Representatives from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and USCENTCOM gather outside the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany, during the Main Planning Conference for Exercise REGIONAL COOPERATION 13, scheduled for July. Conducted since 2004, REGIONAL COOPERATION is the premiere USCENTCOM multilateral exercise in the Central and South Asian State region. (U.S. Army photo)
GARMISCH, Germany — The Main Planning Conference for the U.S. Central Command’s (USCENTCOM) exercise REGIONAL COOPERATION 13 (RC13) was conducted at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany, from Feb. 25 through March 1, 2013.
“Our goal for RC 13 is to present the training audience with a complex scenario that requires a collaborative effort to tackle. Our partners are accustomed to working one-on-one with the U.S. This exercise expands on those bilateral relationships to create a multilateral environment where regional neighbors collectively respond to a regional crisis,” said Col. Patrick Connelly, Exercise Division Chief at USCENTCOM’s Directorate of Exercises and Training.
“This week, through collective hard work, we have forged partnerships and set the conditions for exercise success. We will continue to build on this momentum through the Final Planning Conference and into execution in the summer.” he said.
Representatives from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan combined efforts with USCENTCOM to design the exercise to build regional partnerships between the Central and South Asian States to prepare for, respond to, mitigate and recover from crisis situations. Kazakhstan will serve as the host nation of this iteration of the exercise at the George C. Marshall Center from July 8-18, 2013.
Specific conference objectives included drafting the Master Scenario Event List (MSEL), validating the exercise manning document, and further refining the Regional Coordination Center (RCC) Procedures Book. The RCC is an operations and coordination center that provides a partnership venue for military and relief organizations to receive, validate, and coordinate requests for assistance from a nation affected by an act of terrorism or natural disaster of sufficient magnitude that national resources are not sufficient to respond effectively. The RCC Procedures Book is a starting point used to synchronize individual national efforts in the response to such a crisis.
According to Col. Kanat Aitzhanov, deputy head of the Kazakhstan delegation, the conference was a major success. “In my opinion, the most significant milestone of this week was the introduction of the internationally manned working groups at the beginning of the conference. This allowed us to build cohesion between participant countries and to streamline work of the multinational teams.”
The scenario for this year’s exercise involves a complex storyline initiated by a natural disaster. The magnitude of the disaster quickly overwhelms the affected nation’s organic resources, creating a post-disaster environment ripe for exploitation by a non-state terrorist organization. The disaster response and growing threat requires regional partners to work together to confront both humanitarian and security challenges.
This critical exercise is the premiere USCENTCOM multilateral exercise in the Central and South Asian State region, and provides an optimal opportunity to strengthen regional relationships by working together to solve a complex challenge. REGIONAL COOPERATION has been conducted with a dedicated focus since 2004.