News: Asia-Pacific nations welcome official start to ASEAN exercise
Story by Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock
MUARA, Brunei Darussalam — The commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces addressed military leaders announcing the official start to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (AHMX) at the Multinational Coordination Centre in Muara, Brunei Darussalam, June 17.
Brunei Maj. Gen. Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan, commander RBAF, expressed his hopes and expectations for the exercise and commented on the importance of disaster relief efforts in the region.
“We in Brunei take great pride in the honor to host this exercise that has brought together more than 2,500 personnel from many different nations,” said Aminuddin. “With the imminent danger of natural disasters in the region, we are hopeful that bringing together the different nations to work together will help us in the future.
The exercise, which is scheduled to run from June 17 to 20, will focus on a post-tropical revolving storm (TRS) typhoon rescue, survey, recovery and disaster relief in the vicinity of the District of Temburong, as well as other locations in Bandar Seri Begawan, Muara Naval Base and Rimba Air Force Base.
Day one of the exercise will consist of establishing communications between the control team at the MNCC and medical personnel at various field training exercise stations, according to James Welsh, the deputy for engagement and training at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Pacific Command.
“We are establishing communications with our various teams getting into position for the exercise,” said Welsh. “Once communication is established, we will begin building towards executing our military response to the disaster. We will have naval, air and ground support ready for execution by the end of the day to carry out the operation for the exercise.”
Each nation has an important role to play in the execution of this exercise in both the MNCC and in the field training exercises, according to First Adm. Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Abdul Halim bin Haji Mohd Hanifah.
“Each day of the exercise brings us closer to our goal of being able to work together during future disaster relief efforts,” said Halim.
All agree that the exercise provides allied and partner nations a platform to demonstrate their commitment to multinational cooperation, enhance multilateral interoperability, increase disaster preparedness, and promote security and stability throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Participating nations include ASEAN-comprised nations of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; and other Asia-Pacific nations of Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the U.S.