Engineers with China, Singapore and the U.S. demonstrated their water purification capabilities to senior leaders at a disaster site in Biang, Brunei Darussalam, June 19 as part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (AHMX).
The disaster site is the location of the field training exercise portion of the multilateral exercise that provides a platform for regional partner nations to address shared security challenges, strengthen defense cooperation, enhance interoperability and promote stability in the region.
At the site, engineers, search and rescue teams, and medical professionals from different nations are working together against a simulated post-tropical revolving storm and are conducting typhoon rescue, survey, recovery and disaster relief missions.
“At a disaster site, it is extremely important to have clean water to disperse between patients and personnel,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Scott I. Hampton, an engineer with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5. “This was a great opportunity for us to learn how other nations operate. Each day we would come out here to the site and work together with the Chinese and Singaporean engineers. We would help set up their equipment, and they would help set up ours. It has been a great experience working together, and I look forward to further interactions in the future.”
U.S. Marine and Navy engineers set up the miniature deployable assistance water purification system that is currently in a testing phase before being implanted into military units, according to Todd A. Jonas, a technology experimentation specialist with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific’s, Experimentation Center.
“This system is strictly designed for disaster relief missions,” said Jonas. “It is capable of being set up and operational within minutes. It can sustain itself unsupported for up to 72 hours and can also run on various power sources included solar and generated.”
For the demonstration, multinational engineers quickly assembled their water purification systems and allowed senior leaders to observe, learn about the capabilities and sample the purified water.
“I was impressed with everyone capabilities throughout the demonstration,” said People’s Liberation Army Capt. Wang Weijin, a Chinese engineer. “Seeing all the nation’s come together for disaster relief was a great experience.”
For the U.S., Lt. Gen. Terry G. Robling, commanding general of MARFORPAC, observed the various demonstrations going on throughout the disaster site showing his support for the exercise.
The exercise, which was conducted from June 17 to 20, provided an opportunity for participating nations to hone their communication skills and learn from each other’s unique experiences and expertise, better preparing partner nations for a unified approach to future contingencies.
Those participating in the exercise include medical and engineer personnel from the ASEAN-comprised nations of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; and other Asia-Pacific nations of Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the U.S.