The third edition of the EU Personnel Recovery Controller and Planner Course (PRCPC), a project initiated by EDA, was held from 23 February to 6 March 2015. Organised and hosted by Sweden in Karlsborg, the exercise gathered 23 students from 12 countries.
Instructors from France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden as well as Canada shared their knowledge and experience of personnel recovery (PR) matters with a group of students coming from Belgium, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. PR is usually defined as the sum of efforts needed to recover isolated civilian or military personnel.
The main focus of the course was to train staff officers to support their commanders on PR-related issues. It is intended for personnel who will be manning a personnel recovery position in a tactical operation centre (TOC), a personnel recovery coordination cell (PRCC) or a joint personnel recovery cell (JPRC). This may be within an EU, NATO or national staff as part of exercises or deployed operations.
During the first week of the course, students were briefed on the four main elements of the PR system (preparation, planning, execution and adaptation) and learned how to control and oversee PR operations. Most of the students also attended the second week of the course to learn how to properly plan PR operations and to develop a PR annex to an operations plan. Training involved classroom lessons as well as work in study groups where participants faced a variety of PR challenges.
Next stop: Hungary
The next EU PRCPC will take place from 25 May to 5 June 2015 in Hungary. The newly-developed Personnel Recovery Functional Area Service Advanced Technology Demonstrator (PR FAS ATD) will be tested. This system is designed to provide headquarters-level PR staff with a planning tool to manage PR missions in a PRCC or JPRC. It has been developed as part of EDA’s work to improve interoperability amongst European armed forces in the field of personnel recovery.
The EU PRCPC project was established on 30 May 2013 as an EDA Category B project, under the lead of Sweden. As of today, it gathers six contributing EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden. EDA has already initiated a process to extend the project and allow a smooth handover of the course to a suitable entity. The European Personnel Recovery Centre (EPRC), established in Italy, is a potential candidate.