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Thailand and the Republic of Korea will co-host the ASEAN Regional Forum
Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF DiREx) 2013

On 7 - 11 May 2013, Thailand and the Republic of Korea will co-host the ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF DiREx) 2013 in Cha-am, Phetchaburi, Thailand.

The main organizers for Thailand are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Defense.

First held in 2009, the ARF DiREx takes place every two years and are co-hosted by one ASEAN Member State and one non ASEAN ARF member. The exercise aims to enhance civilian-military coordination and cooperation in disaster relief as well as to promote exchange of expertise and best practices in disaster management among ARF participants. ARF Members include the ten ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Dialogue Partners (Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, the United States and the European Union) and other countries in Asia-Pacific (Bangladesh, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste).

The Exercise will bring together about 1,200 civilian and military representatives from ARF members and relevant regional and international agencies including United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre). 

The ARF DiREx 2013 comprises 3 main activities, namely Table Top Exercise, Field Training Exercise, and After Action Review. The TTX will discuss 3 themes: international cooperation framework, national framework (logistics, customs, immigration & quarantine, and public information), and foreign citizen assistance. The TTX will test the existing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) standards of operation of Thailand, ASEAN, and ARF for disaster management, in conjunction with international HADR cooperation frameworks. With a main focus on civilian-military coordination, the FTX exercise will consist of 5 scenarios: collapse of building structure, hazardous material leakage, rock slide, maritime rescue, and medical operation. Both TTX and FTX will be evaluated by the After Action Review (AAR) Working Group. The main tasks of AAR Working Group include distribution of the questionnaire, collection and compilation of the data and observations at the FTX and TTX, evaluation of the data and observations, and drafting the final AAR Report with recommendations. At the end of DiREx 2013, the AAR Working Group will present its report and recommendations which will be, for the first time, submitted to the ARF Ministerial Meeting.

The ARF DiREx 2013 reflects Thailand’s commitment and active role in disaster management and will serve as a platform for networking and exchange of expertise and best practices among ARF members and the relevant international agencies.