cooperation and camaraderie, strengthening disaster response capabilities, and improving overall strategies, mechanisms, and coordination efforts. Participants will exchange knowledge to aid in the identification of improvements to their disaster response frameworks.
Additionally, the Guam National Guard will conduct a field exercise that will allow participating service members to practice implementing their insights through a multi-hazard simulation.
The DREE comes at the heels of Typhoon Mawar here, exemplifying the exercise’s value and real-world application.
The exercise further showcases USARPAC's commitment to respond to natural and man-made crises, and strengthen regional resilience in the face of adversity. By examining the complexities following natural disasters, as well as infrastructure failures, the U.S. Army and its South Asian partners aim to enhance preparedness and capacity for disaster response operations.
U.S. Army Master Sgt. Leia Puco, USARPAC civil-military operations noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) shared, “Some of [the South Asian countries] are dealing with earthquake issues, like our Nepal brothers and sisters. Then you have [countries], like the Maldives, and how they have to deal with typhoons or the grief of climate change, and having to do with losing their beaches and essentially losing the land they’re living on.”
The Pacific region is home to 60% of the world's population and contains the most rugged, distributed, and diverse terrain in the world, according to USARPAC.
“It’s a global issue and all of us are having to deal with this,” said Puco. “We learn so much every time we get together with different people, different nations who come to solutions in their own creative ways.”