2015 Barentz Sea Exercise

Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region was launched in 1993 and includes activities in the area of rescue. An Agreement between the Governments in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region on Cooperation within the field of Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response has been developed between Finland, Norway, the Russian Federation and Sweden, was signed on 11 December 2008 in Moscow. The Agreement took effect on 17 May 2012 upon ratification by all Parties.

Within this legal framework, a Joint Committee has been established. Its goal is to strengthen and expand ongoing cross border emergency and rescue services co-operations in order to improve the interoperability of emergency and rescue services functions in the Barents Region.

Barents Joint Rescue Manual has been developed for use in emergency situations as defined by the Agreement and provides guidance and instructions for the implementation of the Agreement.

The cooperation is tested two-yearly in an international exercise, that is hosted by one of the participating countries. In 2015 the Barents Sea exercise will take place in Finland (Kittilä) between 28 September 2015 and 2 October 2015. The exercise scenarios in Finland involve a series of heavy rainfalls in Kittilä and a simultaneous mine accident. Flooding and the raising water level cause serious damage to the road system in the region, leaving some areas without land connections and hindering food supply and power distribution. The flood scenario is based on a real incident in Kittilä about ten years ago.

Alarming procedures, communication and border crossing in the Barents area as well as the national Host Nation Support arrangements will be exercised during these two days. Seminars and an exhibition will be included in the exercise programme.

Interested in participating as an observer and EU-expert? Ten experts from Participating States are invited to apply for an exchange which involves participation as observers in the 2015 Barents Rescue exercise. Apply by 12 June 2015.

Previous exercises delivered interesting evaluation reports, some of which can be found here here:

Barents 2013 (Norway)

Barents 2011 (Sweden)