From the event

1 June 2008

NATO disaster response exercise
kicks off in Finland

© Petri Krook

Exercise “UUSIMAA 2008”, a consequence management field exercise organised by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) started on 1 June 2008 in Finland.

The 5-day drill was based on the fictitious scenario of a serious civil emergency situation on the southern coast of the country.

© Petri Krook

Around 1000 participants representing 25 NATO and Partner countries as well as other international organizations assisted Finland in dealing with the consequences of heavy thunderstorms, floods and chemical spills.

© Petri Krook

Urban Search and Rescue Teams were locating and rescuing casualties, while medical teams provided first aid in the field hospitals deployed to the exercise locations. Several Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response teams were also present, dealing with the damage brought upon energy facilities and chemical installations.

“This has been an excellent opportunity to build interoperability between NATO and Partner countries in dealing with complex emergency situations,” said NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations Martin Howard at the closing of the exercise in Helsinki. “I was impressed with the excellent cooperation of so many nations in dealing with a demanding disaster relief situation."

“UUSIMAA 2008” is the eighth exercise held by the EADRCC since 2000. During his visit, Mr. Howard also met with high-level Finnish government officials and thanked Finland for hosting the exercise.