Michael Hjorth, Joint Arctic Command

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Michael Hjorth, Commander, Chief Operations, Joint Arctic Command, joins Search and Rescue Europe to discuss SAR in the Arctic region. Firstly he sets out the Arctic priorities for SAR. There’s been a marked increase in ship traffic in the Arctic region and ultimately it’s becoming more relevant to run regular, large scale SAR exercises. He discusses steps towards a SAR agreement between Arctic nations which will set up regular SAR exercises in the area. Finally, he talks about the recent SAREX exercise which reconstructed a cruise ship vessel going down in the Arctic to practice pooling resources together for a rescue of this kind.

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Michael Hjorth, Joint Arctic Command

  1. 1. SAR Priorities for the Arctic Region in Response to Increasing Shipping Interview by Helen Winsor, Search and Rescue Europe Michael Hjorth, Commander, Chief Operations, Joint Arctic Command, joins Search and Rescue Europe to discuss SAR in the Arctic region. Firstly he sets out the Arctic priorities for SAR. There’s been a marked increase in ship traffic in the Arctic region and ultimately it’s becoming more relevant to run regular, large scale SAR exercises. He discusses steps towards a SAR agreement between Arctic nations which will set up regular SAR exercises in the area. Finally, he talks about the recent SAREX exercise which reconstructed a cruise ship vessel going down in the Arctic to practice pooling resources together for a rescue of this kind.Search and Rescue Europe: Hello, and welcome to this IQPC podcast presented inconjunction with the Search and Rescue Europe Conference 2013. I’m your host today, HelenWinsor, and I’m delighted to be joined by one of our key speakers, Michael Hjorth,Commander for Chief Operations at the Joint Arctic Command. Michael, welcome to theshow. How are you today?M Hjorth: I’m fine, thank you. And how are you?Search and Rescue Europe: I’m very well, thanks; great of you to join us. I’ve got a fewquestions for you today. First of all, can we set out what the priorities are within the Arcticregion for search and rescue? This is the region that you control.M Hjorth: First of all, I want just to say that in 2011 the foreign ministers within the Arcticcountries had a foreign ministers’ meeting and in that meeting they decided to focus onsearch and rescue, and then it was up to the Arctic countries to plan for holding SARexercises. And the reason for that is of course that the climate changes are opening up thehigher Arctic. That means new sailing routes and more ship activities, and of course higherrisk for a major live certain rescue evacuation response operation, and that has definitelybeen the top priority for the eight Arctic countries within the last couple of years, so that’ssimply the risk for a live major certain rescue operation.Search and Rescue Europe: Yes. So there’s been a marked increase in ship traffic in theArctic region and ultimately it’s becoming more relevant to run regularly large scale SARexercises I gather. I understand that you’re making steps towards to a SAR agreementbetween the Arctic nations which will set up this type of regular SAR exercise routine in thearea. Where are you up to with this?To download this interview in full, please click here: http://bit.ly/TQjwznThe Search and Rescue Europe Conference 2013 will take place 19-21 March, ActionStations, Portsmouth. For information about the event visitwww.searchandrescueeurope.com/ contact us on 0800 652 2363 or +44 (0) 20 7368 9300 oremail enquire@iqpc.co.uk now. 1
  2. 2. IQPCPlease note that we do all we can to ensure accuracy within the translation to word of audio interviews but that errors may stillunderstandably occur in some cases. If you believe that a serious inaccuracy has been made within the text, please contact +44(0) 207 368 9425 or email helen.winsor@iqpc.co.uk. 2

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