July ARF Ministerial: Australia canvassed a desk-top exercise to on role of defence forces in disaster relief. This is proposal is being discussed with our Indonesian friends and we believe it will help improve our coordination and ability to work together. Together with Indonesia, we will develop this proposal through the ISG process.
Desk-top exercise a practical way to develop our capacity for interoperability – supports development of regional SOPs
Focus will be on practical military to military cooperation in an inter-agency context. Emergency services, aid professionals welcome also, but focus is on how the military operates in that context. Aim to improve the speed and effectiveness of the ARF multinational crisis response.
Exercise will help build common disaster relief procedures; -Review internationally agreed guidelines -Adopt common definitions -Respect for sovereignty -Civil lead with military as last resort -Develop understanding of standby arrangements -Consider command control arrangements -Develop common reporting formats -Communication protocols
We will work with Indonesian friends to explore timeframes for this activity subject to ARF processes. Expect late 2007 for an initial planning conference to establish parameters of exercise. Hope to hold desk-top activity in early 2008. Envisage a series of, perhaps, annual exercises for several years building up to an operational scale. Exercise would benefit from use of regional inventories of disaster relief capabilities