Brazilian Ministry of Defense conducts first binational simulated exercise on humanitarian support and assistance in cases of natural disastersBrazilian Ministry of Defense conducts first binational simulated exercise on humanitarian support and assistance in cases of natural disasters

Since the beginning of the year, more than 2,000 military personnel from the Armed Forces have been deployed in humanitarian aid operations as a result of natural disasters throughout the country, as well as in Turkey, where Brazilians have been evacuated following earthquakes. These operations take place in cooperation with various civil defense and security agencies. Thus, from November 27 to December 1, the Ministry of Defense (MD) is conducting the 1st Binational Integration Exercise (EBI), in Porto Alegre (RS). The event brings together representatives of the Armed Forces of Brazil and Argentina, as well as the agencies that make up the National Civil Protection and Defense System (Sinpdec), with the aim of contributing to the establishment of bilateral agreements, updating doctrine, training personnel, developing coordination infrastructure and improving integration between the institutions in support of civil protection and defense and international humanitarian assistance.

For the commander of the Operations Coordination Center of the Southern Military Command (CMS), Brigadier General Marcelo Lorenzini Zucco, who is taking part in the exercise, the world is experiencing major climate challenges. “This week, we’re bringing together various state and municipal civil defense departments, with the participation of Argentina and the IADB – Inter-American Defense Board – to discuss situations and problems, and how to solve them, all related to the issue of humanitarian aid, how to minimize the damage and be able to extend a helping hand to the population, both nationally and in other places, as has happened historically, for example, when we went to Haiti after the earthquake,” he said.

During the training, typical risk situations in the southern region of the country will be simulated, in increasing degrees of complexity, leading to the decree of a state of emergency and a state of public calamity. Starting with an initial event of an extratropical cyclone, associated with intense rainfall, strong winds and hailstorms, simulations will be proposed of floods, landslides, dams bursting and buildings collapsing, with damage to the populations affected. Technological disasters of a biological, nuclear, chemical and radiological (BNQR – acronimo em portugues) nature will also be considered, including oil spills at sea and in port, requiring action and the use of specialized resources and troops.

All the problems simulated in the Binational Exercise will use the criteria established by the Brazilian Classification and Coding of Disasters (COBRADE), in order to stimulate cooperation and integration between the MD and the Armed Forces with the Sinpdec agencies, as well as with the bodies working in the interregional mechanisms for international humanitarian aid.

Binational Integration Exercise – An initiative of the MD, with the participation of the National Secretariat for Civil Protection and Defense (Sedec), Sinpdec’s central body, subordinate to the Ministry of Integration and Regional Development (MIDR), the training is an opportunity for the agencies involved to delimit their fields of action in joint actions and test their protocols for action and activation in cases of natural disasters.

In 2024, the EBI will take place on a practical level, on the Brazilian side of the border, whose focus area includes the Rio Grande do Sul cities of Santiago, São Borja, Itaqui and Uruguaiana, exploring aspects of interest observed in this first edition, especially the approach to international cooperation actions and respect for response protocols.

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