China, US mil­i­taries con­duct joint dis­as­ter drills

China Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By LIA ZHU in San Fran­cisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The Chi­nese and US mil­i­taries started a week­long joint hu­man­i­tar­ian and dis­as­ter re­lief ex­er­cise and seminar on Mon­day in Port­land, Ore­gon, in an ef­fort to bet­ter co­or­di­nate re­sponses to dis­as­ters.

The ac­tiv­ity be­gan with a three-day aca­demic seminar and will be fol­lowed by a com­mand post ex­er­cise and a four-day live troop ex­er­cise, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the Chi­nese side.

The ac­tiv­ity is part of the con­sen­sus reached by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. It also is part of the ex­change mech­a­nism be­tween the two mil­i­taries.

The seminar in­volves 15 mil­i­tary ex­perts from both sides fo­cus­ing on flood­ing and dis­as­ters. The top­ics in­clude international co­op­er­a­tion in cli­mate mod­els and dis­as­ter alerts, the man­age­ment of flood­ing and dis­as­ters and civil-mil­i­tary oper­a­tions.

The Chi­nese ex­perts come from the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, China’s top mil­i­tary body; the State Flood Con­trol and Drought Re­lief Head­quar­ters, and the Min­istry of Civil Af­fairs.

The US ex­perts are from the US Army Corps of En­gi­neers, the Ore­gon Army National Guard, the National Weather Ser­vice, the National Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the US Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey.

Dur­ing the three-day pro­gram, the ex­perts also are shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ences in do­mes­tic and international hu­man­i­tar­ian dis­as­ter re­lief work, and par­tic­i­pate in a tour of the Columbia River Flood Con­trol project.

The com­mand post ex­er­cise will in­volve 35 par­tic­i­pants from each side to set up a multi­na­tional co­or­di­na­tion cen­ter. They will adopt the multi­na­tional force stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures to con­duct joint ex­er­cises in sim­u­lated dis­as­ter con­di­tions in a third coun­try.

The mil­i­tary per­son­nel from each side also will con­duct aca­demic ex­changes and live troop ex­er­cises on he­li­copter search and res­cue, ruins res­cue, con­fined space res­cue and other res­cue oper­a­tions.

The joint hu­man­i­tar­ian and dis­as­ter re­lief ex­er­cise is part of the ex­change pro­gram be­tween Chi­nese and the US mil­i­taries. Since it was launched in 1997, the two sides have held 13 aca­demic ex­changes, five com­mand post ex­er­cises and four live troop ex­er­cises, in­volv­ing more than 400 peo­ple from both sides.

YIN HANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Ma­jor Gen­eral Li Hui (left) of the Po­lit­i­cal Work Depart­ment of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion talks with US Army Ma­jor Gen­eral Su­san David­son at a seminar, part of a joint hu­man­i­tar­ian and dis­as­ter re­lief ex­er­cise in Port­land, Ore­gon, on Mon­day.

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