Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) organized a one day training session (8 June 2016) on civil-military coordination (CMcoord) guidelines and concepts in disasters for the Iranian Civil Defence Organization (Passive Defence). A number of key senior military officers attended the training, although it was Holy month Ramadan which working hours are reduced. These officers were mainly in charge of coordination of military assets and support for civilian activities in time a natural disaster in Iran. The event was opened by Major General Mansourian, Deputy for Operations, PDO.
Bam Earthquake was at a centre of the discussion as it’s been by far the greatest natural disaster in Iran’s modern history. Bam’s earthquake was a serious challenge for Iran in terms of disaster management. In fact, it was the first time that Iran felt the need to announce open sky so, foreign military assets could be deployed to assist the Iranian Humanitarian Forces. Some challenges and ways of promoting the internal capacity were discussed, which the main ones were identified as additional training on international coordination, better understanding of military and civil coordination in disasters, and more comprehensive knowledge sharing on the mechanism and process for managing international assistance. At the end of the training session, OCHA and PDO expressed their willingness for future cooperation in some areas, such as:
To have a systematic relationship covering areas of joint activities in disaster response, training and courses, with aim of increasing Iran’s capacity in working with FMA and understanding CIMIC/CMcoord/Humanitarian concepts in case of a disaster in Iran.
To hold training sessions on international response and assistance system and mechanism for mayors, local PDOs in eight cities of Iran.
To organize specific CMcoord briefings for Iranian military, with aim of improving understanding of Iranian military of CMcoord concepts and being able to manage incoming international non-military and military assets assistance in case of major emergencies.OCHA looks into possibilities of transferring best practices and knowledge in all these areas, and specifically the manmade disasters and environmental hazards, such as oil spills, toxic water, and nuclear disaster.