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News | Feb. 28, 2023

Action on Disaster Relief 2023

By Staff Sgt. Jay Molden Joint Task Force-Bravo

Joint Task Force-Bravo, a task force under the United States Southern Command, had the opportunity to attend and participate in the 8th annual Action on Disaster Relief 2023 conference in Panama City, Panama 21 February- 24 February.

ADR2023 is held each year with the intent to bring experts in emergency preparedness and rescue organizations from throughout Central America, South America and the Caribbean together to address past natural disasters, the effects of climate and economical changes and how to prevent and react to future ones.

The 4-day long event consisted of keynote speakers, presentations and 6 topical discussion panels: Global Impact of Economy, Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery and Preparedness, Response, Health Emergencies and Recovery, Regional International support and coordination, Technology and Logistics, and Resilient Infrastructure and Development.

Global Impact of Economy, the first panel, discussed the impacts natural disasters have on social wellbeing, the environment, and economics across the region and solving these problems from the root.

Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery and Preparedness, the second panel, discussed the balance of risk and risk reduction and the relation between risk reduction and climate change.

Response, Health Emergencies and Recovery, the third panel, discussed challenges across regional differences, expanding populations and displacement, the demands of future development, and community empowerment. They also dove into data, consistency and reliability, and integration and management in relation to the impact of health information systems across the region.

Regional International support and coordination, the fourth panel, discussed various entities' historical support to partner nations during and prior to a crisis and opportunities for strategic and coordinated improvements.

Technology and Logistics, the fifth panel, discussed the realistic potential impacts of artificial intelligence, the standardization and affordability of future technologies, wide-range operational differences, and the challenges coordinating the enhancement of movement of aid and personnel and data.

Resilient Infrastructure and Development, the sixth and final panel, discussed building resilience in critical infrastructures, utilities and communication networks.

U.S. Army COL Andrew Baker, JTF-Bravo Operations Director from Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, participated in Panel 4: Regional International Support and Coordination, where the panelists shared their personal experiences and expanded on strategic communication and coordination to improve crisis response.

“JTF-Bravo has been working with multiple U.S. and U.S. partner nation governmental organizations, NGOs and the myriad of other entities involved in responding to a catastrophic event that would require international assistance,” Baker said. “Preparation during times of peace and times of calm to build resilience to respond in times of crisis is critical. We work with partner nation disaster response authorities in anticipation of disasters, that way when the disaster ultimately strikes, everyone along that chain is prepared.”

As a task force that conducts and supports the USSOUTHCOM operations, activities and investments across all domains in support of U.S. government agencies and partner nations in the region, JTF-Bravo continues to demonstrate agility through the organization of multilateral exercises and support, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in cooperation with partner nation.