West Virginia and Qatar share expertise in preparation for 2022 World Cup
Soccer tournament expected to bring over 800,000 spectators and 32 teams to Qatar.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — During March 2022, the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security's Emergency Management Division and the West Virginia National Guard held an international technique and expertise exchange with the Qatari military in preparation for the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.
“The West Virginia National Guard prides itself on our strong partnerships both here in the state and internationally, and this recent exchange with our Qatari military partners is a great example of this," stated Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, West Virginia Adjutant General. “Since 2018, we have developed a great working relationship with Qatar through the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program, and we look forward to supporting them in the preparation for and execution of supporting the FIFA World Cup in 2022."
For the exercise series, West Virginia's partners sought to provide the most realistic and supportive learning ecosystem to the participants. With assistance from Kanawha County Parks and Recreation, the ecosystem was created inside Coonskin Park.
The exercise leaders held sessions designed to share best practices, technical expertise, and knowledge. Each was scenario-based and focused on individual skills as well as interoperability with first responders.
The final event, held at the University of Charleston stadium, simulated a real-world mass-casualty situation. This allowed participants hands-on practice of the skills shared during the earlier exercises.
“The international partnership provided a unique opportunity for West Virginia's local and state agencies to contribute their expertise to a significant global event," said Dr. William Minear, Chief of EMD's Response and Infrastructure Protection program. “Working as a team, we helped fill components of the security ring leading up to one of the biggest occasions in the world of sports."
Aside from EMD and the WVNG, numerous federal, state, business, and local agencies participated in the events:
In all, the event was a resounding success, fostering international relationships and conveying life-saving emergency management skills to all participants.
For more information on this event, please contact Dr. Bill Minear at 304-558-5380 or William.A.Minear@wv.gov.
Photos courtesy WVEMD Liaisons Shawn Dunbrack, Sandy Green and Theresa White.