AFP chief formally closes HADR-CPX exercise of 'Balikatan 2012'

April 26, 2012 9:21 pm 

MANILA, April 26 — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa formally closed the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response-Command Post Exercise (HADR-CPX) segment of the Philippines-United States "Balikatan 2012" on Thursday.

The HADR-CPX exercise took place at the AFP's National Capital Region Command headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

"Although this activity has already closed, it has definitely opened up many perspectives both for American and Filipino soldiers in responding to natural disasters and calamities," Dellosa said.

The HADR-CPX began on April 16 and in its almost two-week duration, Filipino soldiers gained tremendous knowledge and further improved their approaches in undertaking disaster response and rescue operations (DRRO).

Midway through the table top exercises, Philippine and U.S. "Balikatan" participants conducted the simulation of a post-earthquake response at the Command General Staff College, also in Camp Aguinaldo.

Resource persons and subject-matter experts from ASEAN partners Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea participated at HADR-CPX to test the coordination and communications interoperability during different simulated disaster scenarios.

Dellosa said that their participation was very significant in further gaining knowledge and other perspective on disaster response.

“The different approaches employed by other countries in HADR surely helped us widen our perspective and improve our policies, procedures, preparations, and responses in the emergence of natural calamities and man-made disasters in the Philippines,” the AFP chief said.

“We thank the participants for sharing us their experience by which we can derive lessons and best practices for the improvement of our own HADR policies and responses. Having shared also our expertise in HADR, we hope that collective and collaborative efforts will continue for the benefit of the people we serve,” he emphasized.

"Balikatan 2012" is the 28th of the series that sprung from decades of friendship and mutual assistance between the Philippines and the United States.

“The CPX which tested and improved the planning, preparations, program of action and responses of both the Philippines and U.S. military was a very significant part of the 'Balikatan 2012'. It measured our competency as a military force, sharpened our skills, and at the same time we were able to learn ideas regarding military knowledge as seen from another cultural vantage point, thereby increasing interoperability between us and other participating countries which might prove useful in the future,” Dellosa said. (PNA) DCT/scs/PFN


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