The first ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Voluntary Demonstration of Response (VDR) exercise will be held on 4-7 May 2009 in the Philippines.
This exercise, co-sponsored by the Philippines and the United States, was announced by the Foreign Ministers of ARF’s 27 participants during the ARF Ministerial Meeting on 24 July 2008 in Singapore.
The ARF-VDR is a robust civilian-led, military supported exercise designed to demonstrate ARF national capabilities in response to an affected country's request for assistance and build regional assistance capacity for major, multinational relief operations.
Through this first ever field exercise, the ARF-VDR will move ARF from a forum for dialogue into one that facilitates and provides concrete, tangible contributions to regional security in transnational security issues such as disaster relief.
Using a simulated scenario where Manila and Central Luzon are devastated by a super-typhoon, ARF participants will offer assistance to the Philippines in response to her request for international humanitarian relief.
Areas of demonstration include land, air and maritime search and rescue, medical assistance/evacuation and engineering reconstruction.
This first-ever ARF-VDR will also test the National Disaster Coordinating Council - United Nations Clusters Coordination mechanism in humanitarian assistance.
Over 20 participants from the Asia-Pacific region will participate in the ARF-VDR. Australia, European Union, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the USA will provide assets, personnel, and capabilities.
The other ARF participants and international organisations will participate as observers in the exercise.
ASEANSec, "ASEAN Regional Forum to Hold First Disaster Relief Exercise in the Philippines" dated 30 March 2009 in the ASEANsec website [downloaded on 2 April 2009], available at http://www.aseansec.org/Bulletin-Mar-09.htm#Article-17
PNA, "ASEAN Regional Forum to hold first disaster relief exercise in the Philippines" dated 2 April 2009 in the Positive News Media website [downloaded on 2 April 2009], available at