Pacific Endeavor 2012 Begins

By Staff Sgt. Carl Hudson

U.S. Pacific Command

CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore  - The Pacific Endeavor 2012, a workshop organized under the Multinational Communications Interoperability Program, began in Changi Naval Base, Singapore, Aug. 6.

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CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore (Aug. 7, 2012) - Left to right) Philippines Cmdr. Marcos Y. Imperio, Singapore ME2 Ng Thiam Hock, Maldives 1st Lt. Mohammed Arif and Australia Cpl. Brett Hoy assemble a cable made for satellite communications in Changi Naval Base, Singapore, for SATCOM Endeavor, which is a sub-workshop under Pacific Endeavor 2012 and emphasizes the deployment and use of satellite communications during Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief operations. Established in 2004, Pacific Endeavor is an annual workshop designed to confirm participating nations are capable of communicating with one another in the event of a natural disaster and ensures the success of HADR operations when there is a crisis. (Photo by SSgt Carl Hudson

Delegates from 22 participating Asia-Pacific militaries collaborated with several Information and Communications Technology Industry representatives along with several government and non-government organizations including international humanitarian communities and organizations.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Justin Pickett, MCIP U.S. delegation chief, commented on the importance of the workshop in light of consistently changing technologies and emphasized community and relationship-building.

“Technologies change, but friendships endure. When we need to meet and work together, it will be those relationships that we developed that will help us succeed no matter what,” said Pickett during the opening ceremony.

Established in 2004, Pacific Endeavor is an annual workshop designed to confirm participating nations are capable of communicating with one another in the event of a natural disaster and ensures the success of Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief operations when there is a crisis.

Singapore Air Force Col. Chew Lock Pin, Head of C4 Plans Group, welcomed the MCIP delegates to Singapore and commented on the complexity of HADR operations as aid is sent immediately often times without a complete understanding of how natural disaster damages have affected where planes will land or boats will dock.

“For HADR operations, they tend to be a bit different from the way we traditionally do our military operations and there are characteristics that are extremely challenging. There’s no time to waste because lives are on the line,” said Chew.

“We have dealt with different people and we have to deal with a lot of unprecedented problems. The only time we can get a chance to interoperate is on the ground,” he added.

This year’s Pacific Endeavor will be split into four smaller sub-workshops named Phoenix Endeavor, Cyber Endeavor, Satellite Communications Endeavor and Knowledge Endeavor. Each group focused on specific communications criteria to ensure preparatory measures are in place in the event of a major natural disaster.

Phoenix Endeavor is a communications spectrum management program, which organizes frequencies between nations’ militaries to ensure that no two nations are utilizing the same frequencies to communicate with their own or other militaries.

Cyber Endeavor focuses on "protecting information in a collaborative environment” with the intent to develop core competencies and go in depth into the aspects of providing confidentiality, integrity and availability to communications.

Satellite Communications Endeavor emphasizes the deployment and use of satellite communications during HADR operations.

Knowledge Endeavor focuses on lessons learned and organizes documented information that will be used later to further mitigate communications problems before a disaster strikes.

“I’m consistently amazed at the growth of the program and the amount of intellectual property and power that comes to a room,” said Pickett. “There’s so much energy here with so many good people.”

MCIP establishes a process that identifies and documents interoperability between Communications Information Systems of the Multinational Partnership Augmentation Team nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

MPAT is designed to develop a multinational cadre of military planners capable of augmenting a multinational force headquarters to plan and execute operations in response to a regional crisis.

“The focus is squarely placed on HADR for one reason and one reason only. Everybody wants to help during a crisis. And if everyone wants to somehow help during a crisis, we need to figure out how to work together,” said Ricardo Layne, program manager for MCIP.

The MCIP mission, in coordination with Multinational Mission Partners (MNMP), is to improve capacity to reduce human suffering and ultimately save lives through continuous engagement and documented processes.

According to Layne, this year is focused on testing interoperability between the older legacy and modern Internet protocol telephone switches to enable communication.

The participating nations for PE12 are: Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Tonga, and the United States.

— USPACOM (posted August 8, 2012) —