Participants from Timor-Leste, Australia, Japan and the United States participate in a group discussion during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief workshop, April 29. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Nicholas Burgains)

DILI, Timor-Leste - Pacific Partnership 2019 (PP19) partner nation and local civilian and military personnel met for a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) workshop, April 29.

The goal of the workshop is to foster the exchange of knowledge and coordination between national and international civilian, military, and government organizations in the Indo-Pacific region.

“This workshop, as well as Pacific Partnership in general, represents a great opportunity for everyone to learn and grow together,” said Dr. Kristie Barrow, director of international and domestic engagement at the Australian Civil-Military Centre. “Considering the region, it’s extremely important that we collaborate and collectively work towards finding effective outcomes in case of crisis.”

The workshop featured discussions from subject matter experts on topics such as civilian and military personnel in emergency response and Timor-Leste’s preparations for responding to a natural disaster.

“Our biggest goal for the workshop is establishing communication on a regional and international level with everyone here,” said Agustinho Cosme Belo, national director of the Disaster Risk Management program in Timor-Leste. “It’s been great for us to learn about the different resources used when providing a response to times of disaster and emergency.”

Attendees also participated in group activities and discussions about the factors associated with HADR response in the area.

“The HADR workshop allows us to enhance the Timorese disaster response,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Richard Trapp. “It’s imperative we collaborate now so that we are able to save lives during a crisis.”

The workshop continues until May 3 and also features an exercise, allowing attendees to expand on what they learned.

Pacific Partnership, now in its 14th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Each year, the mission team works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific.

See more Pacific Partnership images and news on the mission's DVIDS feature page.