MEDIA BACKGROUND CONSEQUENCE MANAGEMENT EXERCISE “BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA 2017”

JOINTLY ORGANIZED BY

NATO’S EURO-ATLANTIC DISASTER RESPONSE COORDINATION CENTRE (EADRCC) AND THE MINISTRY OF SECURITY OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

 

Tuzla, 25 -27 September 2017

  1. THE EXERCISE: RATIONALE, SCENARIO, AND PARTICIPATING NATIONS

The consequence management field exercise “BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA 2017” will be conducted from 25th to 29th September 2017, in and around the city of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim of the exercise is to improve interoperability in international disaster response operations.

The exercise will be jointly conducted by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This is the 17th EADRCC consequence management field exercise and the first to be hosted by Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The choice of a flood and earthquake scenario is linked to the type of geological and environmental challenges faced by Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Following natural disasters in 2014, Bosnia and Herzegovina requested support from the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) to deal with the consequences of the floods and landslides that devastated large parts of the country. More than 40 countries and several international organizations provided their support.

At the request of the Ministry of Security, a NATO civilian team was deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 2014. Subsequently, the NATO civilian team recommended that international training and exercises should be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to increase interoperability between providers of disaster response operations.

The scenario for this year’s EADRCC exercise “BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA 2017” provides an opportunity to practice international cooperation and strengthen the ability of teams from different nations to work effectively together across a wide range of relief operations. These include water rescue, urban search and rescue, medical/paramedical teams, and Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) protection, as well as decontamination teams.

Around 1200 people in total will be involved in the exercise in Tuzla, from Bosnia and Herzegovina and from other 34 Allied and partner nations. Around half of the personnel involved in the exercise will be from the host country Bosnia and Herzegovina. Contributions to the exercise will consist of exercise planners and evaluators, emergency response teams and observers.

Most participating countries will send civilian first responders to the exercise. Some nations will provide specialized teams with military status.

Participation of international organizations, international bodies and NGOs

Several international organizations and bodies will be involved in the EADRCC exercise in 2017.

  • In the past years, NATO has developed excellent cooperation with the United Nations and other relevant international organizations, including the European Union, through cooperation in a number of disaster relief efforts and operations. There are many examples for our cooperation, such as in response to the earthquake in Pakistan in 2005, to floods around Europe including in Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2014 and in Albania in 2015, to the forest fires in Israel in 2016 and to forest fires in Montenegro in 2017.
  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) will participate by contributing to the common operational picture of the international assistance. An “On-Site Operation Coordination Centre” (OSOCC) based on the UNOCHA model and manned by personnel provided by Allied and Partner nations will be also established for the exercise.
  • The European Union will participate in the exercise by sending a liaison officer from the European Response Coordination Centre to the “On-Site Operation Coordination Centre” (OSOCC).
  • EUFOR participated in the planning process and will provide high-resolution aerial views of the affected areas in the exercise site.
  • In addition, several international organizations and bodies participated in the planning process of the exercise and will be represented in Tuzla: the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE), the Joint CBRN Centre of Excellence (JCBRN COE), Headquarters Multinational Peace Force South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG), the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe (DPPI SEE) and the NGOs “Save the Children” and the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • The four NATO Civil Emergency Planning Groups will also be participating with NATO Civil Experts: Civil Protection Group (CPG), Industrial Resources and Communication Services Group (IRCSG), Joint Health Agriculture and Food Group (JHAFG) and Transport Group (TG).
  • NATO HQ Sarajevo contributed to the planning and will give key support to the conduct of the exercise. In addition to logistical support, NATO HQ Sarajevo will lead the training on the protection of civilians during the exercise.

Some exercise highlights

  • Prior to the practical field exercise, there will be a command post exercise using virtual reality technology in order to exercise information flow among responders.
  • “BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA 2017” will provide an opportunity to employ a telemedicine system to increase medical support on-site by remotely engaging medical experts from assisting nations. With deployed field telemedicine kits, medical personnel on-site will be able to reach back and get advice from medical experts in emergency hospitals in other countries through different communication channels, including satellites. These telemedicine capabilities were developed under NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme and will be tested in the exercise.
  • Training on Protection of Civilians in a complex emergency will also be offered for the first time to military and civilian participants. This important training module was developed by NATO HQ Sarajevo and NATO Women, Peace and Security staff in cooperation with UNOCHA, UNICEF and the NGO Save the Children.
  • “BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA 2017” will provide the opportunity to test for the first time a multi-year project for capacity building in the Western Balkans in the area of emergency response. This project is supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme and is called “Next Generation Incident Command System”. It will be tested during the exercise by the teams of participating counties. The project is led by the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[1] and Montenegro and  supports partner nations in the Western Balkans to set up an incident command system to facilitate real-time coordination among first responders in case of a disaster.
  • As in previous years, the exercise will also include the simulated use of social media in emergencies, with the aim to provide timely basic information to the public.
  1. EXERCISE PERSONNEL DEPLOYED ON-SITE

In addition to the emergency response teams provided by the host country Bosnia and Herzegovina, 19 nations will also send emergency response teams:

  1. Armenia;
  2. Austria;
  3. Azerbaijan;
  4. Belarus
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Croatia
  7. Finland
  8. Georgia
  9. Italy
  10. Montenegro
  11. Pakistan
  12. Romania
  13. Serbia
  14. Slovenia
  15. Spain
  16. Macedonia
  17. Turkey
  18. Ukraine
  19. USA

Countries sending planning and evaluation exercise staff and observers:

  1. Belgium
  2. Czech Republic
  3. France
  4. Germany
  5. Norway
  6. Sweden
  7. UK
  8. Albania
  9. Greece (observers)
  10. Hungary (observers)
  11. Iraq (observers)
  12. Japan (observers)
  13. Jordan (observers)
  14. Netherlands (observers)
  15. Tunisia (observers)
  16. NATO’S EURO-ATLANTIC DISASTER RESPONSE COORDINATION CENTRE (EADRCC)

The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) is NATO’s principal civil emergency response mechanism.

It is active all year round, operational on a 24/7 basis, and involves NATO’s 29 Allies and all partner countries.

The Centre functions as a clearing-house system for coordinating requests and offers of assistance mainly in case of natural and man-made disasters.

This is the 17th international field exercise organized and conducted by the EADRCC, since 2000.

List of previously held exercises:

  1. USEFUL LINKS

EADRCC web-page: www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_52057.htm

Lead-in scenario of the exercise “Bosna I Herzegovina 2017”:

http://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2017_02/20170201_20170201-BiH-eaddrcc-lead-in-scenario.pdf

Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina:   http://bih2017.msb.gov.ba/