Tuesday, September 20, 2011

IDF oversees NATO drill

Representatives of the Home Front Command, Magen David Adom emergency services, the Israel police and the Health Ministry trained over 1,000 soldiers and rescue delegations from dozens of countries –including Turkey, Holland, Greece, Italy, and Britain –in a NATO emergency drill held in Moldova.

The one-week training exercise is held annually and simulates different disaster scenarios.

This year for the first time, 17 members of the Israeli team headed by Home Front Command's Northern District Chief Colonel Anwar Saab were tasked with training some 1,000 soldiers, paramedics, police officers, and search and rescue personnel, critiquing their performance and assigning grades.

The main scenario in this year's drill simulated a strong earthquake in the center of the country, resulting in heavy damage and thousands of injuries. Other scenarios included floods, leakage of hazardous substances and a civilian plane crash.

IDF officials stated that choosing Moldova for this year's drill and Azerbaijan for next year was not incidental, and was meant to challenge weaker states that might need to call for help from a neighboring country.

"The Moldovans are behind in resources, knowledge and transmission of information to the public in real time," one of the officials stated.

"One of the reasons Israel was chosen to train the drill commanders is the field hospital it set up after the earthquake in Haiti, which gained global resonance," one of the officials noted.


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