Torben Iversen at the Danish Defence has high expectations when it comes to the experiences, changes and improvements resulting from SCOPE 2017.
“Denmark’s goal for SCOPE 2017 has many facets, and we expect returns on many levels.”
” Implementing SCOPE 2017 is a very complex task, both in terms of planning and the scenario itself,” says Iversen, Marine Environment Officer at Naval Staff.
He adds that planning such complex exercises and operations provides valuable experience, both regarding project management and project work. Special conditions regarding EU funding of the exercise also provide valuable insights for future cooperation with the Union. This applies to activities that greatly benefit all nations in EU cooperation, both member and partner countries.
36 hours of realistic challenges
The Marine Environment Officer expects the participating Danish vessels to harvest experience from extensive maritime operations, with many ships deployed at sea in simultaneous operations to combat both oil and chemical pollution.
“It will be an intensive exercise, when you operate with your own equipment and ships and at the same time work with foreign entities. The exercise on the sea lasts for 36 hours, which can lead to crew fatigue, and provides an extra important aspect of the exercise.”
Iversen emphasises the importance of having a comprehensive exercise to assess the impact of time on the overall organisation of a major contamination incident.
” This will result in, for example, heavy strain on the infrastructure, requiring much traffic control and logistics personnel, as collected polluted masses must also be removed. A lengthy, complex exercise provides a real-life test of contingency plans calculated for the consequential damages of a major contamination incident. Plans will be tested regarding the removal of polluted masses, ship and aviation regulation around the area of operations, media handling, and more.”
Regarding the preparation of SCOPE 2017, such an extensive exercise requires close collaboration and considerable resources from the participating countries’ organisations. This puts demands on the country’s coordinating in the exercise.
” Here I would like to praise the way the Norwegian Coastal Administration as an authority has supported the project work,” says Iversen.
Experiences and recommendations
During the preparations, Iversen has closely followed the build-up of the EU observer program.
“I hope that SCOPE 2017 will lead to a review of the terms, so that observers with no prior knowledge of the subject and the exercise, as well as experts with broad academic expertise, can be invited,” says Iversen.
The representative of the Danish Defence is looking forward to the lessons learned from the exercise itself, and the recommendations that will follow from the personnel in the field.
“But what I look most forward to are the operational experiences and recommendations that the training and workshops will give us,” he adds.
Handling requirements and emergency ports
There will be two important workshops during the exercise week, regarding handling requirements and emergency ports.
” These are very exciting agendas. Denmark will therefore participate with all authorities that have an active role when it comes to place of refuge, says Iversen, adding that the ambition is to use the two workshops to identify the biggest challenges in the two areas.
“These are challenges that we hope will be addressed and regulated through international cooperation,” he adds.
Iversen specifically draws attention to CECIS as a valuable experience to bring along with the use of Safe Sea Net. CECIS, which stands for the Common Emergency Communication and Information System, is an EU-based information exchange system.
” The exercise will provide valuable experience in the use of CECIS and Safe Sea Net, in a configuration where systems are gradually developed. The experiences from the alert exercise, summarized at a workshop on the first day of the exercise, will give us new knowledge on this matter,” he says.
Danish police and DEMA collaboration
The Danish Defence, together with the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), organises about six national maritime environmental exercises each year.
“At least three of these consist of complex tasks, where the overall crisis management organisation is trained. In Denmark, the police is heading the crisis management. The Danish police and DEMA therefore also participates with experts in SCOPE 2017, so that we can gain experience to be used in national exercises,” concludes Iversen.
Number of danish personell at SCOPE 2017: 43
Danish vessels at SCOPE 2017: 2
The Armed Forces in Denmark are responsible for preventing marine pollution, and for this task, the Navy has a number of vessels and equipment to combat oil spills.