HANOI, 12 October 2013 - Viet Nam will host the ASEAN Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (code named ARDEX-13), which aims to practice, assess and review disaster emergency response mechanisms under the ASEAN Standby Arrangements and Standard Operating Procedures. This year’s ARDEX will be held on 21-24 October in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and will be the first time to test the operational capability of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) since its establishment in November 2011. The Exercise is expected to strengthen ASEAN’s collective response to massive disasters in the region.
ARDEX is organised based on the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), which mandates the strengthening of the emergency response to disaster and humanitarian assistance coordination.
ARDEX-13 will use the scenario of Super Typhoon ‘Neptune’, which makes a landfall in the area of northern delta provinces of Viet Nam causing large scale inundation impacting dike systems and takes thousands of lives, while ten thousand people affected by collapsed houses and flooding are in need of emergency assistance.
At the strategic level, ARDEX-13 will focus on practicing, evaluating and reviewing the SASOP mechanisms to share and exchange disaster information, request and offer assistance, conduct joint emergency rapid assessment, and receive assistance. At the tactical level, ARDEX-13 will focus on disaster rescue and relief operations performed jointly by Viet Nam as the host country and the participating ASEAN Member States. The lessons in organisation, direction, and coordination will be compiled to further improve SASOP and actual joint response to disasters.
In terms of mechanism exercise, ARDEX-13 will include: (1) communication exercise that will be held on 17 October 2013 to send the information to AHA Centre and ASEAN Member States and to request for assistance; (2) Customs, Immigrations, and Quarantine exercise that will be held on 20 October 2013 to test the entry procedure for search and rescue forces and equipments; (3) workshops on 21, 22 October 2013 to discuss on Viet Nam disaster management system, AHA Centre operationalisation, AADMER Working Programme, and ASEAN Emergency Rapid Assessment Team (ERAT) Refresher Course; (4) ERAT simulation exercise on 20 and 23 October; and (5) Evaluation of ARDEX-13 (24/10).
Meanwhile, the Simulation Exercise on 23 October 2013 will involve search and rescue forces from ASEAN countries to coordinate in specific scenarios and medical assistance at the site. There will be four scenarios in the exercise; (1) evacuation, rescue people in flooded areas, (2) search and rescue in collapsed buildings, (3) search and rescue in chemical incidents, (4) field hospital. Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand will participate in scenarios 2, 3, and 4 with fully-equipped forces and logistics. There will also be observers from Japan, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States, United Nations organizations, civil society organizations, and other international organizations.
To prepare for ARDEX-13, besides having direct support from the AHA Centre, Viet Nam Government has established the ARDEX-13 Steering Committee which includes representatives of ministries, sectors, and Hanoi City Government.
The AADMER, signed by the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN in July 2005 at Vientiane, aims to set up an effective coordination mechanism to minimize damage to the economy-society-environment of the countries in ASEAN. As in previous ARDEX 2005 in Malaysia, ARDEX 2006 in Cambodia, ARDEX 2007 in Singapore, and ARDEX 2008 in Thailand, ARDEX-13 will directly benefit ASEAN Member Countries on information sharing, search and rescue coordination, and humanitarian assistance in disaster emergency response.