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adopted 17 February 1981, having regard to Article 13, Paragraph b) of the Helsinki Convention




RECALLING the provisions of Regulation 8 of Annex VI to the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1974, (Helsinki Convention), concerning assistance to a Contracting Party by other Contracting Parties called upon,


TAKING into consideration that assistance could be rendered in form of strike teams under national command consisting of personnel, ships, equipment for confinement, recovery and on-scene storage of harmful substances,


BEING AWARE of the difficult practical and organizational problems that arise from joint combatting operations involving strike teams from several countries,


NOTING that joint operations necessitate a clear and simplified command structure agreed upon in beforehand,


RECOMMENDS Governments of the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention that:


a) the organizational structure in joint operations should contain two main coordination and command levels, namely Operational Control ashore and Tactical Command on the scene of operations


b) the Operational Control is exercised by the country that has asked for assistance (lead country) which normally is the country within whose response region the operation takes place


c) change of Operational Control and Tactical Command may, when practical and agreed between the parties concerned, take place when the main body of a combatting operation moves from one response region to another


d) liaison officers from participating countries are integrated in the staff of the Operational Control to secure necessary knowledge of rendered national resources;


e) the overall Tactical Command is laid upon a designated Supreme On-Scene Commander/Coordinator (SOSC) from the lead country;


f) strike teams provided by assisting countries should operate under command of a National On-Scene Commander/Coordinator (NOSC); and


g) the NOSC is operating under the command/coordination of the SOSC.