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Home : Media : News

NEWS | Jan. 15, 2015

China, US Disaster Management Exchange

By Angela Kershner U.S. Army

A team of U.S. military and civilian experts in the field of Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief were welcomed to China by People's Liberation Army (PLA) officials Jan. 12, 2015.

Maj. Gen. Edward Dorman, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC), and representatives from numerous U.S. government agencies were greeted by Maj. Gen. Xu Jinlin, deputy director general of the PLA Guangzhou Military Region Political Department, upon their arrival at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.

An 18-person U.S. team is in Guangzhou participating in a three-day Expert Academic Discussion (EAD) as a part of U.S. Army Pacific's annual Disaster Management Exchange (DME) with the Chinese PLA. The EAD consists of several site visits and briefings regarding the various flood control and disaster response capabilities of China as well as those of each U.S. organization involved. Some of the site visits include the Guangdong Provincial Meteorological Television Propaganda Center, the Guangzhou Center Observatory, the Provincial Disaster Management Command, materiel stocks and Dashatou Pier.

On Thursday the team will travel to Haikou, Hainan Province, China where approximately 70 U.S. participants and their PLA counterparts will conduct a Table Top Exchange and Practical Field Exchange during which both countries will examine how they would respond to a large-scale natural disaster in a fictional third country. The fictional scenario used in this year's exchange will be flooding after a typhoon, a type of disaster that remains a constant threat in the Asia-Pacific region.

This is the 10th iteration of the DME, an annual USARPAC security cooperation
event with the PLA. Through the DME, both the U.S. and PRC armies have built a strong and compelling model of cooperation to improve not only the security of our countries and the safety of our citizens, but to enhance the stability of the region.

The DME began in 2005 with presentation exchanges between mid-level officers and has expanded with each subsequent iteration. In 2012, the first field exchange occurred when the PLA hosted a USARPAC delegation in southwest China (Beijing, Kunming and Chengdu). In 2013, USARPAC hosted the PLA on the island of Oahu, Hawaii; in Washington, D.C.; and in New York City for a more extensive exchange than previous years. The highlight of this year's DME is the utilization of the Multinational Coordination Center during the Practical Field Exchange.

Participating U.S. organizations include U.S. Army Pacific, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, the Hawaii Army National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marines, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, and other organizations that have a high stake in Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief.