India to take part in OCPW response simulation

A joint team of the National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Army will represent India at an international chemical emergency exercise in Tunisia this October.

The exercise, dubbed ASSISTEX-3, is planned by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Times of India reports. The OPCW is comprised of a group of 15 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy, that have signed a treaty that enables a coordinated response to a CBRN attack on any of the member countries.

J.S. Notay, advisor for the National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention, told the Times of India that this is the first time that India will take part in the exercise, which is held once every five years.

Notay, along with K.M. Singh, a member of National Disaster Management Authority, recently attended and reviewed a search and rescue demonstration by the joint team at the CRPF camp in Talegaon, near Pune, India.

The scenario was a simulation of a chemical bomb blast at a sports complex and featured an elaborate response by the Indian team to find and rescue people trapped under the rubble, the Times of India reports.

“It is crucial for all member-countries to know the kind of coordinated response they are supposed to mount in the event of any member country calling for help to deal with CBRN emergencies,” Singh told the Times of India.