The U.S. Coast Guard and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands partners conducted a search and rescue exercise (SAREX) in Saipan, Aug. 23 – 24.
Invited agencies include the Department of Public Safety, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Division of Environmental Quality – Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, Homeland Security and Emergency management, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Commonwealth Port Authority, Customs and Biosecurity, and other local officials and representatives.
This year’s SAREX entailed a coordinated response to a simulated capsized kayak off Tanapag Harbor. Participants conducted training and search patterns offshore.
The exercise included planning, safety, and communication meetings in a Tuesday tabletop portion with an open water phase on Wednesday in the harbor.
Assets involved in this year’s SAREX:
• Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam Joint Sub-Center Center and response personnel
• Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Saipan personnel
• CNMI partner boat crews
Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam holds SAREXs in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Compact of Free Association States. They evaluate notification and response procedures and identify shortfalls in communication and coordination of response during SAR incidents. Each agency holds individual capabilities that complement each other’s efforts and bolsters the overall success of the SAR system.