From December 2 – 5, Armenian representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Emergency Services and the National Security Service participated in the Transcaucasia Resiliency Exercise (TREX) held in Tbilisi, Georgia under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The Georgian government hosted the exercise to emphasize the importance of multi-sectorial and multinational response to emergent and trans-border pathogens. TREX aimed to foster regional cross border communication and cooperation in biological surveillance, communication, and disaster preparedness to bolster biological response capabilities and enhance biological resilience to disease threats.
TREX facilitators presented scripted scenarios to examine critical issues on actual responses to biological incidents that were highlighted by guest speakers. The exercise also involved many participants from Georgia and Azerbaijan, in addition to observers from Turkey, Moldova, Ukraine, the U.K., and several U.S. agencies. Each stakeholder had a specific function in support of the exercise that made the event a success. Other key discussion topics were:
- Outbreak detection, pathogen identification, and key ministry response
- International response, cross-border communication, border control resource sharing, law enforcement, and preparedness
- Media messaging, risk communication, and quarantine procedures
- Depopulation, decontamination, and disposal procedures
- Future opportunities for multi-national collaboration