AECO has this week presented at and participated in Arctic ZEPHYR – a multinational tabletop exercise for Arctic nations, focusing on Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) command, control and coordination. The purpose of the exercise was to strengthen Arctic nation partnership by advancing mutual understanding for Arctic SAR capacities and by supporting information sharing.
In addition to presentations, participants were presented with a number of accidents scenarios, and asked to discuss how the SAR operations can be organized in cross-border and cross-sector co-operations. Some of the scenarios were expedition cruise vessels in critical situations in different parts of the Arctic.
Experience gained in this exercise includes that operations could gain from a closer co-operation , communication and information sharing between the expedition cruise industry and SAR providers. An industry guideline for expedition cruise vessel emergencies would, if developed, perhaps be of help for all parties. It was also discussed if a Pan Arctic SAR fora should be established with representatives from the different national SAR providers.
The event was organized by the U.S. European and Northern Commands in cooperation with colleagues in Iceland, and took place at Keflavik Air Base. In addition participants were invited on a guided tour of Iceland’s headquarter for command, control and coordination of emergencies, included SAR operations, fire-, police- and ambulance activities.
AECO’s representative in Keflavik enjoyed cooperation with Mr. Ørjan Delbekk from Norwegian Rescue Coordination Centre, Mr. Sveinung Torgersen from Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Safety and Commander Knut Karlsen from Norwegian Joint Headquarters during the exercise.