Experts of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum gathered in Helsinki from 30 January to 2 February 2018 to initiate the planning of the upcoming events of the ACGF. The meeting was a part of the program of the Finnish Border Guard’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum and a part of the SARC project. The Finnish Chairmanship will climax in the Arctic Coast Guard Week 2019 taking place in Finland, which consists of the second Joint Live Exercise of the ACGF along with other events related to Arctic Maritime Safety. The first Live Exercise, the Arctic Guardian, was conducted in Iceland in September 2017.
The first day of the meeting consisted of planning of the ACGF Live Exercise 2019. The aim of the first day was to define the scenario and objectives of the upcoming exercise. The lessons learned and best practices from the Arctic Guardian 2017 will be utilized in the planning and execution of the 2019 Live Exercise.
On the second day of the meeting the 2018 ACGF Table Top Exercise was conducted. This particular exercise was closely connected to the ACGF 2019 Live Exercise. By conducting a Table Top Exercise, the ACGF member states ensure the safe and efficient execution of the ACGF Live Exercise in the spring of 2019.
During the last two days of the meeting the focus was placed on mapping each ACGF member state’s training systems and courses related to Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR), with the aim of improving cross-organizational cooperation in that framework. In the Arctic Search and Rescue Capabilities survey published in August 2017, the ACGF member states identified a need for developing the practical cooperation connected to SAR training and education between the countries. During Thursday and Friday each ACGF Member state presented their current status on SAR training and education, with the purpose of trying to identify possible courses that could be integrated into a joint ACGF SAR Training module. The Finnish Border Guard together with Laurea University for Applied Sciences will collect and process the results of the two-day SAR Training Workshop.