The United States hosted Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Exercise Fortune Guard 22 from August 8-12, 2022 in Honolulu, Hawaii, with the participation of over 250 representatives from 21 countries. This was the eighth Asia Pacific Exercise Rotation (APER) event.
Since its establishment in 2003, the PSI has provided an effective forum to enhance cooperation in preventing illicit transfers of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related materials. The Initiative has grown significantly since its inception from 11 endorsing countries to 107 today.
The Asia-Pacific region is home to vibrant economies, trading hubs, and financial centers. At the same time, we are all aware of the threats present in this critical part of the world, where we all face the potential for natural and man-made crises — including the threats caused by state, and non-state actors, who attempt to trade in WMD. To address these threats, APER countries have hosted annual exercises: Fortune Guard 14 in the United States; MARU 15 in New Zealand; Deep Sabre 16 and the hybrid Deep Sabre 21 in Singapore; Pacific Protector 17 in Australia; Pacific Shield 18 in Japan; and, Eastern Endeavor 19 in the Republic of Korea.
Fortune Guard 22 featured briefs by experts on a number of topics, a tabletop discussion on a proliferation problem, a demonstration of ship boarding interdiction capabilities (LIVEX), and a demonstration of seaport interdiction capabilities (PORTEX). Experts covered a range of issues, including: the growth and development of PSI and the international norm for interdiction; current and emerging proliferation threats; international legal frameworks supporting counterproliferation; case studies in counterproliferation; information sharing best practices; export enforcement; and regional perspectives on the proliferation problem.
Participation in the LIVEX included vessel boarding teams from the USS Chafee, the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team – West, the Australian Border Force, and the Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense and Coast Guard. The PORTEX included a separate, three-day subject-matter-expert exchange on practices and technology used in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) identification, assessment, sampling, and decontamination. Experts came from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and the United States. The culmination of this gathering was a demonstration of CBRN interdiction capabilities in a seaport. These exercises have substantially enhanced capabilities, understanding, and coordination across the region in relation to counter-proliferation activities. APER countries remain committed to supporting PSI objectives with partners in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Republic of Korea