June 23, 2023: A five-day bilateral Mass Evacuation and Disaster Response workshop took place this week from June 19 to June 23 as a collaboration between the United States Africa Command, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Mauritian security forces.
The closing ceremony for the workshop was held at the Hennessy Hotel the afternoon of Friday, June 23, in the presence of Vice Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Anwar Husnoo and U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Satrajit Sardar.
The workshop is the second in a series of disaster response engagements that brought together more than 60 participants from the defense, maritime trade, and cruise ship sectors to focus on mass casualty and maritime rescue operations in Mauritius. The first event was an Oil Spill and Mass Rescue Exchange that was held from August 22-26, 2022.
This workshop covered mass rescue operations that included development of a national response plan, discussions of the processes of incident command, how to conduct strategic communications, a table-top exercise, and a field simulation exercise involving real-world at-sea operations with over 10 ships and 500 participants. Members of the press were invited to witness the simulation exercise at sea.
During remarks at the ceremony, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Satrajit Sardar said, “As U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma mentioned in his visit last month, expanding cooperation between like-minded countries like Mauritius and the United States on our mutual priorities, which include maritime security, is in both our interests. We look forward to our ongoing partnership in the fight to uphold regional security. I congratulate the participants on their hard work and further encourage the continued exceptional relationship between the United States and the Government of Mauritius.”
The workshop and exercise were supported through the combined efforts of the Prime Minister’s Office; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, and International Trade; the Ministry of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management; the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping; The Ministry of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity; Mauritius Revenue Authority; Mauritius Ports Authority; Mauritius Radiation Safety and Nuclear Security Authority; Mauritius Meteorological Services; Mauritius Tourism Authority; Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority; the Mauritius Police Force; the Mauritius National Coast Guard; the Special Mobile Force; the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre; the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Services; the SAMU; Mauritius Shipping Company Limited; and St. John Ambulance.