Interview: Mattias Heneborn, Swedish Coast Guard Response Commander in BALEX DELTA 2018

Mattias Heneborn

Swedish Coast Guard
Response Commander in BALEX DELTA 2018

As the Response Commander, your decisions will have consequences, no matter if it is an exercise or a real operation. Quite some pressure?
Actually it’s a great opportunity to train and get experience to gain profit from in the future. Even if this is a big and important exercise, which we don’t have a chance to be part of as frequently as I’d personally might wish for, I’d prefer to fail here, at the exercise. I wouldn’t like to fail in real life, where the consequences of one’s decisions may be more serious.

What skills do you think are most valuable for carrying out your role successfully?
As a Response Commander I need to keep my cool and stay calm, and to think big instead of getting stuck in details. For handling of the latter, I have to confide in my staff. As a decision maker, I need to ensure all staff reach their full potential and deliver.

You were Response Commander when the Makassar Highway vessel ran aground and caused an oil spill this summer. Have you had a chance to reflect on that operation?
There are always operational issues that can be improved, such as how to dispatch staff and employees in the holiday season. It is also essential to identify which issues need to be addressed immediately and with high priority, and those which can be dealt with later, even after the operation.