The use of military assets in the humanitarian response to natural disasters [WP994]

This conference discussed the following points:

  • What are the lessons of civil-military co-ordination from recent responses to sudden-onset natural disasters?
  • How are military assets likely to be deployed in future disasters?
  • What are the potential interactions in response to pandemics?
  • How can well integrated military assets better assist national authorities to conduct their own response?
  • What model of integration best assists national authorities lead their response?
  • How can “neighbours help neighbours” work in practice?
  •  What are the obstacles to such neighbourhood support and how might they be overcome?
  • What are the key lessons from different experiences of regional co-operation such as the Asian Pacific Military Assistance to Disaster Relief Operations (MADRO)?
  • How could any military contribution from outside the region be better integrated into a national and regional response?
  • What improvements are needed for civil-military co-ordination guidelines to ensure they are relevant on the ground?
  • What more can be done to develop standard operating procedures between countries and at a regional level ahead of a disaster?
  • How to ensure the needs of those affected by disasters are met during any civilian-military response and that humanitarian “space” is maintained?

This was an excellent occasion that provided the participants with a rare opportunity to interact with and learn from the rich experiences of the professionals in this field…. The conference, indeed, provided a useful forum, both for formal discussions and for developing linkages at global level, which may ultimately result in much needed global preparedness for such disasters.

Sajjad Akram, Deputy Chairman, Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority, Prime Ministers Sectretariat

Very important …. were the many personal and professional contacts I made with other key actors in this arena. I have “follow-up” actions in at least a half-dozen areas, and I am certain that NATO will benefit from lessons learned by other national, regional, and centre of excellence participants.

… As I expressed to you during the meeting, NATO senior leadership consider Wilton Park a very important forum for exchange of ideas and for further developing its approach to civil-military issues.

David Fortna, Civil Emergency Planning Staff Officer, NATO HQ
Mon 28 - Wed 30 September, 2009

Wiston House

Wilton Park
Wiston House, Steyning
West Sussex
BN44 3DZ
+44 (0) 1903 815 020
For more information see Your stay at Wilton Park

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Event no:
Sustainable development and the environment
civil military, humanitarian relief, military

Published outputs






Robin Hart: Programme Director

Biography and other events