Multinational Communication Interoperability Programme (MCIP), Staff Workshop-2 Kicks off

1. The Multinational Communications Interoperability Programme (MCIP), Staff Workshop-2, which is being co-hosted by the Nepalese Army and the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), took off at Yak and Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu on 4 March 2011. 2. Director General of Military Operations of NA, Maj. Gen Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana inaugurated the programme. Maj Gen Rana while addressing the gathering of dedicated professionals from many countries of Asia Pacific Region said that Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief is an issue of global concern of today’s world and thus the international humanitarian community and individual countries should spring into action to alleviate the sorrows and hardships faced by fellow human beings. “The responsibility to act in large scale future humanitarian crises and natural disasters is through the creation and development of well coordinated multilateral response mechanism involving not only the international community but also the local community and the individual citizens of the state as well”, he said. He emphasized that the response actions spans a wide spectrum beginning from mitigation at one end through to rebuilding at another end entailing a high degree of planning, preparation, focus and coordination. Maj. Gen Rana said, “The essence of our gathering today is to achieve coordination and interoperable capability in the field of communication.’’ 3. Developing common communications operating procedures to enable military forces in the Asia Pacific region to work together in the event of a major disaster is the focus of the workshop. The workshop will focus on testing how well the various militaries can communicate with each other during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations using different scenarios. 4. The MCIP which offers a means to help by working together to improve critically important communication and interoperability between multinational Armies was initiated by the auspices of USPACOM from 2005 onwards. As of now, 15 officers from NA have already participated in the different workshop and conference of MCIP. 5. 80 officers from 19 countries including United States of America, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Magnolia, New Zealand, India, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Tuvalu and 14 officers from Nepalese Army are participating in the workshop. 6. The opening day of the five-day long workshop was also attended by the officers of NA and representatives from US Embassy in Nepal.