Attendees of a Pacific Partnership humanitarian assistance and disaster relief conference in Sattahip pause for a group photo, May 20. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Nicholas Burgains)

SATTAHIP, Thailand - Military and civilian participants from Pacific Partnership 2019 (PP19) host and partner nations opened a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) workshop with a conference, May 20.

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

“The goal here is to help Thailand improve its disaster relief capacity while our partner nations learn from Thai counterparts,” said U.S. Army Capt. Gil Quinto, PP19 HADR lead planner. “In the event that a disaster or emergency strikes the area, our ability to collaborate will be paramount in saving lives.”

The workshop will address Thailand’s provisions for responding to a natural disaster and feature input from subject matter experts on topics such as civilian and military personnel in emergency response.

“I’m looking forward to applying everything we’ll learn from this workshop and improving our disaster response,” said Sakaowat Somsakulrungrueng, General Secretary of Ruamkatanyu Foundation, Search and Rescue Private Organization. “There’s always something that we can improve, whether it’s how we organize our efforts or how we collaborate.”

The workshop continues until May 24 culminating in an exercise that allows attendees to apply 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.