The Arctic

Once considered to be impassable and inaccessible, the Arctic region is now a more viable transportation option for shippers, due to receding ice. As shipping companies and airlines take advantage of Artic transport routing, the need for search and rescue (SAR) operations correspondingly increases. This article explores the United States Coast Guard’s role in developing an Arctic SAR program. While, the U.S. maintains non-binding SAR arrangements with the Russian Federation and Canada, a "mutual regional cooperative arrangement" involving all Arctic region countries is currently being studied. The author notes that such a multi-national SAR arrangement could not only coordinate SAR arrangements among all participating countries, but also: 1) provide contact points for countries to use in both ongoing and future Arctic SAR operations; 2) provide for countries to meet periodically to discuss SAR coordination and cooperation; 3) provide for periodically-based multi-national exercises to practice and develop communication and coordination techniques; and 4) provide a formal identification of each participating country's "maritime and aeronautical SAR regions in the Arctic." The author concludes that increased human activity in the Arctic will require increased cooperation between the U.S. and other Arctic region countries. The Coast Guard's SAR program is seen as key in providing leadership to help reduce transportation and environmental risks, while enforcing international law and sovereignty claims.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01145997
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 13 2009 6:16PM