Successful UN Exercise at THW National Training Center
Photo: (Above) The exercise took place in difficult conditions, which made smooth consultation among the participants even more important. Source: THW/Frank Winterfeld
NEUHAUSEN, GERMANY: It was one of the largest international disaster relief exercises: from October 15 to 21, the first joint exercise was held for international expert teams from the Logistics and Emergency Telecommunications clusters of the UN World Food Programme.
Press Release by THW
The LRT/OpEx Bravo exercise was hosted by the THW on the site of its National Training Center in Neuhausen.
Participants from more than 40 countries faced the following scenario, as developed by the THW and WFP. A devastating earthquake has struck the fictional country of Tukastan.
The telecommuni-cations infrastructure has collapsed, and resources are very limited. Damaged bridges, an over-stretched airport and impassable roads are all factors making it difficult to supply relief supplies to the population. Success is not possible without good foresight and planning and, above all, excellent coordination between the different organizations.
Having been officially invited to a training course, the 160 participants found several challenges awaiting them around the THW National Training Center. They had to work together to set up the telecommunication again and create a supply route to enable them to deliver supplies to the affected population. At the operatives’ disposal was also a helicopter flown by the German Federal Police.
On the Thursday of the training week, THW Vice-President Gerd Friedsam visited the site to gain an impression of the simulation:
“It is great to see how the THW and its international partners such as the WFP can organise exercises of this scope,” he said.
The THW and WFP have been working closely together for over a decade. Both organisations are experts on humanitarian missions and training courses throughout the world.
The LRT/OpEx Bravo exercise involved UN organisations such as the United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF and the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR, NGOs such as Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the Red Cross, as well as governmental agencies such as the US development aid agency USAID, the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and the THW.
The exercise was funded by the German Foreign Office, the government of Luxemburg and the private partner Ericsson Response.