By: Marine Seaman Michael E. Turner II

An exciting and productive first day of a 3-day Coral Cays Table Top Exercise (TTX), took place today hosted by the Defence Force, in collaboration with the United States Northern Command.

This year’s Coral Cays Table Top Exercise is focusing on the potential outbreak of an infectious disease, and will allow participating agencies to better understand each others’ roles in responding to such a threat. The 2015 Disaster Relief Table Top Exercise created a plan that ultimately became the blueprint utilized in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin and Hurricane Matthew, facilitating a fairly smooth process with its implementation.

With a heartening turn out from various government agencies represented, the opening day got off to an impressive start with very engaging dialogue between those in attendance. The Coral Cays Table Top Exercise each year simulates a specific threat occurring in The Bahamas, involving relevant Government and Nongovernmental agencies.

Commander Defence Force (Acting), Captain Tellis A. Bethel extended his warm welcome and gratitude to the contingent from the United States Armed Forces Northern Command (headed by Mr. Scott Harvey) and local participants. He stated that “This year’s Exercise creates the forum for agencies to train and prepare together for better coordinated response in the event of an infectious disease outbreak.”

The overall objective of this year’s exercise is to highlight the needs and gaps in the established procedures in The Bahamas, particularly as it relates to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s role in an Infectious Disease Outbreak. It allows the Force to improve and strengthen the effectiveness of its response, if ever such a situation arose, especially in providing assistance to other agencies.

Represented were the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Department of Immigration, Department of Customs, Ministry of Transport & Aviation, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environmental Health & Housing, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Education, Public Hospital Authority and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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