• PH, US mount multinational staff planning workshop

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    The Philippines, United States, and other global partners concluded their participation in the Tempest Express-27 (TE-27) multinational staff-planning workshop at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City.

    The workshop was the latest iteration in a continuing series of multilateral engagements in the Asia-Pacific region designed to promote regional peace and security, and enhance multinational capabilities and capacity of nations participating in the Multinational Planning and Augmentation Team (MPAT) workshop.

    In attendance were Philippine military and police officers and civilian humanitarian agency representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam. The participants contributed to the refinement of staff skills to operate in a coalition or multinational force headquarters as part of multinational military disaster operations. In particular, Australia, Canada and Japan each sent a large contingent of planners that covered each planning scenario.

    The activities conducted during the workshop consisted of academics and practical applications related to multinational military missions and humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) planning groups based off of real-life disaster events. Groups were required to work together to provide a multinational solution to their assigned HADR scenario.

    “I really like watching the four groups work through their problem sets all from a different perspective,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, commanding officer of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. “Arriving ultimately at a solution to help people and save their lives.”

    Tempest Express was facilitated by a cadre of military and civilian instructors and subject matter experts with extensive HADR experience as well as military planning experience from AFP, USPACOM and Multinational Joint Headquarters Ulm. In addition, members of key Philippine government disaster response agencies, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs, the Australia Civil-Military Center and regional and local governmental and nongovernmental organizations from the Philippines participated a well.

    “It is my hope that the exercise that we have just concluded will be able to improve our mechanisms and procedures and interoperability for HADR,” said Brig. Gen. Arturo Jose Orticio Jr., assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, Armed Forces of the Philippines.

    “We have done much in the exercise, but our work is not yet done. On the part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, whatever lessons and inputs we got from this exercise will be studied and considered in our efforts to continuously improve our plans and procedure.”

    Tempest Express provides the educational and training environment to address the ever-increasing need for skilled military planners to support complex multinational disaster relief, peace enforcement, maritime security, pandemic response operations as well as support for national plans to evacuate citizens from dangerous situations abroad.

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