The Russian Maritime rescue service and the US Coast guard are going to conduct large-scale search and rescue exercises, said Mark Everett, incident management adviser for the 17th Coast guard district.
He said that in the “bilateral two-year work plan, there are plans to move to full-scale exercises in the Bering Strait area.”
The last time Russia and the United States conducted such exercises was in 1998.
It is emphasized that such exercises are highly complex, so a well-thought-out organization is necessary, which may take several years to prepare.
At the same time, Natalia Kutaeva, an adviser to the head of Morspas, said that the Russian service “is going to organize and conduct communication exercises this fall.” The ISS will give the American side a specific date, but “tentatively plans to hold these exercises in October.”
Kutaeva stated that “the overall aim should be large-scale exercises on liquidation of consequences of oil spills.”
And Kutaeva and Everett gave a high assessment of the Russian-US joint contingency plan for combating pollution in the Bering and Chukchi seas.
Specialists from the two countries were going to meet in May, but the meeting had to be postponed due to the situation with the coronavirus. The talks “were postponed, but not canceled.” The parties are going to meet to “update efforts, continue to assess the scenario of a (potential) oil leak in the Bering Strait with additional command and staff exercises, and with a greater focus on real-time information about the aftermath,” Everett said.
The last exercises in the framework of the Russian-American contingency planning group for possible pollution in the Bering and Chukchi seas took place in 2018 on Sakhalin.