Multinational military crisis exercise opens in New Zealand

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 2, 2016
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Military representatives from China, the United States and Australia are gathered in New Zealand this week to discuss ways to improve emergency humanitarian operations in the South Pacific, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) said Tuesday.

Personnel from the four military forces would take part in Exercise Cooperation Spirit, an annual tabletop exercise designed to strengthen co-operation and contribute to the development of coalition humanitarian aid policies.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Tim Gall said the exercise would use a detailed scenario in a fictional South Pacific country to present participants with particular problems to resolve.

"We will be asking them to develop solutions based on the combined capabilities of the nations involved," Gall said in a statement.

"They will have to look at the delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid, dealing with large numbers of internally displaced persons, the protection of civilians, the role of women in peace and security operations, working with government and non-government agencies, and the military's role in a humanitarian crisis," he said.

"All of these issues have been faced in real world disasters in the Pacific in the past 10 years, and this exercise will continue to validate how we work together while also extending the knowledge of each other's humanitarian operations organisation, equipment and capabilities."

International aid groups, including the Red Cross, UNICEF and World Vision, would be represented along with officials from New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Defence and police, as well as a representative for Timor-Leste.

"The theme is 'The Sum is Greater Than The Parts -- 21st Century Humanitarian Operations,' and developing an understanding of how all of these agencies and militaries must work together for greatest effect is crucial to being able to deliver the best humanitarian support to the South Pacific after a disaster," said Gall. Endit

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