MUSCAT: Within the Framework of the activities of Al Saif Al Sareea 3 (Swift Sword 3) exercise, and in continuation of Al Shumookh-2 exercise, Al Seeb Sports Stadium on Thursday witnessed a practical drill simulating joint action and capabilities in dealing with possible missile strikes targeting civilians and populated areas.
The drill measured the response time of the forces, the ability of mobile and field hospitals to perform their medical and health duties. It was aimed at raising the efficiency of staff in various sectors and specialties in this task, and to test the mechanism of the military, security and civilian institutions dealing with this kind of scenario.
The demonstration was held under the auspices of Maj Gen Abdullah bin Ali al Harthy, Chairman of the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance, in the presence of senior officers of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) and other security and civil services.
The sectors of the National Committee for Civil Defence represented by SAF, ROP, the Public Authority for Civil Defence, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, and the Ministry of Social Development, as well as the sectors of the security and civil support agencies participated in the demonstration.
The activities of the demonstration began immediately after a report was sent to the operations centre of the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance stating that a ballistic missile fell on the sports stadium.
The specialised forces, vehicles and equipment rushed to incident site. The appropriate measures were taken in each field in order to deal with the human and material damage caused by the missile’s fall, and how to cleanse the wounded, equipment, and location from the chemical strike of the missile.
The national team was called to deal with hazardous materials accidents, in addition to the force for the prevention of chemical strikes at SAF in order to deal with the projectile and ensure its explosion in full and the taking of samples of gas for examination and analysis. All field measures were successful to achieve the objectives of the national joint exercise for all military, security and civil sectors.
To shed light on the demonstration and the exercise hypotheses, the real media centre of the national exercise Al Shumookh-2 and Al Saif Al Sareea 3 held a number of meetings with the concerned officials. Col Mohammed bin Abdullah al Hatali, from SAF, said: “Specialised units from SAF participated in response to the event. The detection and cleansing from chemical strikes teams, as well as ammunition technical and ambulance teams played an effective role in coordination with their peers from ROP and other civil and supporting organisations.”
Col Mubarak bin Salim al Araimi, Director General of Operations and Training at the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance, said that the coordination among the different stakeholders at the exercise was manifested at the practical demonstration which was implemented in Al Seeb Sports Stadium with the participation of military sectors from the Sultan’s Armed Forces and other military and civil organisations.
Lt Col Juma bin Masoud al Hinai, from the Sultan’s Armed Forces, said that specialists from SAF Engineering, the Troops Supply Services, the Royal Air Force of Oman, and the Royal Navy of Oman, in addition to technical teams from the Armed Forces Medical Services took part in this hypothetical event for the fall of ballistic missile with chemical head on the Governorate of Muscat particularly Al Seeb Stadium.
The hypothetical incident resulted in pollution, injuries and fatalities. Upon receiving notification, the detection, warning and cleansing elements rushed to the scene and did the required inspections to verify the type of gas used, its concentration and wind direction. The cleansing elements then started dealing with peoples affected with pollution and cleansing them.
They also started segregation and cleansing of persons with polluted injuries and providing treatment to some injured. Some cases were also transferred to nearby hospitals including the Armed Forces Hospital. The team diffused the remains of the explosive missile through the robot. The event aims at ensuring full harmony among the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance, the National Civil Defence Committee, the Sultan’s Armed Forces and other relevant stakeholders.
Lt Col Faisal bin Salim al Hajri, Director of the Executive Office for the National Civil Defence Committee, said” “The exercise has achieved the aims behind it namely enhancing integration and harmony among participants from the Royal Oman Police, the Sultan’s Armed Forces, ministries and other key and supporting stakeholders.
“This integration among the different military, security and civil organisations is attributed to the previous efforts and joint training. The national team for search and rescue salvaged those trapped under the debris and dealt with the hazardous materials. It also detected gases and radioactive materials.”
As for the role and participation of the Ministry of Health in the demonstration, Dr Malik bin Saif al Mashrafi, Field Commander of the Medical Response and Public Health Sector, said: “We participate in such exercises to implement the plans for the management of accidents and disasters and to identify the strengths in order to enhance them and to identify the weaknesses to address and avoid them in the future.”
For her part, Dr Mariam bint Ahmed al Hinaiyah, a senior specialist, said: “Of course we as a health sector these exercises are useful for us because we exchange experiences and benefiting from the inter-sectoral cooperation in dealing with emergency situations and critical situations. It is a training and application at the same time for work on national joint action.”
As for the role of the Ministry of Social Development, Hamoud bin Mohammed al Mantheri, the coordinator of the relief and accommodation sector at the national level, said: “The participation in the demonstration was a fruitful participation and a unique experience and we have benefited greatly through practical participation aimed at helping people get out in a crowded way in the event of an emergency.
“These and similar exercises contribute to the development of the national cadres and personnel working in the national civil defence system, where we participated in mobilising the field response teams available in the sector (the specific contaminated area) in coordination with ROP and SAF to support the evacuation of the dwellers at the hypothetical contaminated area, and to evacuate them to safe areas, identified to be far from the polluted area.
“In this hypothesis, (4) assumed shelters were set up to simulate the accommodation of citizens and residents in these centres equipped with all requirements.”