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Background

At the 19th ARF Ministerial Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the ARF Ministers welcomed Thailand and the Republic of Korea as co-chair of the ARF Disaster-Relief Exercise (ARF DiREx) 2013, to be held in Cha-am, Phetburi Province in Thailand on 7-11 May 2013. 

The ARF DiREx is a collaboration of efforts among civilian authorities and the military in organizing a large scale disaster relief exercise. The previous two ARF DiREx, held in 2009 and 2011 in the Philippines and Indonesia respectively, have been widely recognized as landmark events in improving the capacity of the region?s disaster response mechanism in a multinational operational context. At the 18th ARF Ministerial Meeting, ministers welcomed the recommendations of ARF DiREx 2011 to conduct joint exercises on a regular basis. 

ARF DiREx 2013 will continue the theme of the previous two ARF exercises to enhance regional and affected nation civilian ? military (civ-mil) coordination, cooperation, effectiveness, and speed of response to a disaster.  ARF DiREx 2013 will address civil-military coordination through operational / strategic (national governmental / regional organizations) focused on the Table Top Exercise (TTX) and a tactical level (affected-site) oriented Field Training Exercise (FTX). In addition, the After Action Review (AAR) will evaluate the success and areas for improvement of the TTX and FTX.              

The overarching scenario for ARF DiREx 2013 TTX will be a 8.9 earthquake and subsequent 8 meter tsunami in the Andaman Sea.  The TTX will focus on those National and Regional coordination mechanisms that will address Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSOI) of assisting nations, capabilities, theater transportation requirements, and national limitations / requirements.  The FTX will focus on two objectives: (1) demonstrate Search and Rescue (SAR) capabilities integrated with medical, engineer, and chemical response requirements; and (2) exercise Incident Command System through the Multinational Coordination Center (MNCC).    

The ARF DiREx 2013 will have the participation of over 26 countries, one regional grouping, and regional and international organizations such as the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). 

Objectives of ARF DiREx 2013: