BAYANKHONGOR, Mongolia – Exercise Gobi Wolf 2022, a multinational civil and military training exercise, commenced with an opening ceremony and expert academic discussion Sept. 5.
The six-day exercise is part of the Pacific Resilience Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange (DREE) program, which focuses on interagency coordination and foreign humanitarian assistance. Gobi Wolf is coordinated by the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Army Pacific.
Exercise Gobi Wolf originated in 2009 in Ulaanbaatar with a training scenario involving a hazardous materials spill. In its 10th iteration, the exercise will focus on a simulated earthquake scenario 400 miles southwest of the capital city.
Brig. Gen. B. Uuganbayar, deputy director of NEMA, opened the ceremony and emphasized the need for nations to cooperate and exchange experience in disaster prevention to improve critical planning and ensure preparedness.
“Disaster prevention and preparedness can be ensured by using comprehensive measures such as developing planning documents and creating communication and warning networks,” said Uuganbayar.
The exercise consists of an expert academic discussion and tabletop and field training exercises to develop comprehensive measures and test disaster responses.
During two days of presentations, participants will collaborate with experts in their field and analyze various disaster situations. The week-long field training exercise will include hazmat response, search and rescue and mass medical care.
Brig. Gen. Tracy Smith, commander of the Alaska Air National Guard, talked about the training potential of the exercise during the opening ceremony and how much each entity and country has to learn from each other.
“Our nations continue to become stronger as we exercise our ability to prepare for, to respond to and mitigate the effects of a domestic crisis or disaster,” said Smith. “This regional approach to strengthen and refine our goal of a government model for emergency operations is key to security, stability and recovery.”
Historically, the Gobi Wolf exercise involves countries beyond Mongolia and the United States, and this year follows suit with approximately 300 participants. Delegates from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam are attending this year.
U.S. military and civilian participants include experts from the active duty and reserve components of U.S. Army Pacific and Pacific Air Forces, Alaska and Washington National Guards, U.S. Forest Service, and Alaska’s City of Palmer Fire and Rescue, and exercise planning from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s Institute for Security Governance.