9 August 2013
Exercise Tempest Express 23 Field Trip around Wellington City. The field excursion was undertaken to explore many aspects of emergency management planning, land use planning and options for mitigation in Wellington and the Hutt Valley. Areas visited included the Mt Victoria Lookout, The Interislander Ferry Terminal and Te Mome Street in the Hutt Valley. The excursion was guided by Tane Woodley (MCDEM) and Rian van Schalkwyk (WREMO).
The 23rd multi-national Defence and inter-agency planning Exercise Tempest Express has just concluded in Wellington.
The Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise, co-led by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the United States Pacific Command, involved some 70 military personnel from 18 countries.
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) was closely involved in the exercise, and MCDEM Director John Hamilton was a keynote speaker. Other government and non-government agencies also took part.
Exercise participants faced two scenarios. The first required them to plan the military contribution to a major earthquake in Wellington, and the second to provide HADR support to a major tsunami striking in the Pacific.
The Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Kevin Short, said that the exercise had been very successful and more than met its goals.
“While the NZDF has been able to learn from others and redevelop our plans, those attending have also learnt how to plan for, lead, and respond to disasters,” he said.
“The planning work and associated discussions were invaluable. The results will make a significant contribution to developing how we plan and execute operations undertaken in response to situations such as natural disasters.
“In particular, the value of the input from the various contributing nations cannot be underestimated. Some of the people present had considerable experience in managing major crises, such as the 2011 Japanese tsunami and the building collapse in Bangladesh earlier this year, which killed over 1100 people.
“If we are ever again faced with a disaster of the magnitude of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, what we’ve learned here over the past fortnight will see the NZDF and our partners better prepared to respond to and meet the extreme challenges such disasters present.”
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