INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Bogota Lessons Learned Request - Crisis Management Exercise

Published: Tue 19 Jan 2010 01:42 PM
VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB
DE RUEHBO #0150 0192243
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191342Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2047
RUEHFSI/DIR FSINFATC 0002
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
UNCLAS BOGOTA 000150
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR S/ES-O/CMS, DS/IP, CA/OCS/ACS, AND WHA/EX
PEACE CORPS FOR SAFETY & SECURITY
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR AMGT ASEC CASC CO
SUBJECT: BOGOTA LESSONS LEARNED REQUEST - CRISIS MANAGEMENT EXERCISE
(CORRECTED VERSION)
REF: 10 DIR FSINFATC 33
1. This is a response to the action request in reftel. Post
thanks the trainers from FSI for helping conduct a set of training
sessions and a very helpful Crisis Management Exercise (CME) on
December 4 and 5, 2010. FSI trainers Kevin Misenheimer and Brenda
Pennington were invaluable in aiding post in identifying specific
areas where security and response readiness could be improved.
2. The CME was conducted by members of the Country Team and their
representatives: there were over thirty participants, from fifteen
offices in nine USG agencies. Due to the size of Embassy Bogota,
it would most likely have been counterproductive to expand the size
of the group.
3. Post found no need to update any tripwires, as those already in
the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) appeared sufficient to trigger
action. However, Embassy Bogota will be looking at several issues
that arose from working through the exercise. Namely, sections
will be responsible for better cross-training of their staff as
much as possible to prepare for the possibility of sudden low
staffing, particularly in IT-related fields. State Department
representatives also saw the usefulness of coming up with a
monitoring and check-in system for TDY visitors in country, similar
to what the military and other agencies have in place.
4. In terms of community-wide issues, Post will contact the
schools attended by the children of Mission personnel to determine
that their emergency plans are up to date. Post will re-circulate
a Management Notice requesting information to help compile a list
of all preschools and universities attended by Mission dependents.
5. The CME participants highlighted a few areas in which
communications procedures could be improved at post. For instance,
due to low participation in radio checks, Post will publish another
notice to the community, encouraging better involvement.
Furthermore, Post will update the number and location of all
satellite phones available at post.
6. FSI trainers pointed out a few other ways in which Embassy
Bogota could ensure its readiness in the event of a disaster. The
trainers recommended that staff have better access to and knowledge
of the EAP, including the LES' responsibilities. The trainers also
recommended more comprehensive drills, including some involving the
use of the Alternative Command Centers. Post will develop a more
inclusive earthquake specific response plan as well as including
crisis response information on post's intranet SharePoint page.
Post appreciates the guidance offered by Mr. Misenheimer and Ms.
Pennington, and will improve the already high level of interagency
cooperation and coordination of the vast array of resources
available here.
BROWNFIELD
NICHOLS
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