PDC reunites with partners in Barbados for Tradewinds 2024 multinational exercise

May 13, 2024
By: Chani Goering
Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) recently reunited with disaster management experts in Barbados following a March 2024 engagement in Bridgetown in which PDC presented the results of the National Disaster Preparedness Baseline Assessment conducted in partnership with the Barbados Department of Emergency Management (DEM) and local stakeholders.

Just two months later, PDC and the Department of Emergency Management met again in Barbados, this time to support the Tradewinds 2024 large-scale multinational exercise which took place within the country between May 4 – 16, 2024.

“Tradewinds is an important exercise that not only strengthens our emergency management capabilities in Barbados, but the CDEMA regional response mechanism as a whole. Our partnership with PDC who has joined us in Barbados to support the Tradewinds event, enhances the exercise through the application of new hazard and risk data we’ve recently developed together during the Barbados National Disaster Preparedness Baseline Assessment.”

—Barbados DEM CAPT Robert Harewood

Tradewinds is a large-scale, annual exercise that takes place in different locations throughout the Caribbean to improve interoperability, crisis readiness, and to help address shared security challenges. This year’s exercise garnered over 1,000 participants from civilian agencies, military, and observer/trainer teams from multiple countries who train together in ground, air, sea, and cyber operations.

The PDC team finalizes testing and deployment of new automated earthquake hazard impact assessment products. Five more automated hazard products are queued for release in the near future.

“We were excited to put the recently concluded assessment for Barbados into immediate operational use during Tradewinds 24, especially as hurricane season approaches.

The disaster management training we conducted with partners at the Barbados Department of Emergency Management headquarters in support of the exercise emphasized the use of data and decision support systems to improve speed, coordination, and effectiveness of response efforts. Having access to the Barbados national assessment data in a centralized location through PDC’s DisasterAWARE decision support and risk intelligence platform exemplified the value of our collective efforts.”

—PDC’s Senior Disaster Management Specialist and Response Lead

According to Bosse, PDC supported the entire Tradewinds 24 planning phase to ensure the goals and objectives of the humanitarian assistance and disaster response portion of the exercise could be achieved.

With support from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and their Starlink, PDC established a real-time Common Operating Picture (COP) at the scene, crucial for coordinating response efforts and guiding personnel incoming to event location and those operating at the Barbados Emergency Operations Center.

The event was co-led by the Barbados DEM and the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) and encompassed Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Medical Evacuations (MEDEVAC), and Incident Command System (ICS) operations.

PDC has supported the Tradewinds exercises for the last three years, and remotely supported previous years as well, using DisasterAWARE as the common operational picture for sharing information and coordinating multi-agency response activities.

These are important activities, said Bosse, because they strengthen regional partnerships and multi-lateral humanitarian assistance capabilities during real-world events. This is critically important as the region prepares for the upcoming hurricane season.

“Exercise Tradewinds provides a unique opportunity for allies and partners in the region to develop and enhance HADR skills sets, build trust and enhance interoperability when responding to natural disasters.”

—Lt Col Simpson from the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC)

Tradewinds focuses on building capacity for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), regional agencies and institutions, and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) as well as partner nations engaged in the exercise from the Caribbean Basin, U.S., Canada, France, Netherlands, and United Kingdom.

About PDC

Winner of the 2022 UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, the University of Hawai’i’s Pacific Disaster Center is a global leader in the innovation and application of life-saving disaster management science, early warning technology, and advanced analytics. Our risk intelligence products provide decision-makers with the essential insights and information needed to act early to protect communities from hazards and build more sustainable, resilient communities for a safer world.

The Center’s DisasterAWARE platform is used by tens of thousands of disaster management and humanitarian assistance practitioners around the globe. DisasterAWARE is the most comprehensive, ready-made “Early Warning for All” solution that provides global, multi-hazard early warning for natural and manmade hazards. DisasterAWARE offers advanced situational awareness tools including the highest resolution all-hazards impact model, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI)-augmented information. The Center’s public Disaster Alert app, powered by DisasterAWARE, has been downloaded over 3.2 million times worldwide.

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