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NEWS | March 6, 2023

Cobra Gold 23: Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Tabletop Exercise

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Kassandra Alanis

About 100 participants from eight nations gathered to exchange ideas on preparing for humanitarian crisis and disaster relief scenarios.

The 2023 Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Tabletop Exercise (HADR TTX), commenced in Rayong Province, Thailand, on Feb. 25. The event is part of the 42nd iteration of Cobra Gold, an annual Thai-U.S. co-sponsored multinational exercise.

Panel discussion topics include information from Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, International Federation of the Red Cross, United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Changi Regional Coordination Center, Hydro-Informatics Institute, Ruamkatanyu Foundation, and Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

“The training audience are those who could potentially be involved in disaster response within their own country or in support of another. Many nations have the full capacity to handle disasters, but others under certain circumstances may need international assistance,” said Joseph Martin, the director of Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. “The program teaches how to engage with international partners perspectives, the inclusion of friends, allies, and partners in engagement activities help Indo-Pacific command by enabling nations to be involved with the United States.”

This was the first year that participating nations were able to gather for a tabletop exercise since 2019, all other exercises prior to this year were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year’s table talk has the largest group of participants. It was exciting to see the eager participation by all nations who have a lot of experience responding to several types of disasters. The questions asked were designed to get the multinational teams to think of solutions together, and to share experiences to learn and grow,” said Britton T. London, Sr., the Advisor and Exercise Planner of Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. “In this exercise nations work together to find ways to end suffering and save lives. I am excited for next year’s TTX. We plan to write a new scenario with new challenges for participants to enjoy. I had the opportunity to watch everyone work together and engage in open and honest dialog, I was impressed by them all.”