070118 healyLGAt the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF) held in Boston, Massachusetts (USA), the leaders of all eight Arctic Council member state coast guards have agreed to improve information exchange in the coming years, according to a statement released by US Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft on Monday 13 June.

"The Arctic coast guards now have an established framework to exchange information and are finalizing a set of combined operating guidelines to enhance interoperability," Zukunft said in the statement.

At the forum, the directors of the coast guards of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States agreed to continue to work together on a framework for combined operations between the countries, including a process guide to be used as the basis for the forum, and a “combined operation module” to be put into practice when carrying out operations in the Arctic.

The statement also establishes the frameworks for the development of a multi-year strategic plan, as well as identifies avenues for information-sharing, highlights best practices, and identifies possibilities for holding training exercises and combined operations in the Arctic.

It was also agreed that all countries should hold yearly meetings of experts and principals.