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BENGKULU, Indonesia - Service members supporting Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) exchanged knowledge and experience with colleagues from the Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) and the Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah (BPBD), a local Indonesian disaster management agency, at a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) seminar in Bengkulu, April 3.
The technical skills exchange focused on enhancing the capabilities of U.S. military forces to work together with their partners from the Indonesian military and Indonesian disaster management agencies in the event of a natural disaster.
"This HADR exchange is critical to linking interoperability and strengthening relationships between the U.S. and our partners here in Indonesia and is a great example of how Pacific Partnership develops companionship while deepening cooperation in the region," said United States Pacific Command All Hazards Division Chief U.S. Army Col. Dexter Caston.
U.S. participants highlighted the capabilities of the Hawaii National Guard, the partner response force for Indonesia, and shared their knowledge of a diverse range of subjects. This included urban search and rescue, maritime search and rescue, paramedical training in basic life support procedures, and an overview of the Incident Command System (ICS), a standardized approach to the command, control and coordination elements of emergency response. ICS provides a common hierarchy within which responders from multiple agencies can be effective.
The Indonesian delegation included speakers from the BPBD and TNI who provided their expertise on triage and tactical evacuation procedures during natural disaster situations.
"This strategic exchange enables us to understand the capabilities of our partner's forces, increasing our resiliency and ability to respond to a hazardous event," said U.S. Army Capt. Christel Sacco, assigned to 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion. "We are now better able to integrate each other's strengths into our response tactics, improving our ability to mitigate the effects of a natural disaster through cooperation and shared knowledge."
The HADR exchange is a part of a symposium that will continue throughout the PP18 mission in Indonesia, uniting various U.S. and partner nation military members with a multitude of organizations within Indonesia, developing lasting relationships to enhance regional stability and disaster relief preparedness.
Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 U.S. military personnel stationed worldwide, working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.