Oct 272014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/10/07MANILA3504.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA3504
2007-10-25 02:48
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #3504 2980248
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 250248Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHFSI/DIR FSINFATC
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8699
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
UNCLAS MANILA 003504

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR FSI/LMS/CMT, EAP/EX, EAP, EAP/MTS, S/ES-O/CMS
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV RP AMGT AEMR ASEC KESS OTRA
SUBJECT: LESSONS LEARNED – CRISIS MANAGEMENT EXERCISE

¶1. Summary: Embassy Manila hosted a Crisis Management Exercise
September 17 and 18. Post extends thanks to instructor Douglas
Kinney for conducting a successful exercise.

¶2. Format of the CME: The three hour Overview Training was
appropriate to explain the need for such exercises, where the EAP
and the CME fit into Post’s overall planning, and stimulate interest
in the second day’s session. The four-hour tabletop exercise was
appropriate to allow participants to understand the dramatic
incident and its ramifications, and then begin to address the facets
of the problems inherent in initial crisis management.

¶3. A note for future planning especially for large volume visa
issuance posts is to allow as much advance notice as possible to be
given to the consular section so that more entry-level interviewing
officers may be able to attend. Appointments are scheduled weeks in
advance, making it imperative to give the consular section a chance
to adjust the number of interviews.

¶4. Selection of Scenarios: The high magnitude earthquake with its
attendant problems was an excellent choice for a post with multiple
compounds, dispersed offices, housing, and schools. The scenario
allowed unique solutions to be raised as possibilities, such as
using bicycles and motorcycles to travel otherwise unusable streets
during the first crucial hours when normal communications and travel
may not be possible.

¶5. Intervention by the Controller: The controller encouraged the
participants to presume specific conditions as the scenario unfolded
and did not interrupt, nor pressure the group in any particular
direction. The controller was a resource when needed, but otherwise
was appropriately in the background.

¶6. Controller’s observations for Post Management: The controller
praised Post for excellent tradecraft, and the depth of leadership
in the EAC and supporting sections. The controller complemented our
team, saying that the full Emergency Action Committee, EAC
alternates, key LE staff, and interested officers participated
enthusiastically and performed very well. The active participation
of the DCM and EAC members was important to the success of the
exercise, and Manila’s LE staff proved to be unflappable and
resourceful as conditions developed.

¶7. Different response post-exercise: While some suggestions may
require negotiation with the host government to implement, some of
the discussions during the exercise could easily change
previously-planned responses by some departments and agencies.
Members of the EAC learned of capabilities of constituent sections
and agencies, and will incorporate these into the EAP. A revelation
during the exercise was the IBB has the capability to redirect its
transmitter to broadcast nationwide at 1 million watts, with host
nation approval.

¶8. Lessons learned: Post properly focused on concern for others
throughout the exercise. Participants created worst case scenarios
to fully explore possibilities and responses, demonstrating
confidence in their staff’s abilities. Post addressed the question
of children at schools early to allow parents to focus on other
responsibilities during a crisis. The EAC assumed correctly that
the cell phone system, especially depended upon here in the
Philippines, would be the first system to go down in such a crisis,
and tried to work around it. Post has immediate and accurate
information on available water, fuel, and power at the Embassy and
Seafront Compounds during the first critical weeks of such a
crisis.
Overall, Post produced a 45-point Lessons Learned target list and a
ten-point Best Practices list.

¶9. CMT Overview training: This session was enhanced by the materials
sent in advance and a well-formulized presentation. The PowerPoint
slides were well designed and useful to the discussion. The
controller drew participation from the audience, and the
participants responded positively by inviting more of their
colleagues and subordinates to the second day’s session.

¶10. Optimal frequency of CMEs: While a twenty-four month cycle
would allow for a greater overlap of participants – thus balancing
experience with innovation, Post also recognizes that the large
number of unaccompanied posts visited by FSI/CMS does not allow for
such a robust
bi-yearly schedule.

KENNEY

   

 

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