The Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF) was established in 2015 to strengthen multilateral cooperation and coordination between the eight member states Coast Guards within the Arctic maritime domain. The ACGF's key objectives are to develop and enhance cross national collaboration and demonstrate the member states' ability to conduct joint search and rescue operations in the Arctic. In September 2017 ACGF will arrange its first operative exercise for achieving these objectives. The Final Planning Conference of the Arctic Guardian exercise was held in Reykjavik, Iceland on 2-3 August 2017.
Reykjavik offered beautiful weather for the meeting participants. Such weather is rarely the case when operating in harsh environmental conditions of the Arctic.
The Arctic Guardian is a combined Search and Rescue Exercise, held on 4-8 September in Iceland. The objective of the exercise is to test operative cooperation between search and rescue units. In addition, a communication exercise is held between Command Centres. Arctic Guardian is the first of its kind conducted by the ACGF. The exercise is undertaken with a view to enhance awareness of the importance of Arctic SAR.
The content of the Arctic Guardian will be assessed and activities will be developed and enhanced for the purpose of upcoming exercises. In future, both operative and tabletop exercises are planned to be conducted at least once a year. The ACGF will arrange regular exercises in order to facilitate safe and secure maritime activities in the Arctic region.