China-US joint drills on HA/DR conclude

China Military Online
Zhang Tao
The photo shows the site of the closing ceremony. ( by Huang Yuanli)

PORTLAND, United States, Nov. 20 (ChinaMil) -- The China-US joint drills on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) and the 13th annual China-U.S. Disaster Management Exchange Table Top Exchange (TTE) wrapped up at Camp Rilea on the seaside of Oregon, northwest United States, Nov 19, local time.

Heads of the observing groups on both sides addressed the closing ceremony held at 11:00 am and met with the Chinese and foreign press after the ceremony.

The two sides commended 10 military service members that performed outstandingly during the drills, and had a comprehensive review of the exchange and drills through a short video.

Major General Zhang Jian, head of the Chinese observing group and army commander of the PLA Southern Theater Command, said that the China-U.S. joint drills and exchanges on HA/DR have passed the 20-year mark, with the format continuously enriched and the content deepened. These activities have given a strong boost to mutual trust between the two militaries and promoted the sharing of achievements.

Zhang stressed that Chinese President Xi Jinping announced again at the 19th CPC National Congress the beautiful wish to build a human community of shared destiny. China and the U.S. should join hands to deal with risks and challenges and make due contributions to the development of human society.

The Chinese military is willing to work with its American counterpart to deepen pragmatic cooperation in nontraditional security areas such as international HA/DR, and jointly safeguard world and regional peace and stability, Zhang added.

General Robert Brown, head of the American observing group and army commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said that the past 20 years have shown us the great importance of HA/DR for deepening pragmatic cooperation between the two countries and militaries. China and the U.S. are different in many ways, but there is no boundary in saving lives. Only by forming a close partnership in peacetime will we be able to make united efforts at times of disaster.

He urged the two sides to work together to deepen the exchange and joint drills and continuously enhance the capability of conducting such exercises.

Brown also expressed his confidence in the close cooperation between the Chinese and American militaries.

The joint assessment team comprised of Chinese and American experts assessed the effects of the drills, and presented an assessment report before the closing ceremony.

Both sides believed the exchange and drills reached the expected goals and fully reflected the spirit of cooperation in humanitarian relief. The assessment team also gave suggestions on future drills and exchanges based on opinions from Chinese and American participants.

During the seven days, Chinese and American service members studied theories and practices for dealing with flood disasters, conducted deductive reasoning activities for the first time according to working procedures and functions of the multinational coordination center, and achieved a series of concrete results.

Participating members on both sides worked in close cooperation and exchanged views on equipment and technology, working procedures and disaster relief experience, laying a solid foundation for deepening the military-to-military mutual trust and making joint rescue and relief efforts more efficient.

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