Interview: Jonas Holmstrand, Swedish Coast Guard

Jonas Holmstrand
Swedish Coast Guard and
BALEX DELTA 2018 Lead of DISTAFF, in charge of coordinating the BALEX DELTA 2018 exercise planning

How has the BALEX DELTA 2018 planning process been?
This has not been an easy task. New questions and decisions appear continuously, from many different sides. This leads to planning challenges. Many answers and solutions come in late in the process. But all the open questions and reflection around them eventually turn into a great source of knowledge and lessons learned.

The shore exercise – has it been difficult to include?
We took the shore exercise into account from the very beginning. In particular, it guided the choice of the exercise area: the oil and chemical spill needed to trigger a major challenge for the response both at shore and at sea. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to reach the objectives of the exercise.

The Swedish Coast Guard has had two interventions this summer, responding to ships running aground. One even caused an oil spill. How did that affect BALEX DELTA?
On one hand we lost some valuable planning time. On the other, with the accident involving the oil spill, we got a strong confirmation that we do have a realistic training scenario. What we train at BALEX DELTA is actually what we will have to master in real life.