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NEWS | Nov. 2, 2023

Singapore Concludes Multinational Exercise to Strengthen Cooperation in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

By Singapore Ministry of Defence

Exercise Coordinated Response (Ex COORES) is a biennial multinational Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Table-Top Exercise (TTX) that was co-organised by the Disaster Management Committee, Ministry of National Defence, Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre (Changi RHCC), and the United States (US) Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM). It involves 180 personnel from 26 militaries and 25 civilian organisations. Held at the Changi Command and Control Centre (CC2C), Changi Naval Base, from 30 Oct to 2 Nov 2023, the exercise aims to strengthen cooperation for HADR operations, establish civil-military linkages, and enhance mutual understanding and interoperability.

The exercise scenario was based on a tropical storm which resulted in torrential rains, flooding and landslides in a fictitious Affected State (AS). Due to the impact of the disaster, the government of the AS established a Whole-of-Government approach to manage the disaster while declaring a State of Emergency, and requested for international assistance. The TTX replicated the response plans of an AS-led Multi-National Coordination Centre to conduct both Military-Military, as well as Civil-Military coordination (CMCoord) with United Nations (UN) agencies such as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). This year's exercise design included increased CMCoord functions, where participating humanitarian agencies such as the UN OCHA, Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC), ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), and the Laos Red Cross Society offered valuable perspectives for the exercise, setting the benchmark for future HADR exercises.

On the sidelines of Ex COORES 2023, Director Changi RHCC, Colonel Fredie Tan, and Deputy Executive Director, Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), Mr. Chris Chiesa, also renewed the Memorandum of Understanding between the PDC and Changi RHCC. This important milestone signified the commitment by both agencies to continue collaborating on disaster management activities and capacity building initiatives.