Olivier Bézier, CRIMARIO Training and Capacity Building component manager, organized and conducted a Command Post Exercise (CPX) focused in drug trafficking to the primary benefit of Mauritius with the participation of RMIFC in Antananarivo and RCOC in Mahe. From 26 to 30 August, the teams were given a drug case study in western Indian Ocean, they exchanged information and set up an action plan in response to the threat, by using the IORIS platform as the primary communication tool.

A white cell from the CRIMARIO team was deployed inside the RCOC during the exercise (Guillaume Remusat, from Azimut200) and the exercise was conducted from Mauritius Coast Guard HQ.

The day of the 26th was devoted to final preparation and briefings. The live phase of the exercise took place on the 27th and 28th.

During these two “livex” days, the three teams acted as they would do on a real drug situation; they shared messages and reports on vessels, sort out a list of suspects and issued a coordinated action plan that led to the (simulated) interception of a vessel at sea by Mauritian patrol boat and on the ground investigations by Anti-Drug Unit (ADSU) and Customs, with the support of the Maritime Affairs. A practical exercise of ship inspection was conducted in the port of Port Louis by the CGS Valiant patrol crew. The debriefing took place on Thursday 29th, and a final exercise report will be sent to all parties in mid-September.

This exercise, the second of its kind in scale led by CRIMARIO, is spreading the culture of inter-agency cooperation and enables the various agencies to fine-tune their common SOPs. In the case of the newly appointed regional centres, it contributes to build their doctrine and SOPs.

Olivier Bézier warmly thanked Captain Manu, Commandant of the Mauritius National Coast Guard, who hosted the exercise’s management and provided much appreciated logistical services.

In conclusion CRIMARIO continues to support the efforts of the two regional maritime centres and joint national centres to develop their full operational capacity.

The next major exercise will be Cutlass Express, led by US NAVAF in November 2019. This time, CRIMARIO will integrate the white cell and the whole participants will use IORIS. The IORIS web-platform, initiated by CRIMARIO to the benefit of the region, is designed to share maritime information and manage any incident at sea. It is already utilised by the maritime agencies of 5 western Indian Ocean countries.

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