Arctic nations sign agreement on maritime operations

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The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(BOSTON) — U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft joined leaders representing eight coast guards of Arctic nations in signing a joint statement Friday. The statement adopts doctrine, tactics, procedures and information-sharing protocols for emergency maritime response and combined operations in the Arctic.

The Arctic Coast Guard Forum is an operationally-focused, consensus-based organization with the purpose of leveraging collective resources to foster safe, secure and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic. Membership includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation and the United States.

“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,” said Zukunft.

The ceremony culminated two years of extensive collaboration by agency representatives. Since the forum’s inception, working groups have established strategies, objectives and tactics aimed towards achieving common operational goals in the region. In addition, nation representatives participated in table-top exercises in Reykjavik, Iceland and the District of Columbia. A live exercise in the Arctic is being planned for later this year.

Zukunft also participated in a formal ceremony marking the orderly transition of 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,” said Zukunft. “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.”

By Professional Mariner Staff