Barents Rescue cross-border exercise

Barents Rescue is an international rescue exercise between the countries in the Barents region. One clever solution lets authorities from different countries communicate and coordinate with each other easily. It was tested during the exercise and it also works in a real emergency.

Cooperation during Barents Rescue exercise in 2019

Working together across borders

Barents Rescue is an international rescue exercise between the countries in the Barents Region – Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia. The exercise is held every three years and its goal is to improve preparedness and cooperation between the participating countries. 

When a public safety organization needs to deal with multiple emergencies in harsh conditions, it’s good to know that they can get help from other organizations.

After each exercise, the participants are better equipped to communicate and cooperate across the borders also in a true emergency.

Barents rescue exercise

The exercise tests the hosting country in two ways:

  • How effective the arrangements are for the incoming rescue personnel in the Barents region.
  • How well people and assets from the participating countries are put together into a single, integrated force.

Barents Rescue involves hundreds of rescuers, medical professionals, volunteers and other participants working side-by-side in challenging conditions. 

Because collaboration is key, the communication between teams needs to be seamless. Efficient communications can save time for the rescuers. In a real emergency, time saved may very well mean a life saved.

Rescuers from three countries in 2019

The scenario in the Barents Rescue exercise in 2019 centered around a serious road traffic accident in Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden. Several people had been injured in the accident.

Stretched to their limit, the Swedish authorities had decided to call in help from their partners in Finland and Norway.

Traffic accident scenario in Barents Rescue exercise in 2019

The exercise made use of the Swedish TETRA network, RAKEL. The operator of RAKEL, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), set up the network to serve all participating organizations in the Kiruna area. The authorities in the three countries were able to communicate together.

This video shows how the three countries' national radio communication was connected and used in this scenario:

As the provider of the Finnish (VIRVE) and Swedish (RAKEL) nationwide public safety communications networks, Airbus has participated in all three Finland-Sweden-Norway Inter-System Interface (ISI) events involving the corresponding Nordic TETRA operators: Erillisverkot for Finland, MSB for Sweden, and DSB for Norway.

In 2019, the exercise was hosted by Sweden, the 2016 event took place in Finland and the 2013 event in Norway.

Learn more – read the press release:

Or get inspired by these pictures from Barents Rescue exercises:





Want to know more?

Contact us