Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage was the Chief Guest at the concluding ceremony of the Multinational Planning Augmentation Team (MPAT) Tempest Express – 24th Staff Planning Workshop held at the Galadari Hotel on 09th August 2014. The workshop, held from 01st to 09th April, was attended by representatives from 17 countries. It was co-hosted by the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS) on behalf of the Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka and the United Sates Pacific Command (UPACOM). The 09-day gathering was facilitated by the Sri Lanka Navy and sponsored by the United States.
The workshop was an outcome of the MPAT’s Multinational Forces Standing Operating Procedures (MNF SOP) Workshop held from 16th to 22nd June last year at the same venue. At the multinational workshop designed to build relationships, the participants this year focused on developing procedures for preventive defence and response for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Toxic Industrial Materials (CBRNE–TIM). The workshop was based on varying scenarios and utilized the relevant sections of the MNF SOP and CBRNE documents to improve multinational capacity to respond quickly, effectively, efficiently and with unity of effort to sudden onset of crises in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Commander of the Navy in his address commended the participants and the subject matter experts for their valuable contributions to make the workshop a great success. The closing remarks of the MNF Staff Planning Workshop were made by Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Sri Lanka, Mr. William Weinstein. As a token gesture of appreciation, Commander of the Navy presented a commemorative plaque to the MPAT Manager, Mr. Pete DeFelice, who played a key role in conducting the whole programme and certificates to the participants.