By Yin Hang
PORTLAND, U.S., Nov 14 (ChinaMil) -- The 13th China-U.S. Disaster Management Exchange, one of the routine annual exchanges between the two militaries, kicked off at Portland, State of Oregon on the morning of November 13, local time.
The event was a concrete step to implement the important consensuses reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and American President Donald Trump on military affairs such as holding the Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management Exchange within the year.
The event consists of three phases, namely, an Expert Academic Discussion, a Table Top Exchange and a Practical Field Exchange.
The participants from both sides will first spend three days on discussions and exchanges and then shift to the 4-day-long deduction at command station and joint exercises.
Both sides assigned 15 military and civilian experts to exchange views on a range of topics around flood disaster, including climatic model of flood threat and international pre-warning cooperation, and flood management mechanism and military-civilian coordination.
The Chinese team was headed by the Political Work Department of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) and consisted of representatives from the Joint Staff Department, the Logistic Support Department and the Office for International Military Cooperation under the CMC, General Headquarters of the PLA Army and China's National Flood and Drought Control Work, and the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The American team consisted of members from the U.S. Army Corps of engineers Division, the Oregon National Guard, National Weather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The two sides will also hold discussions about "downstream flood pre-warning model", "how to help local areas to restore normal production and life during flood rescue and relief", and other topics, share their experience in domestic and international humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and visit the flood control project of Columbia River.
It is learnt that in the phase of deduction at command station, each side will assign 35 people to form the multinational coordination center and exercise joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in a third country according to the standard assistance procedures for multinational forces adopted at the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus.
In the phase of joint exercise, Chinese army engineering unit from the PLA Southern Theater Command will have technical exchanges and realistic exercises with the U.S. Pacific Army, National Guard and Coast Guard on such subjects as surface search and rescue with helicopter, rescue from ruins and narrow space, fast bridge construction and so on.
The China-U.S. Disaster Management Exchange has developed in depth and breadth and made rich achievements since it was initiated in 1997.
In the past 20 years, the two sides held 13 exchanges, five deductions in command station and four realistic exercises, and more than 400 people from each side made mutual visits.
These activities played an important role for the Chinese and American militaries to learn from each other and deepen their pragmatic cooperation, and pushed the development of bilateral and mil-to-mil relations between the two countries.