MCIP Workshop delegates from Madagascar, Australia, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. MCIP Workshop delegates from Madagascar, Australia, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. CREDIT: New Zealand Defence Force

Disaster relief on conference agenda

Monday 22 September 2008, 11:24AM
By New Zealand Defence Force


Developing common communications operating procedures to enable military forces in the Asia Pacific region to work together in the event of a major disaster is the focus of a workshop and conference being held in Wellington this week.

The Multinational Communications and Information Systems Interoperability Programme (MCIP) workshop and conference, which runs from 17 – 26 September is being co-hosted by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM). Military forces from 16 countries are represented including Australia, Brunei, Japan, Mongolia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The workshop will focus on testing how well the various militaries can communicate with each other during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations using a scenario set on a fictitious chain of islands in the Indian Ocean.

The MCIP workshop is an initiative that was established by USPACOM following the Boxing Day tsunami which devastated countries in the Asia-Pacific Region. The aim is to develop and test communications procedures and test equipment interoperability during various conferences and workshops held each year.

NZDF MCIP representative Major Liam Jones said the five day workshop will be followed by a three day Senior Communicators Conference where the MCIP program and other communications issues relating to interoperability between militaries in the Asia Pacific region will be discussed.

“The workshop also provides the opportunity for NZDF Communications and Information Systems staff to further their professional development and engage with our counterparts in the region,” Major Jones said.