Exercise Shared Resilience brings together multinational medical experts to enhance disaster response

May 30, 2013

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

U.S. Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr. (left) and USAREUR Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport (right) pose with Command Sgt. Maj. Dominik Ban, Sergeant Major of the Croatian Land Forces, after presenting Ban with the Sergeant Morales Club Medal during the seventh Conference of European Armies in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ban is the first non-U.S. NCO to earn the award. (Photo by G. Patrick Harris)

Service members from the U.S., Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Slovenia salute during the opening ceremony for exercise Shared Resilience in Pepelishte, Macedonia, May 28. The multinational exercise is designed to enhance interagency cooperation for disaster response. (Photo by Sgt. Gregory Williams)

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PEPELISHTE, Macedonia -- More than 250 service members took part in an opening ceremony here May 28 to kick off Shared Resilience 13, a mulitnational exercise designed to to enhance interagency coordination by bringing together medical professionals from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and U.S. forces.

This year’s focus is on humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, crisis response, and consequence management operations in response to a natural disaster. More than 300 participants are expected to take part in medical classes, certification courses, a mass casualty response exercise and an earthquake simulation.

“We are all professionals coming from different nations and different cultures in a unified action,” said Shared Resilience co-director Lt. Col. Jeffrey Cantor of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command. “We’re designed to respond to a major disaster and to help end the human suffering associated with that disaster.”

It’s important for each nation to take away as much information and training possible from the exercise because lives are at stake when a natural disaster hits, Cantor added.

Macedonian Joint Operation Command Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Racaj Muhamed said Shared Resilience would not be possible without the support of the armies in the region and U.S. Army Europe.

“This exercise will be greatly beneficial for all participants because it will help regional and international agencies respond in an efficient manner to a natural disaster,” Muhamed said. “This exercise will help the armies cooperate on a regional level and to leverage joint efforts toward diminishing the effects of a natural disaster.”

Exercise officials said this year's iteration is the first time a civil affairs command will direct the exercise.

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