The U.S. military's Pacific Command has completed its first-ever regional emergency response forum involving more than 20 Asia-Pacific nations and organizations.

The command held its four-day Pacific Endeavor workshop at Singapore's Changhai Naval Base last week.  The workshop brought together national militaries from across the Pacific region, as well as non-governmental organizations and academic and industrial representatives.

The command says Pacific Endeavor's goal was to improve the ability of military and other organizations to communicate while responding to a natural disaster.  It also allows participating nations to learn how to work together before a disaster happens.

Matthew Lloyd, the head of emergency communications for New Zealand's Red Cross, says the more information militaries and NGOs exchange about their systems, "the easier it will be" to mount an effective response.