A Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Table Top Exercise withparticipants from the U.S. and Nepali militaries, Government of Nepal, international and national agencies, and multinational observers ended in Kathmandu today. The table-top exercise, held February 2-8, was an effort to develop a coordinated approach to disaster planning in the event of a major earthquake. 30 members from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Okinawa, participated in the exercise.
At today’s closing ceremony for the Nepal-U.S. exercise, U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Peter W. Bodde joined Lieutenant General Nepal Bhushan Chand, the Nepali Army Chief of General Staff, in thanking all of the participants.
In his closing remarks Ambassador Bodde noted, “Joint planning sessions like this table-top exercise are a tremendously valuable tool in disaster mitigation. The United States is committed to working with the people of Nepal, government and private citizens alike, to help them prepare as well as possible for a major earthquake. Together we are retrofitting schools and hospitals, improving building codes, prepositioning supplies, training community first responder, working with the Home and Defense Ministries, the Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, and foreign nations. The coordination that is done before an earthquake happens will pay enormous dividends later in the form of lives saved.”