Arctic Security Forces Roundtable (ASFR)

Introduction: The Arctic Security Forces Roundtable (ASFR) collaborates with nations near the Arctic Circle on APAN.

As the Arctic climate continues to change, arctic area nations are working together to address security concerns. The Arctic Security Forces Roundtable (ASFR) is a semi-annual gathering usually attended by twelve nations focused on improving communications and maritime domain awareness in the Arctic Circle. The twelve nations include: Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Challenges: Enable all nations concerned with Arctic Circle area security and transportation to communicate and respond to issues with up-to-date information.

As the ice cover in the Arctic decreases, and the Arctic environment experiences increased ship and tourist traffic, opportunities arise to improve human safety and environmental security in the region.  The twelve nations currently involved have different internet resources and are separated by significant geographic distances.

Solutions: To support the ASFR and Arctic Circle security, the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) created an APAN community for these twelve nations to share information and improve communication efficiency.

The APAN Arctic Roundtable Community is accessible by low-bandwidth internet resources and includes automated feeds to provide the most up to date information possible to all participants.

To reduce time spent skimming different news sources, the AFSR uses APAN's RSS widget to aggregate news feeds into one location providing links to complete news articles and summaries. AFSR community owners can customize the widget to add feeds that provide Arctic news from multiple news sources that focus on particular Arctic articles of interest, e.g. the Barents Observer in Norway, World Maritime News, the Arctic Portal from Iceland, and The Arctic Institute. 

The AFSR community uses the group content map viewer to aggregate marine traffic maps from the Marine Traffic website ( into their community. A Marine Traffic data feed displays location and type of ships sailing or in port near the Arctic Circle. The ship data is displayed on the APAN Arctic Roundtable Community map page and is refreshed and updated every 15 minutes. This map provides members quick and easy access to the status of marine traffic which can then be easily referenced in other tools such as forum discussions and chat rooms.

Results: Participants in the ASFR community receive increased situational awareness, collaboration channels which are easy to access and up-to-date map data enabling quicker responses to issues for a wider network of stakeholders.