Mongolia will hold a joint disaster management exercise with the United States in its southeastern Dornogovi Province from 9-23 Sept, the country’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said on Thursday.
The annual exercise, codenamed “Gobi Wolf,” is co-organized by the NEMA, the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia and the U.S. Pacific Command.
The “Gobi Wolf 2019” is expected to involve employees of the search and rescue services from NEMA, U.S. Pacific Command and all southern Mongolian provinces.
To prepare for the exercise, a delegation led by the defense attache at the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, Michael Dorschner, was in Dornogovi province this week to discuss issues related to the exercise.
“Gobi Wolf” is designed to improve the Mongolian government’s capacity to response and collaborate with other countries during natural and man-made disasters.
It was first held in 2009, and has covered disaster scenarios common to Mongolia including earthquakes, floods and mining incidents.
Dorngovi Aimag (province), has a small population of 68,000, many of whom live in the main city of Sainshand. The region is the site of Mongolia’s new oil refinery, being built with Indian support, not to mention various infrastructure projects – Dorngovi is the route of the main railway from Beijing to Europe. The main border crossing with China in Zamyn Uud is located in the region. The southern provinces of Mongolia are the site of the country’s main mining enterprises, which provide copper and coal to China. Typical disasters in this sparsely populated terrain consist of snowstorms, sandstorms and occasional outbreaks of foot-and-mouth among livestock. Doubtless, Beijing will be interested in exactly what US Pacific Command is going to do with NEMA on its doorstep.