WEBEDITION
No. 6 - Nov. 1996
Vol. 44 - pp. 22

Focus on NATO

PfP Exercise Arctic-Sarex '96


Within the framework of the Partnership for Peace programme, exercise Arctic-Sarex 96 was conducted near Khabarovsk in the far eastern region of Russia, from 16 to 20 September. The exercise, which aimed to improve emergency preparedness and response, was organized by the Russian Ministry of Defence and sponsored by NATO's Civil Emergency Planning Directorate.

The objectives of the exercise were to:

  • test the international mechanisms of emergency notification and response in the case of an air crash and the practical cooperation of air search and rescue forces of the Russian Federation, Canada and the United States; and

  • share experience in search and rescue and between medical teams from Russia, Canada and the US in the field of rescue activities in remote and difficult to reach places.

Participating units included the Russian Ministry of Defence (the Russian Federal Agency for Air and Space Search and Rescue), the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of the Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM), and Air Search and Rescue of Canada, and the United States Department of Defence.

Arctic-Sarex '96 exercised radio-technical search flights and airdrops of rescue equipment, medical facilities and personnel. In addition, medical examination, delivery of special aid and evacuation of victims to a mobile hospital were also conducted.

This exercise was the first in which military units from the Russian Federation, Canada and the United States practised cooperation in search and rescue activities and the delivery of humanitarian assistance. It represented a major contribution towards enhancing practical cooperation in civil emergency planning and disaster assistance as called for in the recently concluded Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


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