A three-day annual Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange (DREE) by US and Bangladesh military forces in cooperation with Bangladeshi disaster management officials ended on Thursday that emphasized dual disaster management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh Armed Forces Division, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, and the US Army Pacific (USARPAC) jointly organized the exercise.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md Enamur Rahman and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller delivered remarks during the closing ceremony at the Army Golf Club in Dhaka.
This year’s exercise built practical knowledge about international tools for disaster management, mutual understanding and coordination among stakeholders, finalized draft guidelines for the Disaster Incident Management Team (DIMT), and shared experience and lessons about dual disaster management under the theme “Resilience through Preparedness.”
“Exercises like DREE reflect real-world scenarios and offer valuable opportunities to improve civilian-military cooperation,” Ambassador Miller said.
Together, he said, they enhance their ability to understand each other, complement one another’s strengths, provide support where they identify gaps and, collectively, respond more effectively.
The Bangladesh DREE is part of Pacific Resilience, which is part of the USARPAC’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Initiative started in 2010.
The DREE is a comprehensive effort focusing on building multilateral interoperability for disaster response between the United States and Bangladesh along with identifying areas to increase preparation and risk mitigation.
This is the tenth DREE because it was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Friday.
On October 26, state minister Md Enamur and MAJ GEN Reginald Neal from (USARPAC) inaugurated the event.
Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, officials organized this year’s DREE as a tabletop exercise.
However, participants expected the exercise will return as comprehensive practical exercise next year if the pandemic allows.
Md. Shah Kamal, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Lieutenant General Waker-Uz-Zaman, Principal Staff Officer, Armed Forces Division were present at the occasion.
A total of 285 participants from 130 organizations and 37 countries participated in the event.