Agencies test Arctic communications
Federal and state government agencies conducted an exercise on July 2 to test agency communication and coordination procedures for incident response operations in the Arctic, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has announced. Mark Fesmire, BSEE’s Alaska region director; Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard 17th District; and leaders from the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, participated in the exercise. The exercise, the first of several planned to be conducted, simulated an emergency response incident, BSEE said.
A simulated phone call from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, notifying the Coast Guard 17th District command center in Juneau of an incident, triggered a chain of actions. The command center briefed Rear Adm. Abel, who then set up a conference call with BSEE, DMVA and DEC. A discussion of agency roles and communications procedures during an Arctic incident concluded the exercise.
The agencies will continue to work together to ensure adequate preparedness and coordination for any potential Arctic events, BSEE said.
- ALAN BAILEY