Arctic coast guards sign joint agreement
During a meeting of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum on March 24 coast guard leaders from the eight Arctic nations signed a joint statement adopting shared arrangements for emergency marine response and combined operations in the Arctic, the U.S. Coast Guard has announced. The agreement included the doctrine, tactics, procedures and information sharing protocols for Arctic operations. U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft signed the agreement of behalf of the United States.
The forum has an objective of leveraging collective international coast guard resources in the Arctic, with an operational focus and with a basis in consensus.
“This forum - one of many ways in which the Coast Guard uses our unique roles to enhance our nation’s diplomacy - has quickly established itself as a premier platform for fostering safe, secure and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic,” Zukunft said.
The signing ceremony culminated two years of collaboration between the various coast guards, with working groups establishing strategies, objectives and tactics for achieving common operational goals in the Arctic. National representatives have also participated in table top exercises in Reykjavik, Iceland, and the District of Columbia. The forum is planning a live exercise in the Arctic for later this year, the Coast Guard said.
Zukunft also participated in a formal ceremony marking the transition of the chairmanship of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Finnish Border Guard.
“I am extremely proud of the U.S. Coast Guard and our partners for their dedication to our common mission,” Zukunft said. “I have the utmost confidence that our colleagues in the Finnish Border Guard will take us to new heights during their chairmanship of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum.”
- ALAN BAILEY