Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Marine Rescue Service Russian Federation held their 43rd joint planning group meeting and exercise Aug. 31-Sept. 2 in Anchorage under the 2020 Joint Contingency Plan of the United States of America and the Russian Federation in Combating Pollution on the Bering Sea and Chukchi Seas.
U.S. Coast Guard representatives from Headquarters, Pacific Area, the 17th District and Sector Anchorage worked with their Russian Marine Rescue Service counterparts to review the Joint Contingency Plan and update a 2021-2023 joint work plan for improving preparedness and cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and Marine Rescue Service Russian Federation in spill response in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.
The purpose of this joint work plan is to:
- Implement the Joint Contingency Plan (JCP) of the United States and the Russian Federation on combating pollution in the Bering and Chukchi Seas in Emergency Situations.
- Develop sustainable infrastructures for marine environmental protection and response to oil and hazardous substance incidents.
- Develop greater cooperation and understanding between the United States and the Russian Federation; specifically, between the responsible government agencies and private sector entities that take part in response to oil and hazardous substance incidents.
- Develop methods and techniques for preparedness and response to oil and hazardous substance incidents.
- Encourage compatibility of response systems in terms of command-and-control techniques, equipment, training, exercises and related preparedness and response issues.
- Maintain a two-year work plan cycle to permit efficient planning for budget and personnel scheduling. Identify and address risks associated with the shipment of hydrocarbons across or near the shared maritime boundaries.
- Maintain an up-to-date training and exercise schedule.
- Identify topics and initiatives for discussion during joint planning group meetings and teleconferences.
The group toured the Alaska Wildlife Response/International Bird Rescue Center and observed an equipment demonstration at Alaska Chadux Network to learn more about response systems and capabilities.
“Meeting our Russian counterparts face-to-face and exchanging information strengthens our shared commitment to environmental protection,” said Rear Adm. Nathan A. Moore, commander 17th District. “The U.S.-Russia maritime boundary is adjacent to heavily-traveled routes for ships carrying hydrocarbons. I rest a bit easier at night knowing that we have developed working relationships with our neighbors and are preparing ahead of time for a pollution incident that we hope does not occur.”