By: David J. Smith, March 20, 2017
The 2017 Atlantic Promise Field Exercise ended March 19. The four day event was held again this year in Fellsmere, Florida and supported by the City of Fellsmere and local businesses. In total, 32 graduate students from George Mason University, Tulane University, Kennesaw State University, Nova Southeastern University, and Wayne State University participated. In addition, 40 role players from the local community and Company C of the 436th Civil Affairs Battalion were involved.
This year’s simulation emphasized working with populations affected by conflict and disaster. During the exercise, members of the group International Humanitarian Action (IHA) were tasked with working with IDPs (internally displaced persons) looking for assistance after a category 4 hurricane and an ongoing civil war. IHA members were required to set up an IDP camp, conduct intake and assessment, and negotiate for humanitarian space. The exercise emphasized interpersonal relationship building, conflict awareness, planning and teamwork, and humanitarian engagement.
The Atlantic Promise exercise is offered by the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc., a 501c3 entity based in the Washington, DC area. The exercise is held annually in March. The Forage Center is considering offering the exercise again in November 2017.