Akela akelaband.com akela.band

Some 12+ years ago in 2008 when Akela was established the internet was already getting very crowded with all kinds of information with countless websites full of news, images, stories and people and companies selling this and that. As it happens the domain akela-dot-com was taken and if our memory serves right was owned by IBM or some other a bit more established US company at the time, who upon contacting were not at all interested to even consider releasing/selling the domain name to some upstart business in the far corner of their world.

Well, now, some 12 years later,  Akela training development services have evolved and Akela has become a trusted provider of emergency response, environment protection, safety and survival training development services with customers such as Total, one of the big oil super majors, Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, the Arab Academy and many more bigger and small companies, authorities and organisations in need of training aids, simulations, competence and qualifications. Akela training development services are being used around Europe, Far East,  MENA region and the Americas. We have been quite successful and look forward to new challenges and opportunities as we continue to learn and apply new ideas, innovations and technologies in our training development services.

Herewith we at Akela want to thank you, the owner/operator of the akela-dot-com domain in 2008, for your short and, at the time, bittersweet, answer “NO”. It made us think more broadly and come up with the name akelaband.com as our website, describing well the nature of our operations and the power of partnerships in our services. 

We have just added the domain akela.band to help more people and companies to find us and hopefully enjoy our new website design too.

Elephant in the room

This is one of the first posts to appear on akelaband website in 2008. It is a story about achieving your dreams, the value of learning and life and finally, how to face the end of one’s life. Take a look at the last lecture by Prof Randy Pausch, I am sure you will be inspired by his wit and character – and his lecture on how to achieve your dreams.

Just three months after Akela was established Randy passed away at his family’s home on July 25, 2008 suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. He was survived by his wife Jai, and their three children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe.  And his good advise. Never give up on your dreams!

what does the name akela mean

“Akela…who led all the Pack by strength and cunning, lay out at full length on his rock, and below him sat forty or more wolves of every size and color…” Rudyard KiplingMowgli

1967 animated film

Akela founder first came accross the name Akela when as a kid he was reading Rudyard Kipling’s Junglebook one rare hot summer. The book was too mesmerizing to be put down and there was one character that stood out: Akela the wise wolf, leader of the wolf pack, whose advise was highly valued. What was a childhood interest is now the guiding light for the company Akela; listen and you understand, from understanding comes good advise.

But in actual fact the name Akela was coined by Kirsten, Pekka’s darling wife, from Swahili words of Asante (thank you), Amani (Peace and Tranquility) meaning to live in peace, unity and freedom with each other with calm and reason without chaos and the presence of serenity.

Additional meanings

  • Akela in Old German means “Noble”.
  • The masculine Akela means “Happy” in Hebrew
  • Akela is “Lucky” in Hawaiian.
  • In contemporary English the word Akela means charming and smart.

And as it just happens to be, the boy scouts have a specific use for the name Akela.

In Cub Scout packs, Akela is a symbol of wisdom, authority, and leadership. Akela is anyone who acts as a leader to the Scout. Akela can be a Cubmaster, Den Leader, parent or teacher depending on where the guidance takes place. In den meetings, it is the Den Leader who is Akela. During pack meetings it is the Cubmaster. At home, the parents fill this role. Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, chose Rudyard Kipling‘s The Jungle Book as a source of symbolism and allegorical framework for the youngest members of the Scouting movement.

And Pekka used to be Akela when he was a boy scout as a kid, the leader of a small pack. “Be a good scout” !

AKELA Joint Venture in Egypt

The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) was born in 1970 to provide a much needed regional centre for Maritime Transport training. The initial funding was agreed by the Arab League countries with long-lasting support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The city of Alexandria was chosen as location for the academy because of its important geographical location, which is in the middle of the whole Arab region, as well as the abundance of the qualified personnel available. The Academy has succeeded to overcome major obstacles such as suspension of funding from the fellow Arab States due to Camp David peace agreement between Egypt and Israel in 1979. In the mid 90’s the number of students had started to decline as a result of the increase in the tuition and maritime training fees, as well as the Arab fleets and ship owners resorting to cheap Asian labour and the self-funding policy of the Academy. The AASTMT started looking for sources of funding through new activities and novel routes to maintain its basic and fundamental mission in maritime education and training so as to encounter the Arab and international changes.

Today AASTMT is a world class university in Maritime Transport and Higher Education in compliance with the international standards of Education, Scientific Research, Innovation and Training. AASTMT is a unique technology university comprised of various studies and programs in a variety of specialization leading to M.Sc., B.Sc., B.Eng., and B.Tech. Degrees, Certificates of Competency, specialized Diplomas and Certificates.

Akela and AASTMT are working together to establish Oil and Gas Institute (OGI) in the Abu Kir Campus in Alexandria. OGI will provide internationally accredited training for personnel already working or looking at starting a career in the oil and gas industry. Akela is assisting AASTMT with training accreditations, trainer qualifications and overall development of the training to match the current and future needs of the local and regional industry.

pekka_with_dr_ismael.jpg

Pekka with Academy President Dr Ismail

Our JV aims to help the students and skilled workers to gain competence and fill in the positions of technical expertise and/or management in oil & gas and also other process industries. We have students from Egypt, Arab countries and elsewhere in Africa who will benefit from obtaining specialist skills and competence.

we’ll be apples

In 2009 Akela’s founder Pekka got an idea to get dearly needed funds for the local Porvoo Steiner / Waldorf school. There are plenty of apples in autumn which are not used. The apples make great juice. Juice can be sold. This means money for the school.

In a shortest time Akela managed to get plenty of donations, starting from apples to bottles to corks to bottling to boxes to advertising in local newspapers etc. We got all the supplies as donations, some as far as from Lappland. Our local newspaper and both the regional radio and TV news got interested and we got a lot of publicity for the project. And more than plenty apples. With a bunch of willing volunteers from the school we picked over 2000 kg of apples and bottled some 3300 bottles at our wonderful local apple press, Sibbo Musteri.

We sold the bottles at 75 € per box of 30 bottles each. The Fredrika school fundraising for 2009-2010 schoolyear got a flying start!

We did it again in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014!

Come September and Pekka gets into apples again. We re-kickstarted the annual apple harvesting, bottling and fundraising project for our local Fredrika school.

Akela again searched and helped to pick the apples, arranged the bottles, transport, the bottling and pasteurising, packing in boxes. 2010 we used up all the remaining donated bottles. 2011 we rested… And in the following three years we collected thousands of kilos of apples and sold thousands of bottles of healthy apple juice!

We’ll be apples. (Australian for something that you say in order to tell someone that they do not need to worry and that everything will happen as it should).

The school fundraising is a prime example of communal spirit and the power of one and many. Akela’s founder Pekka is the driving force, Akela provides logistic support and overall management. With a little bit of encouragement there were always enough parents who all pitched up in with apple picking, bottling. Then we had some creative minds in the school to make the juice bottle an enticing buy, a new brand for eco-educationally conscious people.

Now for many years our children are no more at the school and the many memories start to fade away. But the apple fundraising project still remains as a brilliant example of how we can all contribute to the common good and how much pure joy and feel-good credits you can get from helping others. Today we make a and drink the same juice, just made form the apples in the garden in front of Akela’s office. The apple juice we share with our good friends, partners and customers – when ever we remember to take a bottle with!

Thank you for all and everybody!

Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport

Oil & Gas Institute (OGI) 

Maritime Safety Institute (MSI)

The Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport (also known as AASTMT or AAST) and Akela work together towards international high-level training accreditations, trainer qualifications and training development to match the current and future needs of the local and regional Oil & Gas and maritime sector in Alexandria, Egypt.

AASTMT is now accredited to provide Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) Controlling Emergencies assessment programme together with Major Emergency Management Initial Response (MEMIR) and Control Room Operator (CRO) training. The training involves careful assessment of trainee’s performance based on direct observation in a simulated environment. Akela and AASTMT, after comprehensive preparation, have been able to create a very efficient, advanced and versatile training simulation. This allows AASTMT to provide most realistic simulated conditions according to the OPITO Industry Standards.

AASTMT highly trained staff provide this highly dedicated and advanced emergency management training for key personnel who are about to be appointed to an OIM position or who are already serving as an OIM or personnel who are in charge or who are members of an emergency management team.

Currently AASTMT is the only accredited training provider in Egypt for both OIM and MEMIR. Furthermore, AASTMT is one of only five providers in the whole MENA region for MEMIR and one of three providers for OIM Controlling Emergencies training.

Captain Ashraf Halawa is the Head of Oil and Gas Technology Program and serves also as Vice Dean for Foreign Affairs at Maritime Safety Institute. After sailing the seven seas and further education at the World Maritime University in Sweden, Capt Ashraf returned to Egypt and has been working diligently towards developing and achieving international high-level standard training at AASTMT Maritime Safety Institute. 

Capt. Ashraf has lead his team over many obstacles in the past years and the recent accreditations are a testament of his stamina and work ethic. As for Akela, Capt. Ashraf is pleased that not only do we have a common goal but that we are joined in our belief that goodness and kindness are more important than fame and fortune.

For information and booking one of the several accredited courses, go to: http://www.aast.edu/en/institutes/msi/

Stena Oil to the rescue

Stena Oil is the leading supplier of bunker oil in the Nordic countries and provides full-service marine solutions for vessels in the Skagerrak, Kattegat and the North Sea. In recognition of Stena’s ability to find quick solutions, Stena has signed an agreement with the EU to handle oil spills in Nordic waters. This agreement, made with European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), has meant that MT Norden, one of Stena fleet of five bunker ships, has been equipped with the equipment and all crew trained to be able to quickly respond and take care of oil spills at sea.

But let’s go back in time a bit. At the beginning of the summer 2016, Stena had to step up to the mark. Under the EMSA inspectors’ watchful eye, the bunker vessel Nordea together with its crew showed that they had what it takes to be able to deal with oil spills. The drill was a big success.

Stena had been preparing a long time for the task. It was the beginning of 2015 when Akela and Stena first started discussions about the possibility, feasibility and possible success of a joint venture. EMSA had published a tender for a oil spill recovery vessel availability contract. What followed was successful bidding and contract negotiations over the next several months. And finally in the end Stena came out as a winner.

Stena, together with the owner and operator of the vessel, Oljola AB, have demonstrated tremendous dedication and have spared no effort to fulfil, and in most cases exceed, the stringent demands by EMSA. Hampus Rondahl from Stena Oil comments: “We put a lot of effort in adapting the ship so as to be able to use the oil recovery equipment. And a lot of work has gone into training the crew. But we were able to be ready well ahead of the project deadline, thanks to the help from Pekka at Akela”

Wintershall DEA AG

Wintershall Dea was formed from the merger of Wintershall Holding GmbH and DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, in 2019. Today, the company employs around 2,800 people worldwide from over 60 nations.

Wintershall DEA Mittelplate is an exceptional project. Located in the Wadden Sea off the North Sea coast of Germany it demonstrates that the energy industry and the environment go hand in hand. Originally, more than 100 million tonnes of oil were deposited in several oil-bearing zones at depths of 2,000-3,000 metres below the sea floor off the coast. Over 30 million tonnes have so far been produced and another 20-25 million tonnes of oil are considered to be recoverable. Wintershall DEA Mittelplate accounts for half of the country’s oil production and it makes a major contribution to safeguarding Germany’s energy supplies.

Location: Hamburg and Mittelplate platform off Cuxhaven

Website:   https://wintershalldea.com/

Customer: Wintershall DEA

Wintershall DEA operates the Mittelplate drilling and production island in the Wadden Sea region of the German North Sea coast since 1987 and today it is Germany’s largest and most productive oil field. The region has enjoyed national park status since 1985. Mittelplate enjoys an excellent reputation in the global oil industry – as an excellent example of environmentally sound oil producAon with multiple safeguards to avoid even rain water to escape from the island.

In response to the new legislation for EU oil and gas industry, Wintershall DEA started a rigorous readiness program for even further improved environmental protection. Peter Sauer from DEA: “Together with oil pollution response equipment, Wintershall DEA invested in training of its personnel to respond rapidly and efficiently in the unlikely case of an oil spill into the Wadden Sea environment. Akela and its trainers have been very helpful in training of our personnel in theoretical and practical sessions”

Links and Video:

Russian Marine Rescue

Russian Marine Rescue (Rosmorrechflot) is the leading sea rescue company for the Russian transport industry with largest diving personnel in the country – 180 highly qualified specialists, the majority of whom have completed international training.

Late spring 2015 Russian Marine Rescue (MRS) directors met with AKELA in Finland. MRS marine rescue responsibilities cover the whole Russian Federation coastal and sea areas for marine rescue. MRS was interested in establishing sea safety and survival training at their HQ in Moscow and the kind of requirements are required in Russia now and in future.

Location: Moscow Russia 

Website: http://morspas.com/en/opito

Customer: Russian Marine Rescue (MRS)

As a result of the above mentioned open and frank discussions Akela was invited to visit and view the MRS existing premises along the Moskva river. AKELA specialist team then identified that the existing facilities for rescue diver and ROV training courses could be updated and converted to incorporate OPITO BOSIET type training.

In 2016 Akela was chosen as the main supplier of all simulators and training equipment. AKELA supplied upgrade to MRS facility with all-inclusive BOSIET simulators and equipment. AKELA provided train-the-trainer services for all training staff together with guidance and management of the OPITO accreditation process.

The facilities in Moscow already included an indoor pool, with 25m length and 7m width. Some conversions were needed to fit HUET inside the pool hall, this exercise included removing the roof of the building and bringing down HUET and lifting arrangement (certified I-beam with hoist equipped with UPS for safe operation even during power outage) by crane. TEMPSC davit and mustering platforms are located outside. TEMPSC is lowered into the Moskva river with a propulsion system to keep the winter ice at bay.

The project was completed in late 2017 and since then the training centre has been operating with full capacity.

Links and video:

TOTAL / OLEUM

Background

TOTAL is a multinational integrated oil and gas company founded in 1924 and one of the seven “Supermajor” oil companies in the world and active in more than 130 countries.

OLEUM is the European training centre for Oil & Petrochemicals industries of Total Group. OLEUM is the first European training centre to offer tailor-made training courses in an industry-scale processing plant.

Customer: TOTAL
Location: Mardyck, France
Website:  https://www.oleum.total.com/en

Summer 2015 AKELA was approached by TOTAL first to discuss about sea safety and survival training issues and subsequently to participate in a tender to supply a complete OPITO BOSIET training package.

AKELA won the tender based on our proven expertise, good track record and fair offer. The order came in early 2016 to supply the training facility structure incorporating training pool and steel/aluminium training level structures, HUET simulator, TEMPSC & davit, installation supervision, training of all staff, training material and OPITO accreditation support. Later on, the scope was expanded to include all ancillary training equipment required for BOSIET training and also IMIST accreditation.

The installation was delayed due to change of plans within TOTAL and OLEUM regarding the location of training site. Installation was completed in autumn 2018 followed by train-the-trainer exercises. The OPITO approved training centre is currently operated jointly with a Dutch training provider.

Links and video:



Maritime State University

The Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University is one of the leading universities in the Asia-Pacific region, established in 1890. MSU trains specialists of all spheres required for the sea transportation system in natural sciences, humanities, engineering and marine areas. MSU is an authoritative research and methodological centre of maritime education. MSU started to plan for the new training centre several years ago and now those many years of hard work in planning are bearing fruit.


page4image39341728

Customer: Maritime State University. (MSU)
Location: Vladivostok Russia 
Website: http://msun.ru/en

During the early autumn 2017 MSU delegation visited several potential training equipment suppliers and training centres. Akela organised a tour of the Meriturva training centre in Finland where we could see several simulators and mass evacuation systems in operation. We also had a long meeting with the technical chief and MSU was quite impressed with the training set-up.

Later in same year Akela was invited to visit MSU to see the construction of the facilities and have discussions about the overall scope and requirements of different training scenarios3. The plans involved establishment of a very comprehensive training centre with Maritime Simulation complex with several full mission integrated navigation simulators for advanced training and certification in one part and a well-equipped sea safety and survival training facility for all kinds of maritime related emergency scenarios for all types of ship crews and offshore personnel.

Finally, the main two suppliers were selected by summer 2018, both from Finland. Wärtsilä/Transas was chosen to deliver the equipment for the Maritime Simulation complex and Akela was chosen to deliver the complete set of equipment, simulators, training aids, train-the-trainer and accreditation support for the sea safety and survival training.

Akela scope of work included sea safety and survival training simulators, including HUET, TEMPSC, mass evacuation systems (chute & slide), wave generation, sound systems, FRC’s with davits, overhead crane with a helicopter mock-up for most realistic sea rescue and winch rescue simulation, enclosed space training system and a large variety of associated equipment and support functions.

Links and video: