Since the 7th of this month and until next June 17, the Armed Forces in the West Indies (FAA) are conducting an international exercise on an unprecedented scale at the dawn of the hurricane season. The exercise called "Caribbean 2022" brings together 2500 participants from 5 nations.
France, the United States, the Netherlands, England and the Dominican Republic are involved in this exercise with a total of 11 ships at sea, 10 aircraft, 850 soldiers and 90 vehicles ashore.
Cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes are major natural risks to which the West Indies are subject. These disasters represent a direct danger for the populations of the French West Indies, so one of the priority missions of the FAA is to provide assistance to the French population after one of these phenomena.
For this, the FAA must carry out training in real conditions, to have the capacity and the experience necessary to mobilize resources and pilot a large-scale emergency intervention.
The exercise will be based on the passage, fictitious, of a first cyclone on Guadeloupe this Wednesday June 8, then a second on Saint-Martin on Wednesday June 15. This demanding scenario, already observed in a real situation such as the sequence of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, will allow the FAA and its civilian and military partners to play all the phases of a real operation in four areas: Saint-Martin, Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre in Guadeloupe, and Marie-Galante by coordinating from Martinique: planning, reconnaissance, deployment, securing, assistance, evacuation, disengagement.
A major player in the HADR (HumanitarianAssistance and Disaster Relief) field within the Caribbean, the FAA works in cooperation with State services, partner forces in the area, such as the United States, the Netherlands, the England, the Dominican Republic, etc, as well as regional organizations such as the Caribbean Community, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Regional Security System, French Red Cross, etc.
Indeed, France already has a strong experience after multiple interventions in recent years, particularly after the passage of major cyclones, such as Irma in Saint-Martin in 2017, Dorian in the Bahamas in 2019, Eta and Iota in Honduras and in Guatemala in 2020, a violent earthquake in particular in Haiti in 2021, or a volcanic eruption as happened in Saint-Vincent in 2021. _AF
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