Civil-Military Interaction: Disaster Preparation and Response Workshop has been opened and conducted
A welcoming speech of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Matthias Hoepfner has opened the Civil-Military Interaction: Disaster Preparation and Response Workshop, which is taking place in Sofia, 11-13 February 2014. The event is under the patronage of George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and co-hosted with the Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE). The workshop is attended by representatives from civilian and military structures from 11 countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece , FYROM, Kosovo, Romania , Croatia, Montenegro and USA. In addition on the American side taking part are delegations from the National Guard of the states of Vermont, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and Tennessee as part of the State Partnership Program.
In his speech HE Ambassador Hoepfner stressed the importance of the interaction between civilian and military organizations in disaster response. As a concrete example he pointed out the engagement of the Bulgarian institutions concerning the flood at Biser Village and handling the crisis of Syrian refugees. He also expressed the satisfaction by the Federal Republic to the ambitions of Bulgaria to deepen its work in the area of such expertise by establishing and the accreditation of COE located in Sofia. The same points were highlighted in the welcoming speech of Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Bulgaria, Ms Elizabeth Fitzsimmons. She shared her personal experience and observations on the benefits of good cooperation and interaction between the civil and military organizations . Both distinguished speakers voiced official support of their countries for the further design and accreditation of the CMDR COE by HQ SACT.
The participants were welcomed by an address from the Deputy Minister of Interior Mr. Plamen Angelov and Colonel Konstantin Nesterov, deputy chief of the Defence Policy Directorate – MOD.
The seminar lasted three days with the participants divided into syndicates to discuss problematic issues related to the mechanisms of interaction between institutions in their different countries and also in the framework of the Euro - Atlantic cooperation.
On the last day the groups conducted a disaster response planning exercise.
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