Jakarta - The use of toxic chemical agent in terrorist attack, as conducted by ISIS, has been a noted concern to strengthen emergency preparedness against chemical incident. This has been stated by Andy Rachmianto, Director for International Security and Disarmament Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Head of Temporary National Authority of Chemical Weapons in the Regional Advanced Course and Field Exercise on Assistance and Emergency Response against Chemical Incidents for Asia-Pacific Countries. This event which has been participated by first responders from twelve Asia Pacific countries, conducted by support of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ministry of Industry, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The participants are from Australia, Bhutan, Fiji, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and China.
Muhammad Khayam, Director for Upstream Chemical Industry, Ministry of Industry also shared the importance of this training due to the vast development of chemical industry and the rise of terrorism attack using chemical agent, which eventually increase the risk of chemical incident.
From 4 to 8 April 2016 the participants learned not only operational procedures of emergency response related to first responders equipment, and scene and casualties treatment, but also involved in field exercise in National Counterterrorism Agency Training Centre. In the field exercise scenario, as guided by Directorate of Engineering, Indonesian National Army, the participants acted as detection, evacuation, and decontamination team to respond explosion using chemical agent.
Shahriar Khateri, Senior Protection Officer and Assistance OPCW conveyed its appreciation to Indonesian government for its readiness to share knowledge and to host this event. Taking into account Indonesian first responders' capability, OPCW look forward to strengthen the existing cooperation with the Indonesian government. In this regard, Andy Rachmianto expressed its gratitude to the OPCW and informed that currently Indonesian government also in the process of finalizing Presidential Decree to officially establish National Authority for Chemical Weapons, as mandated by the Chemical Weapons Convention.
This training has been successfully facilitated information exchange and experiences among the participants. For participants from the Philipines who just established its CBRN first responders unit, the information from this event is very useful. While for South Korean participants, the knowledge serve as source of comparison and input for their long established CBRN first responders unit.