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NEWS | May 8, 2024

Exercise Gobi Wolf 2024 Begins in Heart of Mongolian Steppe

By Capt. Balinda O’Neal 134th Public Affairs Detachment

Exercise Gobi Wolf 2024, a multinational civil and military training exercise, commenced with an opening ceremony and expert academic discussion in the Dornod Province capital city of Choibalsan May 7.

The four-day exercise is part of the Pacific Resilience Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange program, which focuses on interagency coordination and foreign humanitarian assistance and is coordinated by the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Army Pacific.

Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia Sainbuyan Amarsaikhan opened the ceremony by underscoring the critical importance of international cooperation in addressing the escalating challenges posed by natural disasters.

“Extremely dangerous natural phenomena have occurred all over the world and potential risks have become a part of our lives due to climate change, global warming, and ecological degradation in recent years,” said Amarsaikhan. “[This year’s] scenario is developed based on regional and local disaster types, risk factors, conditions, characteristics and humanitarian aid needs.”

Mongolia’s easternmost province is known for its expansive plains and natural hazards, including wildfires, snowstorms and floods. Participants will engage in expert academic discussions, tabletop exercises, and field training activities covering a range of disciplines, including search and rescue, firefighting and medical triage.

During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Scott Winter, deputy commanding general - strategy and plans for U.S. Army Pacific and an Australian army general officer, commended the enduring partnership between USARPAC and NEMA.

“Throughout the years, this partnership has blossomed, rooted in mutual respect and a shared commitment to excellence,” Winter said, adding that it was the 10th time the U.S. and Mongolian governments have partnered for the exercise.

The steppe, with its expansive grassy plains and unique ecological characteristics, provided an ideal setting for the exercise. Over 350 people representing 30 organizations, including military, law enforcement, ministries, and international humanitarian organizations, participated in the collaborative effort. Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, India, Maldives, Nepal, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States joined Mongolia.

Winter said that the international collaboration underscored the importance of the collective mission.

“Not only to the national and international participants but, most importantly, to the local community. For it is the local emergency response professionals who stand on the front lines, ready to spring into action when disaster strikes,” said Winter.

As Exercise Gobi Wolf 2024 unfolds amid the vast expanse of the Mongolian steppe, participants from around the world come together in a shared commitment to disaster preparedness and resilience. Through knowledge sharing, collaboration and practical training, they aim to fortify their capabilities and forge lasting partnerships in the face of evolving challenges posed by natural disasters.
 

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