The Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange (DREE), a joint exercise of Bangladesh and the United States of America, better prepares us for any earthquake that may strike, said Earl R Miller, US ambassador to Bangladesh.
He said this on Thursday at the closing ceremonies of the DREE.
While this is the ninth annual DREE in Bangladesh, it is the first since Bangladesh co-hosted its first multinational disaster response exercise in Singapore this past April.
It prepares us for the rigors and stresses we may face in its aftermath. It inspires us to think not only locally, but nationally, regionally and internationally. It encourages all of us to lead, follow, and learn from our fellow DREE participants, and to be ready ourselves to serve others, Miller said.
South Asia suffered from multiple major earthquakes in the last few years. Those experiences remind us all how violent and unpredictable these events can be, he added.
It calls on all of us to engage critical stakeholders in future DREEs. It prepares Bangladesh to assist its regional neighbors, and prepare them to better plan, react, and assist when disaster strikes. None of this can be done without everyone present here today, he further said.
Looking at today's audience, it is particularly rewarding to see military members from multiple countries joined by representatives from governmental and international organizations, NGOs, and the US Embassy: A broad coalition of organizations, each with unique capabilities and skills, when combined, are greater than the sum of their parts, he further added.
He thanked the participants for the formal feedback they would provide this afternoon during the After Action Review while added that their recommendations will help improve future disaster response exercises.
Please continue to share your thoughts with DREE leadership after today so we can press forward in our shared efforts. I hope you will carry with you the many lessons learned this week, and use this knowledge to enhance our collective response to future disasters, he urged.
Congratulating on the successful completion of the exercise, he said working together in this way is a tremendous achievement, and he looked forward to learning about many more.