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Tempest Express

Tempest Express is a scenario-based, five to seven day event conducted by Readiness and Training Division and assisted by other deployable joint task force augmentation cell [DJTFAC] members. Aimed at a JTF commander's primary staff, it includes specialized classes in staff integration and more detailed instruction on crisis action planning (CAP), but its main focus is to walk a staff through the CAP steps from mission analysis through campaign plan or OPORDER development. The emphasis is on process rather than product, with frequent breaks to discuss ways to approach various aspects of planning. Daily after-action reviews reinforce the learning process and resolve problems.

Tempest Express provides a single-service or geographically-focused organization with the skills to transition to a full JTF headquarters. Planning and organizational abilities gained during joint training phases one and two, combined with the joint staff augmentation of DJTFAC, provide a foundation for full JTF capability. This is tested in phase three-serving as a JTF headquarters in a major JCS exercise. This phase-three JTF training exercise serves a number of purposes. First, it allows the commander and staff to put the lessons of phases one and two into practice. Second, it enables further bonding between DJTFAC members and an augmented headquarters. Trainers and mentors of phases one and two are an integral part of a JTF staff during phase three. On another level, the exercise pro-gram itself is key to developing regional affinities among allies and potential coalition partners. This streamlines command and control since JTFs often include members from other nations.

During their three-month cruise through the South Pacific and Asia in early 1998, sailors aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), took great pride fulfilling their roles as American ambassadors. The 7th Fleet amphibious command and control ship home port of Yokosuka, Japan, visits countries that do not regularly see American Sailors. Following departure from Saipan, the ship continued to conduct training in Tempest Express, a two-week exercise involving embarked Marines, soldiers and Air Force members.

In November 2000, Multinational Planning Augmentation Team (MPAT) planners from 18 countries met in Manila. Their week-long mission: to develop habitual relationships with MPAT planners from other nations and to become familiar with common crisis action planning procedures. This was facilitated by a week of staff planning. The first MPAT Staff Planning Workshop was hosted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and co-sponsored by the AFP and the U.S. Pacific Command.

The Staff Planning Workshop had been preceded by three other recent MPAT workshops, all of which focused on developing concepts and identifying common standing operating procedures (SOP). Expansion of regional interest in the MPAT concept has been rapid - five countries (Australia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and the U.S.) attended the initial May 2000 workshop. The second workshop had seven participating countries. Eleven attended the third. In January 2001, 17 countries sent personnel to a follow-on Concept Development Workshop in Honolulu, Hawaii. According to Col. Bob Brewster, USAF, who spoke for the MPAT Secretariat, the intent is to conduct two Concept and SOP Development Workshops and two Staff Planning Workshops each year.

During the scenario for the November 2000 workshop, a simulated super typhoon strikes the northern island of Luzon in the Republic of the Philippines. Recovery efforts engage the vast majority of disaster response resources available through the Philippine National Disaster Coordinating Council and all local non-governmental agencies. Within a week, a second super typhoon strikes the southern Philippines, and the possibility of a major volcanic eruption threatens the island of Negros. To alleviate suffering in the south, the Philippine government requests international assistance, and tasks the AFP to provide the command and control for a multinational military humanitarian assistance response to the situation. Joint Task Force Bayanihan activates and becomes the core around which a Multinational Force (MNF) is formed. The MPAT, a cadre of military planners capable of rapidly augmenting a MNF headquarters, arrives to assist with crisis action planning expertise.

MPAT TE-3 (Multinational Planning Augmentation Team Tempest Express - 3), conducted in Korea during the period from January 13 to January 18, 2002, was the first in a series of computer-assisted exercise within the framework for APAN (Asia-Pacific Advanced Network Consortium). Military officials from 24 nations held this large-scale military exercise to cope with the possible mass landing of refugees on the Korean peninsula. The exercise was arranged by US Pacific Command in cooperation with countries from the Asia-Pacific Region. Military and civilian personnel from 25 nations participated in the exercise as well as 5 civil organisations among which are United Nations, the International Committee Red Cross and Asia Disaster Preparedness Center.

The military exercise calls for 24 UN member nations to provide multinational assistance to South Korea in a hypothetical situation where it is not able to cope with catastrophic weather conditions, or maintain control of its border, on an imaginary island called Parangdo. Some military analysts took the MPAT exercise as part of the plan to respond to the possible mass exodus of North Korean refugees into South Korea though the plan does not address North Korean refugees directly. The scenario is based on the assumption that 100,000 refugees would be accepted to refugee camps on the southwestern coast.

Tempest Express (15-23 August 2002) was US Pacific Command-sponsored computer simulation exercise with a cyclone relief scenario. Singapore will host and approximately 20 Asia/Pacific nations sent representatives from their disaster response planning staffs.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:35:54 Zulu