RAMSTEIN, Germany - From November 30 to December 1 Allied Air Command hosted NATO’s annual Personnel Recovery (PR) Conference at its headquarters in Ramstein, Germany. The capture, isolation and / or exploitation of NATO personnel during operations could have a significant negative impact on operational security, morale of assigned forces and public support. Therefore, experts from the NATO Command Structure and NATO members’ national militaries meet annually to increase and improve NATO’s capability to recover personnel from combat zones. Member nations provide NATO with the personnel and assets necessary to carry out NATO operations, in turn, NATO must ensure that there are means available to recover personnel under its responsibility who have become isolated.
An increasingly important responsibility for the Operational Commander, discussions this year used the wealth of experience and knowledge available to further develop the inception of a NATO wide strategic training plan for personnel recovery. This will inform both an implementation schedule and action plan to ensure that every NATO operation continues to assure the protection of the force, although in the future, with one standard Joint Personnel Recovery procedure.
"The need to achieve maximum coherence and interoperability between our allies and partners is vital to enable commanders, forces and individuals to prevent, prepare for, and respond to isolating events” says Major Keith Craine, expert for personnel recovery at Allied Air Command.
For the Air Component, PR is coordinated by the Personnel Recovery Coordination Centre which forms part of the Joint Force Air Component (JFAC). The JFAC provides Air Command and Control for Crisis response operations. Depending on the size of the operation, the JFAC may be specially tailored to meet the mission requirements; it can be supplemented from all Allied Air Command entities or augmented from national JFACs as required for NATO missions. Allied Air Command is responsible to stand up the NATO Command Structure JFAC for any NATO operation.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office