Last update: 03-Aug-2006 12:05 NATO Update

22-25 June 2004



NATO-Russia disaster response exercise
and seminar held in Kaliningrad

15/06/2004 - NATO
Exercise "Kaliningrad 2004"
High resolution photos of Exercise Kaliningrad 2004
Video file (.WMV7146Kb)
Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC)

From 22 to 25 June 2004 NATO, Russia and partner countries tested their capabilities to jointly respond to a disaster situation in a field and strategic-level exercise and seminar held in the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation.

The main aim of the exercise and seminar was to examine existing national, regional and multi-national arrangements for consequence management and response to a mass casualty and environmental disaster situation caused by a terrorist attack. This in turn allows to identify current shortfalls, and fine tune existing best practices and procedures.

About 1000 personnel from 22 NATO and partner countries and international organisations (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, European Union, International Civil Defence Organization and industry representatives) participated in or observed the exercise.

A challenging scenario

The field exercise took place on 23 June 2004 with a scenario that focused on a terrorist attack on an oil platform off the coast of Kaliningrad Oblast. It led to a high number of casualties and a major oil spill threatening coastal areas, and triggered a request for international assistance. This tested the regional response to a particular disaster scenario at an operational and tactical level.

Rescue and consequence management units from Poland, Lithuania and Russia participated in the exercise.

The results of the field exercise were included in the broader strategic discussion during the strategic-level tabletop exercise and seminar held on 24 and 25 June. Closed-door sessions included discussion of disaster scenarios, primarily caused by terrorism, and requiring international participation beyond the regional framework of the field exercise. NATO, Russia and partner countries took part.

Joint responses

Officials from both NATO and Russia sides praised the exercise as a demonstration of how NATO and Russia could work together for common interests. Such exercises are useful "not only to build confidence among all the participants but to improve our ability to provide real practical help when needed," said Stephen Orosz, NATO's Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Civil Emergency Planning and Exercises.

Sergei K. Shoigu, Russia's emergencies minister (EMERCOM), commented that, "Rescuers of the world are just one big family. Whenever someone from this family needs help, others from this family come and help. It is not just cooperation between generals. It is cooperation between all levels of rescuers."